ARC project commencement - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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ARC project commencement

4 Jun 2019

The ARC Future Fellowship project ‘Coastal Governance: Embracing Vulnerability and Change’ (FT180100652) commenced in April, led by Prof Tim Smith. The 4-year project aims to discover innovative coastal governance approaches that embrace vulnerability and change. This is critical because current coastal management approaches are failing as existing threats intensify and novel threats emerge. New knowledge is expected to be generated on diverse vulnerabilities, with insights revolutionising the theory and practice of climate change adaptation and coastal management. This is significant to advancing the disciplines of human geography and public policy through improved understanding of the relationships between people, place and change. Governance innovations are expected to support ongoing economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that are derived from the Australian coast.


Dr Carmen Elrick-Barr has been appointed as a Research Fellow and A/Prof Dana Thomsen has also been seconded onto the project. Australian case studies in each of the coastal jurisdictions were chosen to represent locations that were simultaneously at threat from coastal hazards and undergoing rapid socio-economic change (ie. fastest growing coastal populations in each of the jurisdictions). Carmen will undertake several of the Australian case studies and be largely based in Perth. Dana will be focused on international examples of governance innovations and be largely based in NZ. Jonathan and Miguel, whose PhD research relates to pre-disaster planning and response, and adaptive coastal law, respectively, will be part of the project. Two new PhD students will also be recruited later in the year. A project website and other communication platforms will be established soon.