Lismore Flood 2013 - Rous County Council

In profile: National Centre for Flood Research

Almost every month of the year, we are hearing about devastating floods taking place in various places across the world. Thousands of people have died in floods in a number of countries this year, and billions of dollars of damage has been done to infrastructure and businesses. This highlights the global importance of flooding and the continued need to develop a more proactive approach to its associated problems. In Australia, while we frequently experience serious floods, we are very fortunate that this rarely results in major loss of life.

The National Centre for Flood Research (NCFR) is an international partnership using cutting-edge science to find world-class, practical solutions to address the multi-dimensional aspects of floods and their impacts. The aim of the NCFR is to work with partners from a variety of institutions to reduce the economic, social and ecological impact of flooding, through the application of best available knowledge from the social, environmental and engineering sciences.

Southern Cross University (SCU) is leading this flood research initiative in response to community requests for support following the major flood that occurred in the Northern Rivers in 2017, and the frequent floods that occur across the whole of the university footprint. As a regional university, it is important to SCU that their research agenda is relevant to the local community, but when addressing a topic such as flooding, the results of any work will have national and even international significance. As a result, a comprehensive and interdisciplinary research team is being built, starting with SCU's own expertise and including key experts from UNSW and other world-class research institutions.

The NCFR  has developed a critical mass of capacity in water management, health sciences, economics, law and policy, planning, hydrology and hydraulics, hydrometeorology, biogeochemistry, land cover and floodplain science, coastal geomorphology, climate change and civil engineering. All of these disciplines are highly relevant to a better, more holistic understanding of floods, their impacts and their causes. There is also a wide range of additional expertise that will be sourced from other types of organisations, incorporating skills such as community engagement and communication.

A Flood Symposium will be held in in Lismore on 2 October 2018 to celebrate this emerging partnership, and to consolidate potential research themes for the NCFR. The Symposium will be open to all interested parties, with more information to be released in the coming weeks.

For more information on the Centre, please see the website.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this initiative, please contact the NCFR at


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