Journal article

Shaping and Sharing Responsibility: Social Memory and Social Learning in the Australian Rural Bushfire Landscape

Karen Reid, Ruth Beilin, Jim McLennan



Responding to increased frequency and severity of bushfires, Australian governments called for “shared responsibility” for bushfire preparation and mitigation. This requires engagement between all sectors of community—government agencies, businesses, not-for-profit, and residents. Fire management agencies remain concerned about whether all communities in fire-prone landscapes are equally equipped to participate in sharing responsibility. A related question is how experience of bushfire influences subsequent community fire management practices. This paper addresses social learning and social memory in a landscape that has experienced repeat bushfires between 2006 and 2013. It examines the rel..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning whose funding made the research possible. Thanks are also due to the three anonymous reviewers whose insightful critique of our original manuscript helped us to craft a much improved contribution. Finally, we especially thank the communities of the Southern Grampians - including the land and fire managers - who so generously shared their time and experiences with the researchers.