Hazelwood Health Study: Community Wellbeing Stream

A/Prof Michelle Duffy in collaboration with Dr Susan Yell, Lynda McCrae and A/Prof Damian Morgan (FedUni) and Dr Matthew Carroll (Monash Rural Health) https://hazelwoodhealthstudy.org.au/

Community wellbeing is a concept that describes the way a community functions, sees itself and talks about it self. It is influenced by multiple things such as: access to education, affordable housing, employment, health services and social opportunities, the look and feel of a place, and whether you know and trust people in the community.

This Stream’s research aims in Phase 1 (2015-2019) were to investigate community perceptions on:

  • the impact of the smoke event on community wellbeing;
  • effective communication during and after the smoke event; and
  • the effectiveness of community rebuilding activities.

Current research aims in Phase 2 (2020-2021) are to:

  • Continue to assess perceptions of the community’s wellbeing and recovery after the mine fire, taking into account subsequent events and initiatives;
  • Develop a community wellbeing barometer to identify factors indicative of community wellbeing relevant to this community at a particular point in time;
  • Examine the relationship between individual wellbeing and community wellbeing (in conjunction with the Psychological Impacts Stream).


Yell, S., Duffy, M., Whyte, S., Carroll, M., Walker J. (2019). Hazelwood Health Study Community Wellbeing Stream Reports:

  • Volume 1: Community perceptions of the impact of the smoke event on community wellbeing and of the effectiveness of communication during and after the smoke event;
  • Volume 2: Community perceptions of the effectiveness of community rebuilding activities

Duffy, M., Whyte, S. (2017). The Latrobe valley: The politics of loss and hope in a region of transition. Australasian Journal of Regional Studies 23(3): 421-446

Duffy, M., Wood, P., Whyte, S., Yell, S., Carroll, M. (2016). Why isn’t there a plan? Community vulnerability and resilience in the Latrobe Valley’s open cut coal mine towns. In M. Companion & M. Chaiken (eds) Understanding Vulnerability, Building Resilience: Responses to Disasters and Climate Change CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group; pp. 199-209

Duffy, M., Yell, S. (2014). Collective grief and Australian natural disasters. In D. Lemmings & A. Brooks (eds) Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives New York: Routledge; pp. 159-184

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.