Research outputs and artefacts

03 Jul 2017

Remote Indigenous communities - a statement on research priorities for natural hazards emergency management in Australia

Throughout 2015-2017, emergency service agencies around Australia participated in workshops hosted by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC to consider the major issues in natural hazards emergency management.

This publication on remote Indigenous communities summarises the outcomes of one of these workshops and poses questions as a guide for a national research agenda in natural hazard emergency management.

Natural hazards have always been part of the Australian landscape. However, the rising costs of disasters have instigated policy documents, such as the Productivity Commission’s report on natural disaster funding arrangements and the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, that build on previous work and highlight the importance of mitigation and resilience activities.

Australian remote communities are more often defined by their vulnerabilities due to extreme economic, environmental and social disadvantage, including poverty, poor employment, health services and governance. Combined, these factors affect the resilience of remote communities in a traditional sense. However, some people in remote areas of Australia feel a cultural responsibility to understand and protect country and this connection to country contributes, at least in part, to build a different kind of internal resilience to natural hazards. In the event of a natural hazard, remote-living individuals and communities based on past experience will not necessarily expect a tailored emergency services response including warnings. In many cases communities and individuals have developed a series of adaptive response cues and behaviours that will enable them to withstand an emergency without external intervention.

AFAC17 logo

AFAC17 logo

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National research priorities for natural hazards

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The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

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