Research leader

Steve Sutton Research Leader

Research team

Dr Bevlyne Sithole
Dr Bevlyne Sithole Research Team

End User representatives

Suellen Flint
Suellen Flint End-User
Ken Baulch End-User
Ed Hatherly End-User
Bruno Greimel End-User
James Haig End-User

Fire and emergency management in northern Australia is quantitatively and qualitatively different to that in the south of the continent. To meet the needs of fire and emergency managers in northern Australia, this project has established training units that meet the requirements of emergency management in the north. The factors differentiating between northern and southern training needs are significant, ranging from geographical (the scale of northern natural disasters and distances), to social and cultural, including the impacts of natural disasters on remote Indigenous communities.

Nearly 360,000 of the people living in northern Australia live in communities with varying degrees of remoteness from ‘outer regional’ to ‘very remote’. These communities are predominately inhabited by Indigenous Australians with the percentage rising in direct proportion to remoteness.

The project, now in its utilisation phase, has developed a training program that builds on the current assets in place, such as the ranger programs, and leads to increasing levels of competence and confidence and in its turn, resilience. The project is a response to north Australian stakeholder concerns that existing training is inadequate for their needs.

New training materials were developed, with courses or packages that provide remote communities the skills and knowledge to manage landscape scale fire regimes, as well as a range of other natural disasters. Pilot training courses begin in late 2016.

The project study reviewed 21 training courses offered through Charles Darwin University and its Registered Training Organisations. Five new training units were completed, and additional units developed to suit the needs of northern Australia. These adapted and new units will provide a comprehensive training package that is sensitive to Indigenous cultural and language variations and reflects local knowledge and contexts. This will allow qualified trainers to deliver training in ways that can be tailored to suit remote locations. The project has also developed a Course Delivery Handbook based on the training materials.

Year Type Citation
2018 Conference Paper Bates, J. Research proceedings from the 2018 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2018 Conference Paper Sangha, K., Edwards, A. C. & Russell-Smith, J. Emergency management opportunities for remote indigenous communities in northern Australia. AFAC18 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2017 Report Sutton, S. Northern Australian bushfire and natural hazards training: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Sutton, S. Mapping training delivery framework and pathways for the north Australian fire and emergency management training. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Sutton, S. A review of emergency and fire management training available for remote communities in northern Australia based on the views of local inhabitants. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Report Sutton, S. Northern Australia bushfire and natural hazard training: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Report Russell-Smith, J. Building Resilient Remote Communities in Northern Australia Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Sutton, S. Bushfire and natural hazard training for Northern Australia: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
Datesort ascending Title Download Key Topics
27 Aug 2019 Are we future-ready? PDF icon 3.79 MB (3.79 MB) Northern Australia
08 May 2019 Northern Australia bushfire and natural hazard training RAF May 2019 PDF icon 472.25 KB (472.25 KB) Northern Australia
18 Sep 2018 Hazard smart remote communities in Northern Australia PDF icon 1.29 MB (1.29 MB) fire, Northern Australia
12 Sep 2018 Fire Australia Issue Three 2018 PDF icon 19.49 MB (19.49 MB) coastal, fire, Northern Australia
07 Sep 2018 AFAC18 - Continuing the conversation: Community File 0 bytes (0 bytes) communities, indigenous communities
30 Aug 2018 Remote Indigenous communities welcome two-way training PDF icon 1.98 MB (1.98 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
29 Jun 2018 Indigenous cultures in the north PDF icon 954.79 KB (954.79 KB) fire, Northern Australia, savanna grasslands
17 Apr 2018 How can we Deliver Training to Build north Australian Community Resilience? PDF icon 1.38 MB (1.38 MB) indigenous communities, Northern Australia, resilience
07 Jul 2017 Building community resilience in remote north Australia PDF icon 5.37 MB (5.37 MB) communities, indigenous communities, Northern Australia
27 Jun 2017 The Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research program: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC research PDF icon 1.29 MB (1.29 MB)
18 Apr 2017 North Australian Bushfire and Natural Hazard Training PDF icon 2.18 MB (2.18 MB) communities, indigenous communities, local knowledge
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
17 May 2016 North Australian bushfire and natural hazard training PDF icon 2.01 MB (2.01 MB) fire, local knowledge, Northern Australia
22 Mar 2016 Northern Australia bushfire and natural hazard training - project overview File 0 bytes (0 bytes) multi-hazard, Northern Australia, risk management
14 Dec 2015 Scoping remote north Australian community resilience - project overview File 0 bytes (0 bytes) Northern Australia, planning, resilience
10 Apr 2015 North Australian Bushfire and Natural Hazard Training 2015 NSW RAF Presentation PDF icon 3.01 MB (3.01 MB) multi-hazard, Northern Australia, planning
Learning Together: Cross Cultural Emergency Management Training for Northern Australia
18 Aug 2015
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19 Sep 2018
The ‘BNH Training for Remote Communities’ was initially perceived as training for ranger group members. But...
27 Aug 2019
Natural hazard response efforts are increasingly reliant on broadcast warnings by agencies. While these...
27 Aug 2019
In order to change a culture you must first understand it. Lessons for for community engagement from the '...