Journal article

Being a Parent after a Disaster: The New Normal after the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday Bushfires

Lauren Kosta, Louise Harms, Lisa Gibbs, David Rose

BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2021

Abstract

This article explores parental experiences over nearly seven years that followed catastrophic Australian bushfires in 2009. Principles of pragmatism and the constructionist tradition guided the use of semi-structured interviews with parents (nineteen mothers and three fathers) and inductive thematic analysis to distil what participants said about the trauma, loss and disruption caused by the fires, and ways in which they responded as parents. Changes described in their parenting role and family life were themed as 'losing normal' which encompassed managing additional exposures, losing fun and living at their capacity. Parents then evinced the struggle of settling and seeking to regain a sens..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors sincerely thank the participants for sharing their deeply personal experiences. This doctoral research was supported by a Australian Postgraduate Award from the Australian Government, allocated through the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, The University of Melbourne.