Institutional response and Indigenous experiences of Cyclone Tracy

TitleInstitutional response and Indigenous experiences of Cyclone Tracy
Publication TypeReport

Project Page  Final Report

Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHaynes, K, Bird, DK, Carson, D, Larkin, S, Mason, MS
Date Published05/2011
InstitutionNational Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
CityGold Coast
ISBN Number978-1-921609-39-8
Keywordscultural attachment, Darwin, evacuate, face-to-face interviews, indigenous, Northern Territory, NT, oral history, synthesis and integrative research, traditional knowledge, transcripts

Early on Christmas morning 1974 Tropical Cyclone Tracy, a Category 4 storm, devastated the Northern Territory city of Darwin leaving only 6% of the city’s housing habitable. The extent of the disaster was largely the result of unregulated and poorly constructed buildings, predominantly housing. While the engineering and reconstruction process demonstrated a very successful response and adaptation to an existing and future risk, the impact of the cyclone of the local community and its Indigenous population in particular, had not been well recorded.

NCCARF therefore commissioned a report on the Indigenous experience of Cyclone Tracy to document how Indigenous people were impacted by, responded to, and recovered from Cyclone Tracy in comparison to non-Indigenous groups. The report also considers the research literature on disasters and Indigenous people in the Northern Territory, with a specific focus on cyclones, and considers the socio-political context of Indigenous communities in Darwin prior to Cyclone Tracy.