Publication Details

Williamson, B., Weir, J. & Cavanagh, V. (2020). Strength from perpetual grief: how Aboriginal people experience the bushfire crisis. The Conversation, 10 January 1-5.

Link to publisher version (URL)

The Conversation


How do you support people forever attached to a landscape after an inferno tears through their homelands: decimating native food sources, burning through ancient scarred trees and destroying ancestral and totemic plants and animals? The fact is, the experience of Aboriginal peoples in the fire crisis engulfing much of Australia is vastly different to non-Indigenous peoples. Colonial legacies of eradication, dispossession, assimilation and racism continue to impact the lived realities of Aboriginal peoples. Added to this is the widespread exclusion of our peoples from accessing and managing traditional homelands. These factors compound the trauma of these unprecedented fires. As Australia picks up the pieces from these fires, it's more important than ever to understand the unique grief Aboriginal peoples experience. Only through this understanding can effective strategies be put in place to support our communities to recover.