Dr Fiona Jennings

Completed PhD student
Dr Fiona Jennings

Dr Fiona Jennings’ PhD explored the impact of the 2013 Forcett bushfires in Tasmania on local residents. 

As a former resident of Dunalley herself, which was severely impacted by the fire, Fiona’s PhD offers an understanding of how people directly affected respond in a bushfire disaster. Fiona’s findings illustrated a pragmatic view of community resilience, volunteering, and disaster recovery, and offers new ways the emergency management sector can support and engage with community volunteers and volunteering organisations.

Fiona presented her research findings at the CRC’s Research Forum in 2017 and hosted a webinar in 2020 that explores how community members approached the Forcett bushfire event and why. Fiona has worked as a Bushfire Recovery Mental Health Clinician for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and now works as a Wellbeing Support Officer for Bushfire Recovery Victoria.

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:
27 Aug 2019
Navigating Uncertainty 2013 Forcett Tasmania bushfire disaster
A qualitative study of resident involvement in the 2013 Forcett Tasmania bushfire disaster
18 Sep 2018
Friday 4 January 2013 was one of the most significant fire days in Tasmania since 1967. The fire...
Navigating a bushfire disaster: 'ways of knowing'
30 Jun 2017
This study aims to understand a community's experience of the 2013 Forcett bushfire disaster in...
Community-led recovery in the context of emergencies and disaster
18 Aug 2015
Disaster resilient communities and their resourcefulness to approach and respond in natural hazard...

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