Bushfire Research at Binna Burra

Written by Binna Burra

March 29, 2021

1. Bushfire Stories Research Project – Griffith University

Dupre K., Abreu Novais M., Castley G., Wales S., Gardiner S., Smart J. (2021) The Bushfire Stories Research Project, Griffith University: Gold Coast.

Aim of the project

Our work is to help the community to become more resilient and prepared against natural risks through social learning. We collect stories and analyse them to extract what lessons can be learned. Our project is based on the 2019-2020 bushfires in the Scenic Rim Region, including the iconic Binna Burra. The analysis and final workshops with the community will serve as a basis for guidelines to be distributed across state and national governments and to the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

Summary of findings

So far, there are 7 main findings:

1. There is sometimes a discrepancy between what is done and what is needed (mostly in

term of timing)

2. In responding to crises and disasters, everything matters – even the smallest gesture, such

as hugs, support through social media, saving the animals, etc.

3. The community with good and intergenerational network (personal and business) will recover quicker

4. Sharing stories is a way of recovery

5. Volunteers are pillars of the community in time of natural tragedies

6. Community members don’t think enough about their mental health

7. Community is aware of climate change and calls for mind shift (e.g. use traditional knowledge of caring for the land), although few members actually enforced that themselves

Few first suggestions to go forward

1. Give more empowerment to the community to prepare against risks and support social capital

2. Better support the volunteers (e.g. firefighters)

3. Recovery should systematically be part of the prevention/preparation/response plan, including mental health recovery (it is written but not necessarily implemented) > develop new strategies to achieve that


A/Prof Karine Dupre, project leader, [email protected] M 0403 591 902


Dupre K., Abreu Novais M., Vada S. (2021) Bushfire Stories Video, Griffith University: Gold Coast:

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