Engaging with Tasmania stakeholders | Natural Hazards Research Australia

Engaging with Tasmania stakeholders

Release date

27 October 2022

Natural Hazards Research Australia is well and truly into its second year of operation and whilst we have been bedding down our business-as-usual processes of engaging with stakeholders, we have been most thrilled about the types of research ideas our partners are talking to us about to further enhance resilience to natural hazards, leverage existing collaborations, link ideas and forge new collaborations.

That was the aim of our first Board Stakeholder Forum for Tasmania, which was held in Hobart at the end of September and saw a diverse range of attendees representing the emergency services, local government, research institutions, not-for-profits, the private sector and federal agencies.

The forum began with Centre Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO and our CEO Andrew Gissing sharing what has been achieved in the Centre’s establishment year and second year of operations, so far. We then heard from Tasmania Fire Service Chief Officer Dermot Barry who explained the Tasmanian context for continuing investment in a national research capability, commenting on climate drivers, weather and bushfire outlooks and what they meant for Tasmania in preparing for what lies ahead in the coming months.

The forum was a great opportunity to provide our Tasmanian stakeholders with an update on our research program development – what is underway and what is to come – especially what will be of most relevance to Tasmania, future directions and opportunities for organisations to be involved.

The networking over refreshments between attendees with Centre Board members allowed for one-on-one discussion of Tasmanians’ needs to better understand and be better prepared for natural hazards and how research can assist with that knowledge need.

The strength of the existing relationships, collaborations and friendships between our Tasmanian colleagues who had worked with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, as well as the new contacts we made, was certainly evident.

Commentary from attendees in the Q&A section of the evening was impressive, reflecting their desire for the Centre to further support cross-sector collaborations across Tasmania and expressing enthusiasm about the possibilities of what lies ahead with being involved with us.

Whilst this was the first Board stakeholder event that Andrew attended in his new capacity as CEO, it was a bittersweet moment for us as we also acknowledged the event was the last to be attended by our outgoing Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, whom we thank for her enduring support of the Centre and its stakeholders.

We thank the Tasmania Fire Service for hosting us in one of their new facilities and, more broadly, our Tasmanian stakeholders for sharing their interests, knowledge and feedback with us, which we will take on board.  We look forward to engaging in similar ways across the other jurisdictions over the coming months—up next is the Board Stakeholder Forum for South Australia in December.