Research with Landcare after the 2019-2020 bushfires

The overwhelm of black and the joy of green

Experiences of members of Landcare and other environmentally focussed community groups after the 2019-2020 bushfires

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In 2019-2020 large parts of Australia, including East Gippsland and north east Victoria were badly affected by the intense ‘Black Summer’ bushfires. Many of these communities had experienced drought, flood and other fires in the decade prior. The bushfires were then closely followed by COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021-2022 a team from the University of Melbourne and Federation University undertook research to explore the contributions of local groups to environmental and biodiversity recovery after bushfires and how involvement in these groups affected their members’ well-being.

The aims of our research project were to explore:

  • The contribution of local groups to environmental and biodiversity recovery after bushfires.
  • How involvement in natural environmental recovery activities affects group members’ well-being and social resilience.
  • Factors likely to enhance and/or inhibit the capacity of community based environmental groups to contribute to environmental and social resilience after a bushfire.


Dr. Kate Brady (lead), University of Melbourne


Professor Greg Foliente, University of Melbourne

Professor Lisa Gibbs, University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Jessica Reeves, Federation University

Wendy Wright, Federation University


Federation University and Landcare  Victoria


This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.