Dr Briony Towers

Dr Briony Towers

Briony is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Risk and Community Safety at RMIT University. Briony's research is focussed on child-centred disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Briony holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Science from La Trobe University and an Honours Degree in Science (Psychology) from the University of Tasmania. She completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Tasmania in 2012. Her PhD research, which was conducted as part of the Bushfire CRC's Community Self Sufficiency for Fire Safety research stream, involved an in-depth exploration of how Australian children living in bushfire prone areas perceive bushfire risk.  Briony has also conducted research on child-centred disaster risk reduction with children in Indonesia and the Phillipines. Briony is the co-field reports editor of the journal Children, Youth and Environments and is the co-chair of the Australian Children and Disaster Community of Practice.  

Project leadership

Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters – across the globe it is estimated that 30-50% of fatalities are children - while they are also most vulnerable to psychosocial impacts. Early research indicates that children are a resource for reducing current disaster risks and can also mitigate future risks.

The role of children’s disaster education in managing risk has been recognised as a major priority in the federal government’s National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. Yet, despite a recent surge in child-centred disaster research, the social, psychological, economic and political mechanisms that enable children to both understand and take action to reduce disaster risk remain largely unexplored and the evidence-base for best-practice remains limited.

This project is conducting a nationwide evaluation of programs and strategies based on a child-centred disaster risk reduction framework. It will develop cost-effective programs that reduce the risk and increase resilience for children, schools, households and communities.

Problem-based learning for bushfire safety
27 Oct 2020
Key finding: Learner agency is an essential element of effective bushfire education for upper...
27 Aug 2019
The importance of school-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Education (DRRRE) has been...
This should be of alarm to everyone
18 Sep 2018
Tasmanian Fire Service are undergoing a rigorous process of evaluating their School Fire Education...
Amplifying student voice in disaster resilience education: A case study of the disaster resilience project
18 Sep 2018
Developed through a dual agency multi-hazard pilot project led by the Victorian Country Fire...
Disaster resilience education: a practice framework for Australian emergency management agencies
29 Jun 2017
Disaster resilience education for children and young people has been identified as a key mechanism...
Kevin Ronan Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016
The national strategy for disaster resilience recognises disaster resilience education (DRE) as a...
Andrew Clarke Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016
This study investigated the retention of Key Fire Safety Messages (KFSM) by students and their...
Child-centred disaster risk reduction: a holistic, rights-based conceptual framework
12 Aug 2016
Child-centred disaster risk reduction (CC-DRR) is a flexible, rights-based, innovative approach to...
An Evidence-Based Practice Framework for Children's Disaster Education
18 Aug 2015
Disaster education for children has been identified as a key stragety for increasing disaster...
Children and Youth in Disasters: A Co-Produced Program of Research
18 Aug 2015
Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters.  The world health...

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