Dr Graham Dwyer

Completed PhD student
Dr Graham Dwyer

Dr Graham Dwyer completed his PhD in 2017, examining how organisations understand and learn from bushfires and how emergency management organisations implement recommendations emanating from public inquiries, as well as the role that sensemaking plays in this. Through this research, Graham highlighted the role of both positive and negative emotions and how they influence the sensemaking process associated with implementing recommendations. A key finding from his thesis showed that we now know enough about bushfire behaviour and how our community and emergency services react, that the money, time, energy and political attention devoted to royal commissions would be better spent planning for the future.
Graham is now lecturing at Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Social Impact and is Course Director and Discipline Leader of the Master of Social Impact. He has been published in The Conversation and speaks to the media about learning from disasters.

Graham is currently working on an ARC Discovery Grant project tackling the challenges that coordinated collective action faces in situations of complex crisis.

His thesis is available here.

Project leadership

This project is part of the Black Summer research program funded by the Commonwealth Government through the 10-year extension of funding into natural hazard research in Australia.

Student project

Organisations are increasingly finding themselves responding to unprecedented natural disasters that are complex and unpredictable. This study examined how organisations understand and learn from these novel experiences by examining three Australian bushfires. It showed how sense-making and learning occurred during public inquires that followed those events, and how learning continued in emergency management organisations.
We Have Not Lived Long Enough: Making Sense and Learning from Bushfire In Australia
18 Aug 2015
Organisations increasingly find themselves responding to unprecedented natural disasters that are...

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