The Australasian RISC Centre
Natural, health and human-made disasters are on the rise globally, posing a threat to life as we know it. How communities manage and respond to these threats will ultimately shape our future.
The Australasian RISC Centre is a research and consultancy collective of top minds from Charles Darwin University, industry, government and the community to develop evidence-based strategies for building more resilient communities. Our team develops frameworks that empower communities to act at a local level. Through collaboration and the sharing of information, we develop and test resilience strategies and theories. We use our findings to design tailored intervention strategies for government departments, non-government organisations, industry/business and local community groups.
Based at Charles Darwin University, the Australasian RISC Centre is uniquely positioned to focus on the challenges facing Northern Australia and South-East Asia. We focus on how the everyday lives of individuals and communities may be affected by:
- coastal development
- urban spread
- chemical, biological, radiological and, technological hazards
- poverty and disadvantage
- influenza pandemics
- infectious diseases
- storm surge
- sea-level rise
- earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The RISC Centre is a multi-disciplinary research centre which aims to:
- Encourage and undertake high quality research related to the reduction of risk through the empowerment of communities;
- Encourage the dissemination of and public debate on research involving risk reduction, empowerment and community engagement and development;
- Develop research projects that provide empirical evidence to inform policy, procedures and best practice;
- Encourage and facilitate collaborative and inter- and trans-disciplinary research;
- Hosting national and international conferences, meetings, seminars, forums and other dissemination events to enable researchers and practitioners to share, exchange and develop knowledge and capability;
- Developing future research and professional capability through training future generations of hazard and risk researchers and practitioners;
- Engage with university, government, policymakers and NGOs at regional, national and international levels of research that may be of interest to them;
- Seek research funding from places where a combined approach is likely to be more successful;
- Work to ensure the Centre’s research excellence;
- Promote research activity within the Centre, College and broader University community; and
- Raise the public profile of the excellence of research being undertaken by the Research Centre.
The RISC seeks to achieve these aims through:
- Collaboration with colleagues, locally, nationally and internationally;
- Participating in contemporary debates within a diverse range of related scholarship
- Visitor programs of national and international scholars.
- A publication program.
- Distinguished lecture series.
- Supporting programs for excellence in related professional development and graduate teaching.
- Nurturing and acting as a catalyst for new collaborative research initiatives at CDU.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework (2018) describes the Australian agenda for implementing the Sendai Framework priorities. It thus represents Australia’s vision for achieving its 2030 disaster risk reduction goals (Department of Home Affairs, 2018). The vision and research program, and the projects that will be undertaken within the Centre, will support the attainment of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework’s (2018) goals through applying its guiding principles:
- Shared and defined responsibilities: All sectors have shared but defined responsibilities to reduce disaster risk. The adoption of empowerment as the foundation for the Centre’s research program affords opportunities for diverse stakeholders to collaborate to co-develop research and intervention programs based on principles of shared responsibility that encompass all sectors of society.
- Cultural change: All sectors cultivate a culture of disaster risk reduction awareness and action. The inclusion of transformative learning and leadership as a central component of research and intervention planning provides a framework to facilitate cultural change towards integrating risk reduction actions with community development programs. This approach increases opportunities for embedding risk reduction awareness and action within neighbourhoods, communities of practice, agencies and governance mechanisms.
- Integrated action: Efforts to reduce disaster risk must be integrated across sectors, not progressed in silos. Basing the Centre’s research and intervention planning and work on empowerment and inter- and transdisciplinary principles supports the development of strategies based on stakeholders playing complementary roles in the development and implementation of risk reduction plans and action.
- Inclusive engagement: All sectors connect with diverse stakeholders to ensure inclusive decision making leading to more effective solutions. Integrating empowerment, community development and engagement principles within its intervention planning facilitates the ability of the Centre to develop strategies in which diverse stakeholders engage in risk reduction decision making and planning to ensure that strategies are consistent with the needs and goals of respective communities.