HERA operates under the umbrella of Melbourne Climate Futures. Given the great urgency with which we need to act on climate and environmental health issues, we are a group of researchers committed to accelerating health-focused action by co-designing, generating, synthesizing, and applying evidence on health and wellbeing in relation to environmental change and disasters. The group acts as a platform for research and policy recommendations, and as a portal for external stakeholders to engage with evidence. In particular:
- Our work includes research and action on the health effects of climate change, such as wellbeing, eco-anxiety and eco-grief, that result from climate-related events and their consequences, including disasters, migration, political and socio-economic inequities, as well as the health impacts of broader environmental and climate justice issues. Our work also focuses on the therapeutic benefits to mental health and wellbeing from nature connection, including for health promotion and recovery.
- We work with a variety of stakeholders to support policy and planning processes that reduce the physical and mental health impacts of climate change.
- We seek to identify opportunities for positive action, the potential role of disasters in amplifying pre-existing social inequities but also as catalysts for change, and the ways that active participation in response to climate challenges may connect to health and wellbeing.
- We work in a collaborative way with communities (including children and young people), climate scientists (interdisciplinary), industry, and government actors.
HERA is co-led by Prof Kathryn Bowen and Prof Lisa Gibbs.