Exploring the 10 Years Beyond Bushfires Report

Supporting recovery for children, families and schools


2.00-3.00pm AEDT, 20 October 2021



Recovery Matters webinars get to the heart of key issues that are important in disaster recovery.

Join us for the fourth and final webinar in a series further exploring the 10 Years Beyond Bushfires Report.

AIDR is pleased to partner with the Australian Red Cross and University of Melbourne to further explore the Beyond Bushfires: Community, Resilience, and Recovery study.


Supporting recovery for children, families and schools

The issues that arise for children, families and schools play out differently in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, in the following couple of years, and over the long term. This discussion-based webinar extends the findings and recommendations from the 10 Years Beyond Bushfires report to explore personal experience, evidence and clinical perspectives on what happens for children and families after a disaster and how to best support and manage recovery.


Guest speakers

This presentation will be a conversation with panellists to discuss issues for children and families in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, in the following couple of years and in the long term. Bron will speak about her family’s experience, Jane will speak from a clinical perspective to describe what can happen and how it can be managed, and Lisa will speak about the available evidence of impacts and support interventions.


Professor Lisa Gibbs
Director, Child & Community Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health,
Academic Lead, Community Resilience, Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety, University of Melbourne 

Professor Gibbs is Director of the Child and Community Wellbeing Program, in Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. She is also Lead of Community Resilience in the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety.

She leads public health research in: disaster recovery and resilience; and child health and wellbeing. She has extensive experience leading mixed method, multidisciplinary studies with cross-sectoral partners and high impact outcomes.

She has published over 130 academic peer reviewed papers as well as translating those findings into practical guides for partner agencies and wider audiences. Her disaster research findings have been highly influential in guiding policy and practice across Australia and internationally.


Jane Nursey
Director of Clinical Services, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, 
Phoenix Australia, University of Melbourne 

Jane Nursey is Director of Clinical Services at Phoenix Australia, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and a registered Clinical Neuropsychologist with 30 years’ experience in the field of posttraumatic mental health.

Following the 2009 Victorian bushfires, Jane oversaw the development and implementation of a state-wide clinical service for bushfire-affected communities at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.

Her key areas of expertise lie in the development, implementation and evaluation of hospital, school and community based mental health and trauma recovery programs; providing policy and service development advice to high risk government and industry organisations; and developing and implementing specialist evidence-based training programs. She is involved in research tracking the long-term outcomes of children living in bushfire impacted communities and investigating innovative treatments for PTSD.


Bron Sparkes
Mother and wife and 2009 Black Saturday survivor
Director, National Disaster Recovery Policy and Frameworks,
National Recovery and Resilience Agency

Bron Sparkes survived the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires with her husband and young children (2 and 4 years), who were living in Kinglake at the time. They narrowly escaped their burning home, and sheltered together between water tanks under a woollen blanket. They returned to Kinglake, and lived in a caravan on their block for 2.5 years while they rebuilt their home and lives, with the support of friends, family and their community.

The family moved to Canberra in 2014 and Bron now works for the National Recovery and Resilience Agency as the Director for National Disaster Recovery Policy and Frameworks. She is also completing a Masters in Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development at the University of Newcastle.



Andrew Coghlan, Head of Emergency Services, Australian Red Cross


10 Years Beyond Bushfires is supported by funding partners: The University of MelbourneAustralian Red Cross, the former Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and Emergency Management Victoria. The research is also supported by Phoenix Australia and the Social Research Centre.


Who should attend?

Anyone with a role or interest (paid or voluntary) in supporting disaster recovery is welcome to attend.
Recovery Matters webinars will assist people who are newer to recovery to learn from experts as they get up-to-speed with good practice, and more experienced recovery workers to build, refresh and reflect on their practice as applied in current circumstances.

Are you interested in sharing your expertise?

Please email to register your interest in speaking at a future Recovery Matters webinar.