Living with Bushfire Seminar Series: Conjunction

Living with Bushfire Seminar Series: Conjunction

Actions and Detail Panel

Sales Ended

Date and time


Online event

Lynne Chester investigates the intersecting cumulative events, (in)actions & institutions that led to the devastating Australian bushfires.

About this event

The Conjunction of Cumulative Events, (In)actions and Institutions Causing and Exacerbating Recent Bushfires and the Aftermath

The unprecedented intensity and duration of the 2019-20 Australian bushfires is a much more complex story than one of climate change, as posited by some. Lynne Chester contends that the scale and catastrophic impact of these bushfires were caused—and exacerbated—by a conjunction of cumulative events, (in)actions and institutions. This story is a potent mix of: the problematisation of bushfires and governing; a federation of nation and local states fractured by constitutional responsibilities; the impact of neoliberal austerity policies on land management; discordant local-state policies; a long-term disregard of Indigenous fire practices; the role of community (volunteerism); the transmission of (mis)information by social and traditional media; record temperatures; national rainfall the lowest for over a century; at least a third of the continent experiencing a severe three-year drought; and more. Lynne will outline this potent mix and explore if a similar conjunction could recur given all the recent inquiries.


Associate Professor Lynne Chester, Department of Political Economy

Dr Scott Webster (Chair), Department of Gender and Cultural Studies

About the series

The Living with Bushfire: Emerging Research Seminar Series brings together researchers from around the University of Sydney and beyond to explore diverse approaches to the topic of bushfire from the humanities and social sciences. The series seeks to offer an informal space to share emerging research with interested colleagues in order to gain feedback and to inform collaborative conversations.

This series is being co-ordinated by Associate Professor Ruth Barcan and Associate Professor Thom van Dooren.

Sign up here to the Sydney Environment Institute's monthly newsletter to stay up to date with upcoming events and new articles published weekly.