Academy’s response to the bushfires

February 28, 2020
Academy Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia (far left) attended a roundtable of peak bodies and government ministers in January.

The Academy is actively responding to this season’s bushfires through its Fellows and its capabilities in policy and communications.

Expert advice to government

In January the Academy participated in two government roundtables. The first meeting was with peak bodies including CSIRO and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, and the Prime Minister, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, and other senior government ministers. The Academy welcomed the strong agreement about the need to have a science-informed approach to bushfire recovery, adaptation and building resilience.

The second meeting was with the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, and focused on strategies on wildlife and habitat recovery. It included Academy Fellows Professor Helene Marsh, Professor David Lindenmayer and Professor Chris Dickman. Academy Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia attended both roundtables.

The roundtables are providing policy feedback to the government and helping to guide the government’s bushfire responses.

The Academy is currently using its collective expertise to further develop a range of bushfire-related information, advice and events to help inform future policy and decisions. 

Reaching a broad audience

Videos for media and social media

This season, in addition to several climate-related videos, the Academy has produced four videos for a general audience directly related to the bushfires:

Fellows interviewed in the media

  • Ecologists Professor David Lindenmayer and Professor Chris Dickman

Media releases

The Academy released a statement regarding Australian bushfires by President Professor John Shine, which was widely covered by national media and by mid February had resulted in 230,000 visits to the web page. The Academy followed up with an explanation of why the Australian bushfires are unprecedented.

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