HDR Confirmation Presentation - Louisa-Anne Buwalda - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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HDR Confirmation Presentation - Louisa-Anne Buwalda

We would like to invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Louisa-Anne Buwalda, a Master of Arts candidate in the School of Social Sciences.

Thesis Title: Women’s Experiences of Natural Disaster - Women’s Voices on Their Issues and Solutions

When: Monday 10 August from 12pm- 1pm

Where: IC1.49a  (To gain easy access to the SRC (IC1.49A), please take the lift alongside the auditorium (as no swipe access is required). As you exit the lift, turn right and walk to the end of the passage and into the SRC (no swipe access required during working hours).


Historically the field of disaster research has been overwhelming male focused, both in terms of researchers and research subjects. The marginalisation of women from the field of study has lead to women having significantly higher levels of vulnerability to natural disaster events. This vulnerability occurs largely due to the culmination and intensification of pre-existing socio-economic discriminations, social or cultural norms, and the broad exclusion of women from disaster risk reduction activities.

To contribute to a deeper understanding of women’s experiences of natural disaster events, a qualitative, mixed methods, participatory case study will be undertaken on the Vanuatu island of Espiritu Santo. The research participants will be ni-Vanuatu women who have experienced natural disaster events in recent years. The knowledge that is produced in collaboration with the ni-Vanuatu women will be analysed through the dual theoretical frameworks of social justice (Lukasiewicz 2020) and Sen’s (1999) theory of freedom for development. The conclusions that are drawn from this research will be shared with the ni-Vanuatu participants so that they can utilise the data that they helped create.


Prior to joining both the Master of Arts Research Program and the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) at USC, Louisa completed undergraduate studies in both Law and International Relations, and a Master of International Development (MID) at USC. Louisa is also an alumna of the ACICIS (Australian Consortium for in Country Indonesian Studies) Development Studies Professional Practicum (DSPP), and Murdoch University’s International Human Rights Program. Louisa has a strong interest in using her education and skills to help further women’s rights and legal protections around the world.

We look forward to seeing you there!