Noetic is delighted to congratulate Principal Consultant Margaret Moreton on her achievement in being awarded last week with a Doctor of Philosophy from the Australian National University.  Margaret has conducted significant and ground breaking research to identify the key factors that contribute to a strong and effective community recovery after the natural disasters of bushfire, flood, or cyclone. Her research included interviews with key leaders of disaster recovery processes from the government and non-government sectors, including Sir Peter Cosgrove, Anna Bligh, Christine Nixon, and key leaders from the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, the Green Cross, and the Uniting Church.  It also included 112 interviews with Mayors and other community leaders, and with community members from four communities where significant disasters had occurred between the summers of 2006 and 2013.  Key factors were identified and explored e.g. the level and effectiveness of community planning and preparation; the levels of pre-existing social and community capital; how the community was engaged with during the crisis and the response; how the community engages with the crisis during preparation, response and recovery; and the degree and type of engagement and action occurs with communities and between communities.  The findings of Margaret’s research are highly relevant to future disaster policy and to emergency service delivery across Australia, crucial as we now approach a high risk disaster (summer) season.

“It was my absolute honour to spend time in four communities significantly devastated by natural disaster, and to listen to the stories of courage, connection and action shared with me by community members.  These stories demonstrated community resilience and agency, and were a sample only of the actions that contributed to community recovery in each site.  This information is crucial in understanding and strengthening community recovery after disasters in the future.” Dr Margaret Moreton.

Margaret joined the Noetic Group in February 2015.  She is the Principal Consultant with leadership responsibility for the work Noetic undertakes with the not-for-profit sector.  More information about Margaret can be found at http://noeticgroup.com/sector-expertise/not-for-profit-sector/