The devastation of the summer bushfires in Australia (2019–20) has both immediate and long-lasting implications. Safety and security in any disaster situation must take precedence over all else. But losses experienced — family and friends, personal belongings, homes and townships, wildlife — can be traumatic in an enduring way and can require complex and creative responses. Such traumatic events can prompt us to question the status quo, to reconsider our relationships with one another and our sense of community, to reimagine our relationships with our surroundings and the environment, and to rethink the very stories we use to organise and make sense of our lives.
Suggestions of resources to be added to this list are welcome. Email ideas to Frederic Kiernan, CAWRI Research Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Recovery Network is a specialist service provider and advocate for culture and the arts within the emergency management sector. They partner with government, community service, and private sector providers who work in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Community Music Victoria is a volunteer driven not-for-profit whose vision is to enhance health and wellbeing, strengthen communities, build social connectedness, and lessen social isolation, through widespread participation in active music making.
Music Australia is a not-for-profit that provides advocacy and information services to strengthen music in Australia, and to stimulate and promote the value of music, school music education, sector professional development and public engagement.
AMTA advocates for the value and accessibility of music therapy and accords professional music therapy standards in Australia. It manages the Registered Music Therapy accreditation and provides professional development workshops and events.
Post-traumatic Growth is a trauma recovery resource for individuals, workers, volunteers and organisations. Its website contains information and examples of post-traumatic growth arising from the Black Saturday bushfires. The website was developed from a project involving CAWRI steering committee member Jenny Waycott, and many of the examples highlight the importance of creativity in post-traumatic growth.
ANZACATA is the peak professional association for creative arts therapies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It advocates for experiential psychotherapeutic approaches which utilise arts modalities within a relationship with a trained therapist, attending to emotional, cognitive and physical and spiritual well-being.
The AIA is the peak body for architecture in Australia, and is committed to raising design standards and positively shaping the places where we live, work and meet.
- View details about their bushfire response
- A group called Architects Assist provides disaster recovery architecture and design pro bono services.
The ACA leads the discussion on business matters in architecture and is the key body representing architectural employers in Australia. It has provided a list of key resources in response to the bushfire crisis.
Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health has developed a range of resources informed by best practice to support health practitioners, first responders and community members after the bushfires. Many of these tip sheets, booklets and other resources highlight the importance of creativity in trauma recovery.
Image: Michael Held/Unsplash