Research leader

Dr Craig Cormick Research Leader
Celeste Young Research Leader
Prof Roger Jones
Prof Roger Jones Research Leader

This project was initiated by Victoria University and supported with funding from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC through a donation from Jefferies Financial Group.

The 2019–20 East Gippsland fires occurred during the most severe fire season ever recorded on the east coast of Australia. They burned from November 2019 to February 2020, damaging over half of the East Gippsland Shire, an area of over 1.16 million hectares. Over 400 dwellings and businesses were lost and tragically, four people lost their lives. Recovery had just begun when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In the same way that the Black Saturday Bushfires have fundamentally changed how bushfires are seen, these events have changed how recovery will be thought about.

This project aimed to understand:

  1. the recovery experience since the bushfires impacted communities in Gippsland in southern Victoria in late 2019
  2. whether diverse individuals and group capabilities have been developed or eroded in relation to recovery
  3. if this most recent event differs in terms of recovery experience to previous events and if it does, how it differs
  4. factors which contribute to increasing vulnerability or building resilience of different cohorts within these communities.

The outcomes of this research support a greater understanding of what constitutes and enables recovery of different cohorts within communities and will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how recovery needs for different cohorts can be addressed.

Read the final report here.