Beyond place-based: the role of virtual communities via social media in young adult recovery

Julie Willems, Rouve Jan Forbes, Margaret Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In post-disaster recovery, optimising psychosocial support is important for all groups of the population, yet young adults have tended to be overlooked as a demographic in their own right. Research was conducted to seek the perspectives of young adults through the narrative of their experiences in the years following the 2009 Gippsland bushfires. One emergent theme in the findings highlighted the importance of information and communication during and after events. Participants in this research sought information and support via social media and virtual communities. These sites traverse localised, place-based solutions, enabling young people to communicate over large geographical areas. The platforms aid dynamic and rapidly evolving support by sharing information, feelings and ideas. This research also highlighted the need to identify the gaps in information processes and support systems for young adults and to ensure youthspecific information is included in formal communications. Possible solutions are outlined taking into consideration the perspectives offered by the study participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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