Research leader

Dr Bevlyne Sithole
Dr Bevlyne Sithole Research Leader

Research team

Professor Bob Costanza
Prof Bob Costanza Research Team
Glenn James
Glenn James Research Team
Sam Johnstone
Sam Johnston Research Team
Catherine Monagle Research Team
Dr Bronwyn Myers Research Team
Cameron Yates
Cameron Yates Research Team
Peter Yu Research Team
Jackie Gould
Jackie Gould Research Team
Kamaljit Sangha Research Team

End User representatives

Suellen Flint
Suellen Flint End-User

Natural hazards in the remote Northern Territory such as cyclones have arguably been managed as best as possible given the typically insubstantial relationships emergency management agencies have with traditional Aboriginal landowners and their wider communities. Preparation and response to the two cyclones, Lam (Feb. 19-20) and Nathan (March 22), that struck east and central Arnhem Land in 2015 are a case in point, prompting practical research into how we can strengthen existing governance arrangements in remote areas to promote and enrich such relationships. This project extends a suite of projects hosted by Charles Darwin University under the Northern Hub of the CRC, collectively addressing ‘building capacity in north Australian remote communities.

Under the collective theme of developing effective emergency management partnerships, the project focused on two of the several communities in Arnhem Land struck by cyclones Lam and Nathan – Galiwin’ku and Ramingining.  The overall objective of the project was to inform effective emergency management agency community partnership arrangements in remote communities based on enhanced understanding and empowerment of underlying community governance structures. Lessons learned from the undertaking of this project were used to develop a ‘protocols framework’ to help inform the development of effective agency-community emergency management partnerships in remote community locations across northern Australia.

This research has identified a common set of core governance issues and priorities needing to be acknowledged and addressed to improve implementation of emergency risk management arrangements in remote communities. This work has helped these remote communities, and hopefully others, find voice to more effectively engage in the emergency management conversation, and in partnership building at local and national levels. It has also shown that most agencies involved are open to, if not keenly interested in greater equity with communities in engagement but are uncertain and/or systemically blind to how they may initiate and progress real and effective change in remote emergency management.

Read the final report here.

Year Type Citation
2021 Journal Article Sangha, K., Russell-Smith, J., Edwards, A. C. & Surjan, A. Assessing the real costs of natural hazard-induced disasters: A case study from Australia’s Northern Territory. Natural Hazards (2021). doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-021-04692-y
2021 Report James, G., Sithole, B., Burton, D. & Russell-Smith, J. Developing effective emergency management partnerships in remote north Australian communities - annual report 2019-2020. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2021).
2021 Report Sithole, B. et al. Developing effective emergency management partnerships in remote north Australian communities - final project report. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2021).
2020 Journal Article Sangha, K., Duvert, A., Archer, R. & Russell-Smith, J. Unrealised economic opportunities in remote Indigenous communities: Case studies from northern Australia. Social Sciences & Humanities Open 2, (2020).
2019 Journal Article Russell-Smith, J., Edwards, A. C., Sangha, K., Yates, C. P. & Gardener, M. Challenges for prescribed fire management in Australia’s fire-prone rangelands – the example of the Northern Territory. International Journal of Wildland Fire (2019). doi:https://doi.org/10.1071/WF18127
2019 Report Russell-Smith, J., James, G., Sithole, B., Sangha, K. & Edwards, A. C. Building emergency management capacity in remote north Australian communities – status report, November 2019. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2019 Report Sithole, B. & James, G. Developing effective management partnerships in remote communities in northern Australia – post cyclone response in Ramingining and Galiwin’ku: annual report 2018-2019. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2018 Journal Article Russell-Smith, J. & Sangha, K. Emerging opportunities for developing a diversified land sector economy in Australia’s northern savannas. The Rangeland Journal 40, 315-330 (2018).
2018 Journal Article Sangha, K. et al. An ecosystem services framework to evaluate indigenous and local peoples’ connections with nature. Ecosystem Services 31, 111-125 (2018).
2017 Journal Article Sangha, K., Russell-Smith, J., Morrison, S., Costanza, R. & Edwards, A. C. Challenges for valuing ecosystem services from an Indigenous estate in northern Australia. Ecosystem Services 25, 167-178 (2017).
2017 Journal Article Sangha, K., Sithole, B., Hunter-Xenie, H. & Daniels, C. Empowering remote Indigenous communities in natural disaster prone northern Australia. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 35, 137-153 (2017).
2017 Report Russell-Smith, J. Scoping remote north Australian community resilience and developing governance models through action research: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Journal Article Maddock, N. Notes from the Field: Managed by us mob: helping remote northern communities face natural hazards. Australian Journal of Emergency Management 31, (2016).
2016 Report Russell-Smith, J. Scoping remote north Australian community resilience and developing governance models through action research: annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Michael, C., Tofa, M. & James, G. Literature review on community resilience in remote north Australia. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Sangha, K. et al. Developing enterprise opportunities and resilience in remote north Australian communities - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Gould, J. S., Sithole, B., Campbell, A., James, G. & Sutton, S. Building Community Resilience to Natural Hazards in Northern Australia Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Presentation Russell-Smith, J. Risks and opportunities for sustainable savanna fire management. (2015).
2015 Report Russell-Smith, J. Scoping Remote North Australian Community Resilience Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Russell-Smith, J. Scoping remote north Australian community resilience and developing governance models through action research: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
Date Title Download Key Topics
27 Mar 2014 Building community resilience in northern Australia PDF icon 5.17 MB (5.17 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
08 Sep 2014 Building community resilience to natural hazards in Northern Australia PDF icon 1.65 MB (1.65 MB) communities, Northern Australia, resilience
27 Oct 2014 Building community resilience to natural hazards in northern Australia communities, Northern Australia, resilience
10 Apr 2015 Community Resilience in Northern Australia 2015 NSW RAF Presentation PDF icon 2.26 MB (2.26 MB) communities, fire, Northern Australia
03 Sep 2015 Developing the Enterprise Opportunities and Resilience in Remote North Australian Communities PDF icon 4.25 MB (4.25 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
07 Dec 2015 Fire Australia Spring 2015 PDF icon 7.21 MB (7.21 MB) communities, indigenous communities, resilience
14 Dec 2015 Scoping remote north Australian community resilience - project overview File 0 bytes (0 bytes) Northern Australia, planning, resilience
22 Feb 2016 Payment for ecosystem services in north Australia - project overview File 0 bytes (0 bytes) communities, Northern Australia, resilience
17 May 2016 Building community resilience in northern Australia PDF icon 2.48 MB (2.48 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
14 Jun 2016 What is disaster resilience and how can it be measured? PDF icon 373.58 KB (373.58 KB) communities, indigenous communities, resilience
18 Apr 2017 Building Community Resilience in Northern Australia PDF icon 631.99 KB (631.99 KB) governance, Northern Australia
27 Jun 2017 The economics of fire management and community resilience PDF icon 2.93 MB (2.93 MB)
27 Jun 2017 The Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research program: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC research PDF icon 1.29 MB (1.29 MB)
31 Oct 2017 Building capacity in north Australian remote communities: research partnership involving CDU and NAILSMA PDF icon 1.99 MB (1.99 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
17 Apr 2018 Building community resilience in northern Australia PDF icon 3.92 MB (3.92 MB) multi-hazard, Northern Australia, resilience
19 Sep 2018 Developing emergency management opportunities for remote Indigenous communities in northern Australia PDF icon 1.91 MB (1.91 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
18 Nov 2020 Introduction and overview | Northern Australia Research Engagement Forum (1/9) File 0 bytes (0 bytes) indigenous communities, local knowledge, Northern Australia
18 Nov 2020 Costing natural disasters & community solutions | Northern Australia Research Engagement Forum (5/9) File 0 bytes (0 bytes) indigenous communities, local knowledge, Northern Australia
15 Jul 2021 Collaboration based on Indigenous leadership indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
08 Sep 2021 Fire Australia Issue Three 2021 PDF icon 10.72 MB (10.72 MB) communities, indigenous communities, recovery
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