In December 2011, Green Cross Australia CEO wrote an influential article published in the Griffith Review.
Entitled, 'The Path to Resilience: More haste less speed', the article was featured alongside notable essays on disaster recovery and resilience in Griffith Review Issue 35: Surviving.
Since publication, the article has been discussed on ABC Radio National's program Big Ideas, published on ABC's The Drum and also in leading US resilience journal, DomPrep Journal.
An excerpt from the article is below:
"Greenburg, Kansas, in America's agricultural heartland, is by no means a greenie enclave. It's tornado country. On 4 May 2007, an EF5 rated tornado - equivalent to a category 5 cyclone - tore through the area, levelling 95 per cent of the town and killing 11 of its 1400 residents. The sidewalks and sewers were the only thing left behind.
What happened next was unexpected. Greensburg decided to rebuild itself green. Soon after the storm hit, Public Square Communities, a Kansas-based organisation that helps towns build social capital through 'positive conversations' about the future, quietly assisted in a process that pulled together the town's disparate groups to map a vision for recovery. A dream emerged: to become America's most sustainable and tornado-resilient town, deploying the most advanced clean technologies and encouraging like-minded people to join the effort."
The article draws comparison with Australia's recovery efforts after Black Saturday, Cyclone Yasi and the Queensland Floods of 2010/2011. Mara's key message is that, for disaster recovery to be effective, they need to be community-led and focused on achieving resilience and sustainability.Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\MoreInformation-Content.xslt