About the project

The University of Melbourne is completing a 5-year study working to understand how people and communities are getting by after the February 2009 fires and what helps them through this process. The study focuses on health and wellbeing in communities across Victoria with the aim to capture a range of experiences.

Communities Involved:

As we cannot interview all people affected by the fires, we have included a range of communities as representatives of different experiences and community characteristics. We have included everyone (adults, youth and children) who lived in the following communities at the time of the February 2009 bushfires or those who live there now.

Update on surveys:

We have completed surveys at two  time points, the original surveys were completed between the end of 2011 until the start of 2013, and the second surveys were completed in the middle of 2014. We are currently analysing this data and writing up research papers which will be placed on our website as soon as they are published.

Additionally, we have also conducted a small number of face-to-face interviews to explore in detail the important aspects of community to people and changes within it over time. These consisted of walking or driving tours of a participant's local community.

Benefits to you:

The findings will be used to support health and wellbeing in your community and to understand how best to support community recovery from similar events in the future. The initial findings have been presented to some communities for feedback and discussion. The website will keep you up to date on the research findings over the 5 years of the study. It will also link you to other useful resources.