This research stream will be conducted by Federation University Australia’s Centre of Research for Resilient Communities (CoRRC) in collaboration with researchers from the Monash School of Rural Health.
The aims of this study stream are to investigate community perceptions on:
- The impact of the smoke event on community wellbeing
- The effectiveness of community rebuilding activities
- Effective communication during and after the smoke event
18 August 2017 – Share your hopes for the future of Morwell
13 November 2017 – Exhibition to showcase hopes for the future of Morwell
11 December 2017 – The role of social media during the Hazelwood mine fire
23 May 2018 – Morwell exhibition launched in State Parliament
3 October 2018 – Our Hopes for the Future of Morwell exhibition on show at Mid Valley
The role of social media during the Hazelwood mine fire
Social media played a major role during the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire. Hazelwood Health Study researchers studied how community-initiated Facebook groups emerged during the mine fire event and were used by the community to comment on the emergency response and to share a range of self-sourced information. In this video researchers Larissa Walker and Susan Yell share their discoveries.
The ‘Our hopes for the future of Morwell’ photographic exhibition was officially launched at Switchback Gallery, Churchill on Monday, 13 November. More than 50 community members attended the event organised and run by the Community Wellbeing team. This story featured on Nine News Gippsland and WIN News Gippsland on Monday, 13 November.
Community invited to participate in exhibition
The Community Wellbeing team invited the community to get involved in a photography exhibition showcasing the region’s hopes for the future. This story featured on Nine News Gippsland and WIN News Gippsland on Friday, 18 August.
What is the study about?
In the Community Wellbeing stream we want to gather community perceptions of the fire and smoke event’s impact on community wellbeing, the effectiveness of community rebuilding activities and the elements needed for effective communication during and after an event such as the mine fire.
In 2015 and 2016 focus groups and interviews were conducted about the impact of the smoke event on community resilience and recovery and the elements that are important for effective communication during and after such an event. In 2017 interviews are ongoing to provide an update on recovery activities and perceptions of community wellbeing.
Interviews with media professionals and social media administrators have taken place and over 1400 media articles and social media posts about the mine fire have been analysed to provide further information about the impact of the smoke event, and communication during the smoke event. Consultation is currently underway with media professionals, regarding the elements required for effective communication in a crisis such as the mine fire.
In 2016 we started working with community organisations on a project to foster community recovery and wellbeing. Community Wellbeing is about a combination of things that are needed for Morwell to be a good place to live and flourish. Things such as: access to education, affordable housing, employment, health services and social opportunities, the look and feel of a place, and whether you know and trust people in the community. The project is investigating what people like about living in Morwell, what needs to change and their hopes for the future of the Morwell community and the town. The exact nature of the project will be developed in partnership with the community participants and the researchers.
In 2017, in collaboration with Morwell Neighbourhood House and Gippsland Centre for Art and Design (Federation University), we are inviting community organisations to be part of a photographic exhibition: ‘Our hopes for the future of Morwell’. We are asking groups about their hopes for the future of Morwell as it recovers from the Hazelwood Mine Fire and the closure of the Hazelwood power station and to choose something to symbolise or represent those hopes. Once a group has decided on a symbol this will be photographed in the hands of one of its members. The photographic images will then be exhibited in a local exhibition space.