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Published: 14 September 2010

Review: Considering Australia's 'resilience'

Robin Taylor

Is ‘resilience’ the new sustainability? While interest in the concept of resilience has increased rapidly in recent years, questions such as this suggest that it is a fad, rather than a serious approach to addressing global and regional problems, says Dr Brian Walker in the foreword to a book about Australia’s resilience to future challenges.

Resilience and Transformation:Preparing Australia for Uncertain Futures,
Steven Cork(Editor) , Paperback ISBN: 9780643098121 — AU$39.95
Available from www.publish.csiro.au

Edited by Dr Steve Cork, leader of the Australia21 Resilience Project, Resilience and Transformation brings together opinions and analyses by leading thinkers across a range of disciplines to put the concept of resilience into a wider policy context.

The book covers a number of issues within the themes of organisations and economies, governance and security, energy and settlements, health and education, environment and society, and disaster preparedness and recovery. It recognises that people will want to approach the idea of resilience in different ways; each of the authors defines and interprets the issue from their own perspective, which results in a broadranging discussion. The analyses range from a discussion about biosecurity by former head of the Australian Biosecurity CRC, Stephen Prowse, to reform of Australia’s early childhood development systems by Teresa Burgess, a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

Thinking about resilience has progressed in both business and academia during the past decade, including advice to policy makers about issues as diverse as environmental, organisational, governance, health and economic resilience. For example, says Dr Cork, most major policies for environmental management in Australia include social and ecological resilience as key objectives.

The book will be of interest to policy makers, researchers and others who want to learn more about the actions Australia needs to take to prepare for major economic, social, technological and environmental change.






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