End User representatives
Remote north Australian communities are susceptible to cyclones, floods and bushfires. Cultural and socio-economic factors combine with the challenges of remote service delivery - including cost, low levels of infrastructure and distance from the urban centres that host key service delivery organisations - to create situations where communities can be highly vulnerable to natural hazards. In this context, it is important to understand how these variables can be navigated to enhance community resilience. This task requires a detailed understanding of current capacities, preparation and response strategies, communication pathways and local governance structures.
A challenge for enhancing community resilience is to develop culturally appropriate, environmentally sustainable economic opportunities. The lack of wealth generation at the local level impedes community capacity to develop infrastructure and build human capital through training and experience of the workplace. The ability of these communities to respond in a coordinated way at an appropriate scale is largely non-existent.
The existing academic literature on resilience contains limited material that deals with remote Australia.
The project has three main areas:
- The Aboriginal Research Practitioners Network – Indigenous researchers trained in Participatory Action Research – are working in two Northern Territory communities (Ngukurr and Gunbalanya) documenting community understandings of natural hazards, risks, current response strategies and community capacity.
- At these same study sites, the hard, institutional and cultural assets that underpin local capacity and the delivery of emergency services and which are at risk during a hazard are being mapped.
- Working with community members and end-users to explore the challenges faced by agencies in the delivery of emergency services to remote communities.
The project is conducting case studies at Ngukurr and Gunbalanya, and in areas of north east Arnhem Land impacted by Cyclone Lam in 2015.
"Why yous mob only want to talk about big disasters, us mob are vulnerable to small ones too" - community perspectives about disaster resilience in Gunbalanya in the NT.
The project applies ecological-economic methods to help build the resilience and sustainability of remote Indigenous communities across northern Australia.
|Improving the role of hazard communications in increasing residents’ preparedness and response planning||A/Prof Jennifer Boldero||University of Melbourne|
|Connecting communities and resilience: A multi–hazard study of preparedness, response and recovery communications||Prof Vivienne Tippett||Queensland University of Technology|
|Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale||Prof Roger Jones||Victoria University|
|Policies, institutions and governance of natural hazards||A/Prof Michael Eburn||Australian National University|
|Northern Australian Bushfire and Natural Hazard Training||Steve Sutton||Charles Darwin University|