Nature Connection and Community Bushfire Recovery and Resilience
The Connective is working with the Macquarie University Community Recovery and Resilience Program to support fire impacted communities recover, regenerate and positively adapt from the multitude of trauma-related problems they continue to face.
The scale and impact of the bushfires in NSW are unprecedented, with bushfires commencing as early as August 2019 and tragic losses incurred. Areas burned more extensively and in places, hotter than in living memory.
The ongoing impacts from these fires continue to challenge our communities; with the widespread losses, distress and trauma directly affecting firefighters, families, workers, businesses and industries. Additionally, impacts on the natural environment has been staggering with countless wildlife losses including fire sensitive environments. Scientists warn that climatic change will continue and accelerate the frequency and intensity of natural disasters into the future.
Research suggests that recovery models that include working within the natural environment enhances community physical health and mental and social wellbeing. Our work seeks to better understand and assist communities to recover from bushfire related anxiety and trauma through the design and delivery of a socio-ecological recovery and resilience programs. Applying nature-based engagement and ecological restoration principles to support trauma recovery, positive growth and community social cohesion.
“Now is a time for action. As a university of service and engagement, Macquarie has an important and critical role in supporting capacity and resilience within these communities, such that these communities are not further disadvantaged and isolated as a result of these disasters. Our work aims to support evidence-led practices that combine the benefits of personal and social healing alongside ecological restoration.”
Dr Kath McLachlan and Associate Professor Peter Davies, Macquarie University