Building resilience to climate change and disaster at all levels from community to federal government and international partnerships.

Facilitating bushfire action planning for older people (70+)

Not all citizens have the same capacity to activate a bushfire evacuation plan and information about evacuating the vulnerable in South Australia remains an unresolved and under-researched challenge. For older people, ‘leave early’ bushfire action plans are likely to be more complex than for other members of the community for reasons of limited mobility and access to transport, and re-scheduling visits from aged-care services. It is not yet well understood how vulnerable residents interpret ‘leave early’ messaging, the quality of self-prepared bushfire action plans, and the capacity and commitment to activate these plans.

This project, funded by a federal government Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grant will enable researchers to assist councils and emergency services to design messaging specific to this group; and to develop targeted strategies and enhanced integration with aged care services, both empowering and improving the resilience of this vulnerable group.

Developing policy expertise and a toolkit for evidence-based coordination of national climate resilience using a co-design professional development approach

This project, funded by the Australian Department of Defence’s Strategic Policy Grants program, is focused on developing a whole-of-government toolkit and approach to coordinating national climate resilience in the Indo-Pacific.

This project will help Defence to develop the critical skills identified as urgently necessary by the 2016 White Paper and 2017 Senate Committee report on Climate Change and Security. The aim is to build strategic coordination of national security and climate change resilience building in the Indo-Pacific region. Strategic policy actors must increasingly assimilate and communicate good evidence to collaborate effectively within and between government institutions, and with their international partners. Using an engaged co-design approach, the project provides Defence with a toolkit to enable strategic partnership at home and abroad to enhance Australia’s national resilience.

Developing a multilevel governance network map to enhance emergency preparation and disaster prevention in South Australia


This is  a multi-stakeholder project designed and delivered in collaboration with the Department of Defence Force Exploration Hub to optimise Defence’s contribution to state disaster prevention and emergency response.

The project will review and contextualise the findings of the recent Royal and Independent Commissions of Inquiry that investigated the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 and then conduct a participatory network mapping analysis of South Australia’s emergency management framework to understand how Defence can optimise their contribution to emergency management across the state.

Bushfire Legal Services

CASPR’s research on the Bushfire Legal Help Community Outreach model, funded by the Attorney-General’s Department, will articulate the model unique to SA and provide an evidence base for the success of the model in practice with reference to international best practice. The legal service aims to empower those in bushfire-affected communities with the knowledge and the tools to avoid, de-escalate and resolve legal issues promptly, without fragmenting local and community relationships. 

Geostrategic Futures in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica


Management of the circumpolar South and North under conditions of rapid political, social and environmental change poses comparable challenges to Antarctic and Arctic states. This project is advancing an under-developed yet crucial understanding of reciprocal lessons from the Arctic to identify future strategic challenges in the Antarctic.

CASPR has facilitated dialogue among academics, policy-makers, defence experts and scientists to identify the nature of similar challenges for managing maritime operations and national interests in the Antarctic, as acknowledged in the 2016 Defence White Paper.

Taking a clear, long-term view for defence decision making and planning, the project has involved leading Antarctic and Arctic interdisciplinary geostrategic experts from Australia, Canada, US, UK, Finland and Sweden to address this absence. It has turned dialogue, capacity-building and consultation into publications and audio-visual resources designed to increase the Department of Defence’s strategic policy workforce capacity to deliver high quality advice to Defence and Government leadership.

More information, including a series of videos highlighting the insights of polar policy experts, is available here.