Views and Visions: Posts from our People

Laurie Hammond
Independent Chairman


Dr Laurie Hammond at the 2017 Research Forum
Dr Laurie Hammond at the 2017 Research Forum

Research plays part for better policy and practice

The new knowledge that was on show this week in Sydney for our annual conference demonstrates the significant part that research plays in building the evidence base for better policy and practice. A sector-based collaborative research organisation like the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC provides a keystone role in our overall emergency management and community resilience system.

The CRC is at an important juncture – four years into its funding term, with four to go. Already we have shown that the program of research, driven by end-users, is capable of delivering significant benefits to our emergency management partners. Among these are ensuring emergency warnings are targeted and understood, finding the best mitigation options, informing community engagement and improving teamwork in critical situations.

For the next four years and beyond, the CRC will continue to deliver research benefits to the sector. We must do this because the economic and social costs of disasters in Australia and New Zealand are projected to increase greatly. Each nation acknowledges its financial and moral obligations to mitigate the risk to its communities and infrastructure.

Therefore, we are thinking and planning beyond the next four years, because the need for an evidence base relevant to the challenges we face is constant. We are asking what a future entity might look like, what it would do, and how it would be funded. We are also asking how yardsticks for community resilience may develop, what emergency management organisations might look like, what capabilities they will have to build, and what hazards they will have in their remits. The conference provided a valuable opportunity to discuss these questions with many of you.

As pleasing as our results have been to date, we cannot afford to dwell on them – we must continue to look forward. Please get in touch with us about how your organisation can best benefit from our work, and give us your thoughts on the difficult and complex challenges of the future.

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