Dr Susan Hunt

Research Fellow
Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions, Disaster Solutions

Susan is currently at the Institute for Energy, Climate and Disaster Solutions working with a team of researchers who are partnering with local communities to develop Australian guidelines for Nature-based Solutions for flood mitigation and resilience.

She completed her PhD, which examined how to implement disaster resilience policy in the Australian Federation, in 2020.

Since then she has worked as an adviser in the National Emergency Management Agency and conducted research on behalf of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre to evaluate resilience policy in several Victorian Local Government Areas. Prior to this she worked in the Australian Public Service (APS) for nearly two decades in mental health and disaster recovery and resilience policy and program development. This followed her earlier career as a general and mental health nurse in clinical settings and in community health and health education in the Hunter region of NSW.

Susan’s roles in the APS included managing the Australian and New Zealand Emergency Management Committee overseeing implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience; developing national policy to support Queensland and Victorian reconstruction following the severe flooding events and Tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2010-11, and recovery from the deadly Victorian bushfires in 2009; monitoring and reporting to government on emerging disasters, and developing and coordinating national disaster preparedness and recovery assistance programs. Prior to this Susan worked in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing on public health emergency policy, planning and response, including for a pandemic, when she managed the National Medical Stockpile. She also managed the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for several years during the 2000s.

Research interests

Community resilience, public policy, community development, behaviour change, behavioural economics, population health, evaluation practice,

  • Hunt, S & Eburn, M 2018, 'How can business share responsibility for disaster resilience?', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 77, no. 3, pp. 482-491pp.