Published works

Published works

Literature review on community resilience in remote north Australia

TitleLiterature review on community resilience in remote north Australia
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMichaels, C, Tofa, M, James, G
Document Number161
Date Published10/2016
InstitutionBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Report Number161

The purpose of this literature review is to provide an overview of current research on community resilience in relation to natural hazards. It examines the concepts of vulnerability and resilience in the north Australian context and, in particular, in remote Indigenous communities. In remote northern Australia there are particular issues that must be considered for preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural hazards. Desert Knowledge Australia, for instance, highlights ‘the difficulties faced by governments in providing basic community services and infrastructure, the lack of any real local authority over decision making or allocation of resources, the severe stress on Indigenous culture and societal structures, and the risk of collapsing fragile ecosystems in the context of outmoded land management regimes’ (Desert Knowledge Australia 2009, p.3). In contrast, many highlight the strength and resilience of remote Indigenous communities, despite the hardships produced by colonisation, failed policies and poor governance. This is exemplified by many successful practical projects in land and sea management, such as the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project (Bessen Consulting Services & NAILSMA 2009, Garnett & Sithole 2007). This literature review considers what community resilience means in the context of remote Indigenous communities in northern Australia and how this concept might relate to natural disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

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