The social, economic and institutional dimensions network supports and compliments NCCARF's activities but with a specific focus on 5 themes. These themes are led by experts that span five state/territories juristictions, namely Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Stay informed of each of the Themes progress and achievements by subscribing to our free monthly e-newsletter and if you would like to be further involved, each Theme will be holding a Peer Learning event in 2016, a workshop aimed at sharing information and building capacity. Please see our Opportunities page for further information.  


Business and Industry Theme

The Industry Theme is led by Prof John Fien and Dr Samuel Wilson and supported by Adam Scott (Research Fellow). The Theme is hosted by Swinburne University of Technology and located within the Swinburne Leadership Institute (SLI). Engagement with industry stakeholders will be enhanced by the existing partnerships already developed through the SLI. The Industry themes aims and objectives are:

  • To understand the knowledge needs of Australian business and industry to prepare them for climate change adaptation
  • To generate and disseminate vital information about climate adaptation to business and industry
  • To establish and coordinate a business and industry climate change adaptation peer-learning network


Government Theme

The Government Theme is led by Professor Barbara Norman and supported by Tayanah O'Donnell (Research Fellow), hosted by Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) at the University of Canberra. The Government Theme will build upon the extensive partnerships and expertise of Professor Norman and facilitate increased communication and engagement of State and Federal Governments in the social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation. The Government Themes' aims and objectives are:

  • To provide a platform for ongoing dialogue and engagement with State and Federal Governments
  • Share knowledge and learnings around successful enagegment and communication with State and Federal Governments
  • To provide a background paper detailing approached to engaging with government on social, economic and institutional issues for climate adaptation
  • To host a Roundtable with government representatives to explore the findings of the above background paper, and to explore with participants what is current good practice and what can be improved on for future engagement.
  • To co-design and deliver an Early Career Researcher & Practitioner Workshop, linking researcher with practitioners


Indigenous Theme

The Indigenous Theme is co-led by Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray and Philip Rist, hosted by the University of Adelaide and located within the Department of Geography, Environment and Population, and also through the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Cardwell, Queensland. This theme aims to increase the capacity of Indigenous people to participate in climate change adaptation initiatives. The Indigenous theme aims to:

  • Build on existing partnerships and programs to increase the capacity of Indigenous people to participate in climate change adaptation initiatives
  • Investigate and seek input on innovative and effective methods of communicating and engaging with Indigenous people about climate change science and adaptation strategies
  • Increase awareness of and educate stakeholders about the importance of Indigenous knowledge of climate change and the influence of traditional ecological knowledge.


Non Government Organisation Theme

The NGO Theme includes Dr Dana Thomsen (Theme Leader) and Dr Noni Keys (Postdoctoral researcher) and is hosted within the Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast. Drs Thomsen and Keys have extensive experience in community-based research, environmental advocacy, and participatory approaches for learning and social change. This theme focuses on the role of NGOs in facilitating adaptation and how these organisations can be supported through strengthened peer networks and access to research. The NGO Theme aims to:

  • Explore the range of NGO strategies for enhancing climate change adaptation and related research needs
  • Enable improved linkages between NGO's and adaptation research and researchers
  • Facilitate connections between NGO's engaged in adaptation advocacy and those assisting communities affected by the impacts of climate change.


Goverance integration Theme

The Governance Integration Theme is jointly led by Dr Rochelle Spencer and Dr Martin Brueckner supported by researcher Simone Ruane and hosted by Murdoch University. Located within the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, this theme plays an innovative role in supporting the network by engaging in cross-sector activities to improve governance integration; as well as, identifying and implementing opportunities to add value to the network activities and outcomes. The Governance and Integration theme’s particular foci are:

  • Coordinating and promoting events that enable collaboration and bi-directional communication between adaptation stakeholders across sectors
  • Facilitating the transfer of research and innovations through knowledge brokering across the diverse adaptation sectors, including researchers and practitioners
  • Interpreting and synthesising SEI research theme outcomes in the context of governance and integration.


Current National Adapatation Research Plan

A research plan has been developed to identify the research required to understand the social, sconomic and instutional dimensions of climate change adaptation in Australia. It outlines priority areas so we can make better climate change adaptation decisions.

The development of this Plan was led by the following writing team:

  • Dr Stephen Hatfield-Dodds (Australian Government Department of Climate Change)
  • Dr Jon Barnett (University of Melbourne)
  • Professor Stephen Dovers (Australian National University)
  • Dr Rohan Nelson (CSIRO)
  • Professor Jan McDonald (NCCARF).

For further information on this Plan, please email Daniel Stock