Catherine is a PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong undertaking research into the Maintenance of Bushfire Protection Measures. We add various bushfire protection measures to properties through the development application process, including asset protection zones, water supply and construction measures. Once an Occupation Certificate has been issued for the works, there is no way of knowing whether these measures are continually maintained to a standard which provides protection from bushfires. We ‘set-and forget’. 

Both the NSW Bushfire Inquiry (2020) and the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements (2020) make recommendations regarding ongoing compliance with bushfire protection standards. Suggestions are made with regard to the ways in which ongoing bushfire protection can be achieved, including education programs, routine inspections and financial incentives. Which of these measures, or combination of measures, would be effective in improving the levels of bushfire maintenance? Are there other measures which may also be effective?

The research looks at potential motivations and barriers to achieving ongoing maintenance. What drives people to ensure their property is well prepared and what do people find challenging about maintaining for bushfire protection?

Would you like to be involved in the research? I am keen to talk to people who would like to be involved in the research, if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please read the advert below and the attached Participant Information Sheet and get in contact!


Do you live in a bushfire prone area and own your own home? If so, you could help with my research.

If you live in a bushfire affected area and own your own home, you are invited to participate in research about community preparedness and responses to bushfire risk. I would like to learn about your experiences and challenges in preparing your property for bushfires. In return, I will provide some helpful tips regarding property preparedness. Interviews will be audio-recorded and should take no more than one hour. They can be done by phone or online via Zoom. Any information you provide will be treated confidentially and will be used to inform strategies to improve overall levels of property preparedness for bushfire.

The research is being undertaken as part of a PhD under the supervision of Associate Professor Owen Price and Dr Tasmin Dilworth. The project is funded by The University of Wollongong and Natural Hazards Research Australia and has been approved by the University of Wollongong Human Research Ethics Committee, reference (2022/285).

If you would like to receive further information about taking part in the research, please  contact me, Catherine Ryland, using the email address: