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UC academic planning for a better tomorrow

Marcus Butler

17 November 2017: Research into how Australian communities, government and industry adapt to climate change has earned a University of Canberra academic an AMP Tomorrow Fund award.

Postdoctoral Fellow Tayanah O’Donnell has been awarded a share of the $1 million fund which is awarded to Australians working to improve communities around the country.

Mrs O’Donnell said being named a Tomorrow Maker was a wonderful achievement, with the award helping further her work on the relationship between law, place, and climate change adaptation.

“I have been researching regional areas of Australia, particularly coastal communities and how they respond to the issue of climate change,” Mrs O’Donnell said. “One area of focus is on how people and place engage with law, and what this can mean for climate adaptation outcomes.”

The AMP Tomorrow Fund grant will allow Mrs O’Donnell to work on a book on legal geography and climate adaptation.

“My book is focused on a range of localities and how regulatory frameworks, local by-laws and policies either enable or create barriers to climate change adaptation in their communities.”

“I’ve been researching different responses to climate related risk, including coastal management, flood mitigation and response, disaster responses and coastal erosion. One of the other key areas is the idea of property rights. In addition, who has responsibility over certain actions in certain places, what the law says and how that links with legal geography are all important questions.”

A total of 45 recipients were awarded a share of the 2017 AMP Tomorrow Fund, from1,872 nominations.

University of Canberra Alumna Nipuni Wijewickrema was also recognised as a Tomorrow Maker for her commitment to her social enterprise, GG’s Flowers and her work as a disability advocate. Ms Wijewickrema intends to use her grant to buy a portable flower cool room, which will enable GG’s Flowers to cater for corporates and events further afield.

More information can be found at the AMP Tomorrow Fund website.