Zoe D'Arcy

Associate student
About
Zoe D'Arcy

Zoë D'Arcy previously completed her Masters at RMIT University in Disaster, Design and Development as a CRC associate student and is now working at the New South Wales SES. Her Masters project Community engagement in the post-disaster landscape evaluated the effectiveness of the Hotspots Fire Project in facilitating community-led disaster recovery and promoting community resilience in Carwoola NSW. Her research project examined community needs in the post-fire environment, how the Hotspots Fire Project was adapted to meet those needs, and ultimately how effective it was.

Zoë is currently completing her PhD with RMIT and the CRC on fire-adaptive communities, asking whether a shift towards an ‘adaptive’ approach to fire could reduce current and future vulnerabilities of Australian bushfire-prone communities.

Bushfires are predominantly understood in Australia in the context of emergency/disaster risk management. This approach embeds a prescriptive ‘top-down’ approach to community bushfire risk reduction. Fire knowledge and practice is often limited to hazard reduction burning, often not addressing either the ecological or cultural roles of fire in the landscape.

In the United States, the concept of ‘fire-adapted communities’ has become central to its government policies, social science research and practice. The concept aims to facilitate finding the right balance between ecologies that need fire, and the people who are vulnerable to it. Learning networks help put knowledge gained by community fire managers about local fire ecologies, and working with communities, into practical use.

Zoë’s research aims to explore whether there are lessons to be learnt from this approach; what an adaptive approach to fire might look like in Australian context; and to identify and explain the motivations, roles and contributions from different actors/ stakeholder groups (whether individual, agency/organisational, or at multiple levels of government).

Student project

An evaluation of effectiveness of the Hotspots Fire Project in facilitating community-led disaster recovery and promoting community resilience in Carwoola NSW.
Supervisory panel:
This project asks whether a shift towards an ‘adaptive’ approach to fire could reduce current and future vulnerabilities of Australian bushfire-prone communities.
Supervisory panel:

Send a message to Zoe D'Arcy (via CRC)

User Contact