The most significant needs for the direction of Australia’s natural hazards research have been published in the national Research Priorities, guiding government, industry, community and research organisations in reducing disaster risk and promoting resilience at local, national and international levels.
These Research Priorities were developed by Natural Hazards Research Australia based on extensive consultations with many different sectors and organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including government, emergency management agencies, private sector organisations and not-for-profit companies. This comprised a survey of end-user stakeholders, followed by a series of national collaborative workshops targeting eight overarching research themes.
The Research Priorities document presents the results of these collective discussions and represents a summary of Australia’s most important natural hazards research needs and priorities that can be used to inform research that will deliver valuable outcomes over the next decade.
The Centre will use these national Research Priorities alongside the Centre’s Strategic Plan 2021-2031 in the development of its 10-Year Research Strategy, Biennial Research Plans and the rolling portfolio of research projects.
The Research Priorities are intended to be used by organisations beyond the Centre for developing or investing in research projects and programs, and for developing collaborative research initiatives. The Priorities have been identified as important research areas by the stakeholders who participated in the development of the paper, but do not attempt to cover all possible research related to natural hazards, disaster risk reduction and national resilience.
Centre CEO Dr Richard Thornton said the Research Priorities are a great starting point for a national research program.
“This is a really exciting time to ask how research can shape Australia’s approach to natural hazards over the next decade, and for end-users to continue to be involved and tell you what their research needs are in order to keep communities safe and better protect the environment,” he said.
“While Natural Hazards Research Australia won’t be able to conduct all the research identified as priorities, we can ensure that our end-users are getting the best impact from research. The research needs to translate into action so that we can be ready as a country for the disasters we know we’ll face in the future.”
Also released was the Centre’s Research Data Management Framework, marking the completion of the Centre’s suite of establishment corporate resources. Research data management is an important element of the Centre’s management of research activities, and this Framework highlights the value of research data.
All funded or affiliated research projects will be expected to contribute to accessible sustainable national research or operational data collections with ongoing agreed access, governance and standardised data dictionaries. These data and knowledge collections will support current and future research initiatives, minimise duplication of research and minimise the loss of valuable contemporary and historic data.