Building Resilience To Natural Disasters

Australia has experienced increasingly frequent, intense, repeated, and now overlapping shocks such as fires, floods, and drought. Coupled with chronic stresses including economic inequity, reduced levels of services in rural and regional areas, and social exclusion these disasters have conspired to challenge communities across the country. Communities have little or no time to prepare, respond and recover from each of these events before the next arrives.

Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience Initiative aims to reduce the harm caused to communities and the environment, by fire and flood. They harness the collective power of communities, industry, government, philanthropy and the research sector to lift Australia to be the global leader in fire and flood resilience by 2025. For more information see Minderoo Foundation’s website.

About the Resources

Years 7 to 8 English lessons will encourage students to explore the true meaning of hope and leadership and apply empathy to those affected by fires and floods. Students will analyse and write texts that explore how society can address hazards and natural disasters to create a resilient Australia.

The following English lessons and future resources comprise of two mutually reinforcing components – the principles and the environments in which resilient communities strive — which are designed to holistically guide teachers, community leaders and organisations in their work within communities.

Minderoo Foundation: Years 7 & 8 English Lessons

The following English lessons and future resources comprise of two mutually reinforcing components – the principles and the environments in which resilient communities strive — which are designed to holistically guide teachers, community leaders, and organisations in their work within communities.

Resilient Communities: Leadership
– English – Years 7 & 8

Commence by discussing the language used to describe specific traits, attributes and values that make a ‘good leader’. Through watching a documentary about Shane Fitzsimmons,  students will examine the importance of resilience and hope.

Disasters: Correcting the Misconceptions
– English – Years 7 & 8

Students reflect on their understanding of disasters and disaster resilience in Australia, before engaging with excerpts from a New York Times article focused on the Black Summer bushfires and subsequent floods.

Text Analysis: Traditional Approaches To Managing The Land – English – Years 7 & 8

Identify and explore ideas and viewpoints from two key texts. Students will complete a silent conversation, and reflect on their learning. 

Real Stories About Fire and Flood In Australia
– English – Years 7 & 8

Students  revise their understanding of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and use this knowledge to highlight and analyse stories of those who experienced the Black Summer bushfires. 

Writing Stories About Resilience In Times Of Disaster – English – Years 7 & 8

Students refresh their understanding of a narrative structure and use their knowledge obtained throughout the unit to craft a narrative about a person, family or community who have survived an Australian disaster.

Enacting Social Change Around Climate Change And Hazards- English – Years 7 & 8

Students participate in a line debate exploring two opposing perspectives on how to effectively change society surrounding climate-related disasters.

In Hope Of Creating A
Resilient Country
– English – Years 7 & 8

In this English lesson, students will work together to establish a shared definition of hope before exploring a range of different individuals and groups who have evoked hope in a range of ways.

Stories Of Hope
– English – Years 7 & 8

Choosing an individual who harnessed the power of hope to enact social change, students will plan and write a personal recount from their point of view, exploring how they overcame obstacles and showed resilience and hope.

Write A Letter To The Editor OR News Article
– English – Years 7 & 8

Students will understand the concept of ‘regeneration’ and its impact on our communities and ecosystems. The teacher will activate children’s prior knowledge on the topic in a vocabulary matching game.

Imagine A Resilient Australia – English – Years 7 & 8

Students reflect on the knowledge and understanding they have developed throughout this unit of work, completing a lotus diagram organiser to reflect their key learnings.

back to top

With Thanks to Our Partners


Minderoo Foundation is independent, forward thinking and seeks effective, scalable solutions. We are proudly Australian, and one of Asia’s largest philanthropies, with AUD $2 billion committed to a range of global initiatives.

 

© 2022 Minderoo Foundation and Cool Australia.

Cool Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to land, water and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders past, present and emerging.