Community Resilience and Public Health

Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety

Building our understanding of the social impacts of disasters and the strategies for individual and community resilience and recovery.


To build understanding of the social impacts of disasters and strategies likely to contribute to individual and community level resilience and recovery.


  • To conduct research that builds new knowledge of the social and health impacts of disasters, risk and protective factors, and potential points of intervention
  • To build understanding of how to operationalise the role of community as central to a shared responsibility model
  • To develop and trial new strategies for promoting community resilience and public health outcomes
  • To build internal and external partnerships to enable a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach to disaster resilience
  • To translate the evidence into learning opportunities and meaningful applications for policy and practice


We draw on the expertise of public health, psychology and social work academics working in close collaboration with partners in government, emergency management, education, health and community services. Together we have the capacity to conduct: training; exploratory research; complex mixed method community based studies; program evaluations; and secondary analyses of major datasets. We use a mix of analytical methods to examine social influences on resilience and mental health and to identify multi-level points of intervention to maximise positive outcomes.


The Beyond Bushfires research findings are being used across Australia and internationally to guide emergency recovery planning. For example: they have been distributed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction; have informed improvements to the Australian Red Cross Register Find Reunite service; and were used in the preparation of the Emergency Management Victoria 2017 draft Resilient Recovery Framework.

Unit lead