News from the CRC


Ed Pikusa and Holger Maier receive their outstanding achievement award from Dr Richard Thornton.
Ed Pikusa and Holger Maier receive their outstanding achievement award from Dr Richard Thornton.

Outstanding achievements recognised

A cluster team and PhD student have been recognised with CRC awards at AFAC17 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the CRC's annual conference held in collaboration with AFAC in Sydney recently.

The Outstanding Achievement in Research award was presented as team award in recognition that the best research and research utilisation arises from great collaboration and teamwork. The first C in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC stands for COOPERATIVE and this award recognises a cluster of several projects, which has shown exemplary cooperation and collaboration at all stages from inception to use. This year the award recognised the Economics and decision-making cluster team, with cluster leader Prof Holger Maier (University of Adelaide) and lead end-user Ed Pikusa (Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources South Australia) accepting the award of behalf of the team.

Through the research and end user leadership respectively of Prof Holger Maier and Ed Pikusa, with the support and guidance of a large group of end-users from a range of our partner organisations, this cluster of four CRC projects is an outstanding example of the collaborative process that the CRC is all about. The research is based on the premise that to reduce both the risk and cost of natural disasters, an integrated approach is needed to consider multiple hazards and a range of mitigation options. Multiple CRC partners, along with local and state governments, have been engaged in the entire process, from direction on the hazards to include and feedback on process, to advice on how the modelling will be used when complete and by whom. 

The cluster incorporates findings from several other CRC projects too - including work on the economic, social and environmental benefits of prescribed burning, the vulnerability of buildings to hazards, and research into improved warnings, community engagement, education, volunteering and community resilience. 

Well done to all involved in each project within the cluster.

Our Special Recognition award this year went to PhD student and project leader Steve Sutton. A great ambassador of the CRC, Steve's CRC PhD is being undertaken at Charles Darwin University. Steve has a long history with the Northern Territory, both in fire management and now as a researcher. Steve's PhD is looking at social and cultural aspects of the Indonesian island of Simeulue that led to remarkably low levels of casualties in the 2004 Indian Ocean Boxing Day tsunami.

In addition to his PhD work, Steve has led a project that has developed training in bushfire and other hazards skills for indigenous communities in northern Australia. The training units have been developed specifically for the needs of remote northern communities - they are sensitive to language and cultural variations and draw upon local knowledge and contexts.

Steve has also been prominent and engaging in his advocacy of the CRC and his research in various places including presentations at conferences, workshops, and across social media platforms.

Steve Sutton receives his Special Recognition award from Dr Richard Thornton.
Steve Sutton receives his Special Recognition award from Dr Richard Thornton.

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The next round of Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC PhD students have graduated and are sharing their research outcomes with the fire and emergency services sector.
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Former Bushfire CRC CEO Gary Morgan was recognised for his significant service to the community with an Australia Day honour, becoming a member of the Order of Australia (AM).

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