Susan Hunt

MPubPol, BA (Social Welfare), RGN, RPN
PhD Student

Prior to commencing PhD studies in 2014 Susan worked in the Australian Public Service (APS) for 18 years, the majority of which was spent developing national mental health and national disaster management policies and programs.  This followed her earlier career as a general and mental health nurse where she worked in clinical settings and in community health and health education in the Hunter region of NSW.  

Her roles in the APS have included:

Australian and New Zealand Emergency Management Committee Secretariat

A major focus of these committees was to oversee the implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience and report to COAG on progress.  While here, Susan was a member of the Project Advisory Group during 2011-12 for the National Emergency Management Program project: Developing a model and tool to measure community disaster resilience by the Torrens Resilience Institute.

National Disaster Recovery Taskforce

Developed national disaster recovery policy to support Queensland and Victorian reconstruction following the severe flooding events and Tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2010-11.

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Branch 

Monitored and reported to government on emerging disasters and developed and coordinated national disaster preparedness and recovery assistance programs. While here, Susan contributed as a Writing Group member to the Australian Emergency Management Series: Community Recovery Handbook 2, 3rd Edition. 2011. Commonwealth of Australia.

Office of Health Protection

National health security and health emergency policy development and response.

Research interests

Thesis title

Growing community disaster resilience: are our arrangements for implementing the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience fit-for-purpose?

Thesis description

This research will investigate the effectiveness of Australia's National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) as a public policy instrument for advancing community disaster resilience from two related perspectives:

  • Capacity of a federal system of government to support the implementation of strategic, coordinating policy for community disaster resilience, and
  • Ability of national, sub-national and local NSDR implementation arrangements to deliver community disaster resilience.


  • Methodology will include developing an analytical framework linking theoretical models of community disaster resilience with evidence of good practice from policy implementation studies.
  • Using this framework, case studies from each level of government, the community and business will be analysed to determine aspects of implementation design and practice that will support or hinder community disaster resilience.

Hunt, S., 2016. Building adaptive capacities for disaster resilience: What role for government?, Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 31(1): 31-36.

National Strategy for Disaster Resilience: Companion Booklet 2012

(State and Territory-based Case Studies were contributed by state and territory government).

Hunt, S. 2005. Whole of Government: Does Working Together work?  Australian National University Occasional Paper.

Papers prepared for a workshop hosted by the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention. 2002.