Our People

Fiona Jennings
PhD Student
Key interests:


Fiona Jennings, a resident of Dunalley in Tasmania, has recently begun a PhD project as part of the non-traditional volunteering project titled ‘Community volunteering and disaster recovery; a case study of community resilience in the 2013 Forcett Bushfire, Tasmania’.

In the days following the 2013 Forcett bushfire in Tasmania, community members (non-traditional volunteers) spontaneously adopted roles and responsibilities of protecting, caring and helping those affected by the bushfire, utilising what local resources were available at the time to meet those needs

In an emergency local people are generally the first responders, and community participation and ownership is now recognised as a crucial aspect of disaster recovery, fostering community resilience and building community.

The study will examine community members’ experiences of non-traditional emergency volunteering and identify how volunteering contributes to building community resilience. The aim of this research is to contribute to policy and practice of building community resilience and supporting communities’ in future natural disasters.

Student project

In the 2013 Forcett bushfire in Tasmania, community members spontaneously adopted roles and responsibilities to help themselves utilising their local knowledge, skills and resources in ways that were natural to them. Community participation and ownership is now recognised as a crucial aspect of disaster recovery. The study is exploring the community-led response to the Forcett bushfire, with the aim to understand and enable practices that recognise community resilience and support communities’ in their process of moving beyond the disaster.
Supervisory panel:

Posters credited

Community-led recovery in the context of emergencies and disaster

Disaster resilient communities and their resourcefulness to approach and respond in natural hazard events, play a key role in the disaster recovery process. It is critical that the organisational and cultural characteristics of  people living and coping in a bushfire disaster is gathered at a ground level to enable practices that recognise and support local community resilience.

Key Topics:
Navigating a bushfire disaster: 'ways of knowing'

This study aims to understand a community's experience of the 2013 Forcett bushfire disaster in southeast Tasmania.

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Aug 2014 Sharing Responsibility and Non-Traditional Volunteering Save (1.63 MB) non-traditional recruitment, volunteering
Guide-Fact Sheet 07 Jul 2015 Fiona Jennings PhD Progress Report 2015 Save (64.19 KB)
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Sep 2017 Navigating a bushfire disaster: a community's experience Save (1.99 MB) communities, fire, fire impacts

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

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2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook