Adaptation Lessons from Cyclone Tracy Part II: Institutional response and Indigenous experience of Cyclone Tracy

Media type: 
Katherine Haynes
Deanne K Bird
Dean Carson
Stephen Larkin
Matthew Mason
Risk Frontiers/Macquarie University

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.

Please cite as:
Haynes, K, Bird, DK, Carson, D, Larkin, S & Mason, M 2011, Institutional response and Indigenous experiences of Cyclone Tracy, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 79 pp.