National Bushfire Research: Past, Present, and Future

A new chapter in Australia’s national natural hazards research began in July last year with the establishment of Natural Hazards Research Australia (NHRA).

The successor of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and its predecessor, the Bushfire CRC, NHRA is funded with $85m over 10 years from the Australian Government along with contributions from partners.

Its role is to work with partners and the community to produce usable research that creates safer and more resilient communities.

Since its inception, NHRA has been developing a strategic natural hazards research agenda for Australia, and establishing all the programs and processes that a national centre needs – governance and staff, nodes in states and territories, initial research programs, an education program, funding opportunities, fresh branding, a media presence, and much more.

Dr Richard Thornton will provide an overview of NHRA’s progress to date.

Richard Thornton

Dr Richard Thornton

Chief Executive Officer, Natural Hazards Research Australia

Dr Richard Thornton is the Chief Executive Officer of Natural Hazards Research Australia, a position he has held since it began in July 2021. He has overall responsibility for research direction and performance, as well as being the public face of the centre. He has led the development of the Centre following the announcement of funding last year. Prior to that Richard was the CEO of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC for its entire 8 year funding period.

Richard is a research management specialist with almost 30 years in the field, previously with the Bushfire CRC and Telstra.