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Climate Change Adaptation for Health and Social Services

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Climate Change Adaptation for Health and Social Services

Edited by:
Rae Walker   La Trobe University
Wendy Mason   Enliven

Illustrations, Photographs
288 pages, 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - September 2015
ISBN: 9781486302529 - AU $ 79.95

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Climate Change Adaptation for Health and Social Services addresses concerns from the health and community services sector, including local government, about how to respond to climate change and its impacts on communities.

What should an intervention framework for the community-based health and social services sector contain and how can it complement an organisation's core values, role and work programs? What current direct and indirect impacts of climate change are most relevant to organisations and the communities they serve? Which population groups are most vulnerable to climate change and what are the impacts on them? Above all, what can be done to reduce the current risks from climate change to clients, communities and organisations?

Written by expert researchers and practitioners, this book presents existing research, innovative practice and useful tools to support organisations taking practical steps towards adaptation to the impacts of climate change on people. It examines the evidence of climate change impacts on six of the most vulnerable population groups – people with disability; older people; women and children; Aboriginal people; rural people; and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds – as well as discussing effective interventions. Other key issues covered include health and social impacts of climate change, adaptation, mitigation, climate change communication, organisational adaptation and a case study of innovation illustrating some of the book’s themes.

Accessible, informative and incorporating extensive evidence and experience, Climate Change Adaptation for Health and Social Services is relevant for anyone within the health and community services sector concerned about climate change and its impacts on their community.


  • Provides an introduction to climate adaptation for concerned community members
  • Unique community-scale focus

 Introduction: Climate change adaptation in the health and social services sector
List of contributors
Health and social impacts of climate change
Adaptation: living with a changing environment
Mitigation of climate change
Communicating about climate change
People with disability and their carers
People who are elderly or have chronic conditions
Women and children
Climate change: Impact on country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture
Support for adaptation in culturally and linguistically diverse communities
Rural Communities experiencing climate change: A systems approach to adaptation
Community based health and social services: Managing risks from climate change
Engaging communities in climate change adaptation

 People working in, and with, community based health and social service agencies in Australia, including local government. 

 "Twenty-five academics and professionals from across Australia prepared the 12 chapters of this book... Their combined theoretical knowledge and practical experiences have provided an invaluable handbooks for those with operational responsibilities in the health and social services areas by sharing ideas about options for defining and implementing adaptive responses... this [is] truly a handbook for raising, for these sectors, awareness of options but with practical solutions for action."
Ray Walker and Wendy Mason, Australian Journal of Primary Health 22(3), 2016, pp 267-268



Rae Walker is an Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne. She has an extensive research and publication history, most of which is in relation to community-based organisations, how they operate and what they do. In recent years she has worked closely with the network of community-based health and social service organisations that are members of Enliven, to help them develop the evidence, frameworks and tools to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Wendy Mason has widespread experience in service, project and partnership management in a range of health, social services and local government settings. As the former Executive Officer of Enliven she supported organisations to translate and apply research into practical actions that result in capable organisations and healthier and more resilient local communities.

Contributors: Kerry Arabena, Guy Barnett, Peng Bi, Helena Bishop, Kathryn Bowen, Susie Burke, Matthew Carroll, Alyssa Duncan, Brad Farrant, Sharon Friel, John Gardner, Emily Hamilton, Alana Hansen, Scott Hanson-Easey, Greg Hunt, Jonathan Kingsley, Margaret Loughnan, Karl Mallon, Jacqui Meyers, Debra Parkinson, Lyn Talbot, Aileen Thoms and Glenda Verrinder.


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