One of our aims at Natural Hazards Research Australia is to focus on end-user driven research and at the high level, one of the ways we are doing this is providing opportunities for stakeholders to engage directly with the Board and senior management on matters important to each state and territory in disaster risk reduction and natural hazard resilience.
Our first Board Stakeholder Forum for South Australia, co-hosted with our South Australian coordinating partner, SAFECOM, was held in Adelaide last week in a room of representatives from the emergency services and police, various research institutions, local government, federal agencies and the private sector.
The event was the inaugural occasion for the Centre’s new Chair, Iain Mackenzie AFSM, to host our South Australian partners and other stakeholders, highlighting his vision for the Centre and the role the Centre research can play in driving improved disaster risk reduction and resilience measures.
The event was a fantastic way to bring our South Australian stakeholders together and share an update on the development of our research program; what we’ve done so far in our first 18 months and what is coming next, with a particular focus on research and opportunities relevant to South Australia. A strategic discussion between our Board and attendees was initiated and covered a broad range of topics including the Centre’s role in informing and influencing policy and our role in coordinating broader national research efforts. Following the robust Q&A between the Board and attendees, conversations were enthusiastically continued over refreshments, raising further ideas for how the Centre’s research can cater for the needs of South Australia and provide solid linkages to other work across the jurisdictions and nationally.
We are incredibly excited about the ideas that our partners are bringing to the table to further enhance resilience to natural hazards and bridge the knowledge gap. The enthusiasm in the room was palpable and the strength of existing relationships, as well as the forging of new connections, was evident.