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Building Community Resilience to Bushfires

This project will study the complex, multi-level, multi-disciplinary issues that have influenced the bushfire resilience of communities affected by the bushfires in NSW, undertaking an in-depth study of community disaster resilience at multiple levels ranging from households and local communities, to government and industry.

The catastrophic impact of this summer’s bushfires in NSW showed people, communities and resources were stretched as never before. This applies not only to the agencies responding during the fire emergency (RFS, NPWS, F&RNSW), but also the organisations assisting impacted communities in their recovery (Red Cross, Salvation Army, WelFAC), and the construction industry that is now demolishing/removing and rebuilding people’s homes and the infrastructure destroyed in the fires.

The project will address the Global Challenge of ‘Building Resilient Communities’ by providing a significant and unique multi-disciplinary contribution to our understanding of the ways communities, and the industries and agencies that support them, can build greater bushfire resilience through short- and long-term coping capacity. Our overall objective is to develop new evidence, understanding and resources that can be shared across Australia to assist in building national community bushfire resilience. This project will for the first time bring together expertise in social science, engineering, residential construction systems, supply chain and logistics research.


Researchers

  • Paul Cooper (EIS) will oversee set-up, stakeholder liaison, data analysis, co-author publications promulgate findings to all levels of government, professionals and the community.
  • Christine Eriksen (ASSH) will support the delivery of the social science aspects of the project, liaise with the RFS where necessary, and contribute to the write-up of co-authored publications.
  • Joshua Whittaker (SMAH) will support the project set-up, assist with ethics approval, be principal liaison with RFS to ensure compatibility of this project with existing UOW/RFS post-fire research collaborations, co-author the publications.
  • Tillmann Boehme (BAL) Leader of the Supply Chain and Logistics research project component. Supervisor the associated researcher fellow(s) delivering this component of the project.
  • Scott McKinnon (ASSH) will support the project set-up, assist with obtaining ethics approval, conduct the in-depth interviews, carry out data analysis, co-author the publications
  • Alan Green (EIS) will conduct assessment of buildings and retrofits, carry out data analysis, co-author the publications, and curate the Bushfire Retrofitting Options Database.
  • Matthew Daly (EIS) will drive construction industry supply chain analysis: reconstruction planning & approval processes, industry capacity, housing solutions, needs of survivors met, etc.

 

Major funding provided by:

 

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