Beyond Bushfires: Community, Resilience and Recovery
Beyond Bushfires is a five-year study led by the University of Melbourne working with a range of partners. These partners consist of Australian Red Cross, Victorian Department of Health, Australian Rotary Health, Centrelink, Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, Multiple Universities, and some Victorian Primary Care Partnerships. The findings will be fed directly to these partners for knowledge regarding future policies and practices of disasters.
This study explores the medium to longer term impacts after the Victorian 2009 bushfires through community members' social networks, mental and physical health, wellbeing, life satisfaction and community hope. These measures will be analysed at an individual and community level.
Communities are included from a range of bushfire affectedness, to explore the differences between these, with information being collected through surveys, interviews, focus groups and community visits. Over 1,000 participants completed surveys in 2012, who will be followed up in 2014 and, depending on further funding, again in 2016. Over 2013 and 2014, in-depth interviews and focus groups have taken place to explore participants' experiences over time and attitudes to place and community. The research team is also carrying out community visits during the whole study to share information with community members and gain a better understanding of local conditions and issues.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project
Key publications arising from our research include:
- Gibbs L, MacDougall C, Block K. Political reflexivity in post-bushfire research. Qualitative Research Journal. Nov 2014; 14(3)
- Gibbs L, Waters E, Bryant R, Pattison P, Lusher D, Harms L, Richardson J, MacDougall C, Block K, Snowdon E, Gallagher H C, Sinnott V, Ireton G, Forbes D. Beyond Bushfires: Community, Resilience and Recovery ¬ A longitudinal mixed method study of the medium to long term impacts of bushfires on mental health and social connectedness. BMC Public Health. 2013; 13: 1036
- Gibbs L, Snowdon E, Block K, Gallagher HC, MacDougall C, Ireton G, Pirrone-Savona A, Forbes D, Richardson J, Harms L, Waters E. Where do we start? A proposed post disaster intervention framework for children and young people. Pastoral Care and Education. 2014; 32 (1): 68-87
- Accepted: Bryant R, Waters E, Gibbs L, Gallagher HC, Pattison P, Lusher D, MacDougall C, Harms L, Block K, Snowdon E, Sinnott V, Ireton G, Richardson J and Forbes D. Psychological Outcomes Following the Victorian Black Saturday Bushfires. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2014
- Submitted: Block K, Gibbs L, Snowdon E, MacDougall C. Participant guided mobile methods: investigating personal experiences of communities post-disaster. SAGE Research Methods Cases
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.