Research leader

Jessica Weir
Dr Jessica Weir Research Leader
Timothy Neale
Dr Timothy Neale Research Leader

Research team

Dr Will Smith Research Team
Dr Brian Cook Research Team
Oliver Costello Research Team
Jeremy Dore Research Team
Tara McGee
A/Prof Tara McGee Research Team
Annick Thomassin Research Team

End User representatives

Dean Freeman End-User
Owen Gooding End-User
Aidan Galpin End-User
Mike Wouters
Mike Wouters End-User
Rodney Carter End-User
Simon Curry End-User
David Nugent End-User
Kate White End-User
Simone Blair End-User
Trish Wall End-User
Mark Eccleston End-User
Rowan Foley End-User
Matthew Burns End-User

This project commenced in July 2017. Within the context of reducing natural hazard risk and increasing resilience in southern Australia, it focuses explicitly on the risk and resilience priorities of Indigenous communities in southern Australia, the emergency management sector’s priorities for these communities, and how these interests interact. Its intention is to identify where improvements might be made to reduce natural hazard risk and increase social and ecological resilience. This research complements existing and completed CRC projects.

Drawing upon and supporting innovation where it is occurring, this project will engage with natural hazards practitioners and decision-makers (including those of Indigenous and other cultural backgrounds) and Indigenous communities. The project’s intention is to build an inclusive narrative of intercultural hazard risk management which Indigenous peoples and practitioners can buy into. Building trust, capacity and knowledge in these intercultural contexts will reduce risk to Indigenous peoples, the wider community, and the environments in which we live.

This action-research project has three objectives:

  • Investigate the hazard priorities of diverse Indigenous communities in southern Australia, and the emergency management sector’s engagement with these communities;
  • Conduct collaborative research with Indigenous peoples and sector practitioners to explore how better engagement can be supported, with a focus on the interaction of scientific, Indigenous and other knowledge sources;
  • Analyse and report on what this dynamic intercultural context can offer practice and policy, including with respect to the merging of risk and resilience agendas.
Year Type Citation
2021 Journal Article Freeman, D., Williamson, B. & Weir, J. Cultural burning and public sector practice in the Australian Capital Territory. Australian Geographer (2021). doi:
2021 Journal Article Smith, W., Neale, T. & Weir, J. Persuasion without policies: The work of reviving Indigenous peoples’ fire management in southern Australia. Geoforum 120, 82-92 (2021).
2021 Report Weir, J., Neale, T. & Smith, W. Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities – final project report. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2021).
2020 Book Chapter Weir, J., Sutton, S. & Catt, G. Natural Hazards and Disaster Justice: Challenges for Australia and Its Neighbours 299-317 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). doi:
2020 Report Weir, J., Smith, W. & Neale, T. Hazards, culture and indigenous communities: socio-institutional modules for utilisation. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2020).
2020 Report Smith, W., Weir, J. & Neale, T. Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities – annual report 2018-2019. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2020).
2020 Report Williamson, B., Markham, F. & Weir, J. Aboriginal Peoples and the response to the 2019-2020 bushfires. (Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, 2020). doi: 5e7882623186c
2019 Journal Article Neale, T., Carter, R., Nelson, T. & Bourke, M. Walking together: a decolonising experiment in bushfire management on Dja Dja Wurrung country. Cultural Geographies 1, (2019).
2019 Report Smith, W., Weir, J. & Neale, T. Hazards, Culture and Indigenous Communities Annual Report 2017-2018. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2019 Report Weir, J. & Freeman, D. Fire in the south: a cross-continental exchange. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2019).
2018 Journal Article Thomassin, A., Weir, J. & Neale, T. The natural hazard sector's engagement with Indigenous peoples: a critical review of CANZUS countries. Geographical research (2018). doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12314
2018 Report Smith, W., Weir, J. & Neale, T. Southeast Australia Aboriginal fire forum. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2017 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2017 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
Hazards, culture and aboriginal peoples in southern Australia
30 Jun 2017
This new action‐research project will:Investigate the hazard priorities of diverse Aboriginal communities in...
Intercultural collaboration on Aboriginal country
19 Sep 2018
This innovative 3-year research project explores cultural difference and similarity to gain insights into...
27 Aug 2019
We are investigating the existing and emerging engagements between the natural hazards sector and diverse...
31 Aug 2020
Key findings: Cultural or traditional burning requires takingthe long view about how to live with each other...