A fact of life

A fact of life

During the worst bushfires in Australia’s recorded history, Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson oversaw the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network (DRCN). At an upcoming conference, he will detail how climate change is making bushfires worse, and the implications for his work.

The Summer 2019/2020 bushfires delivered untold damage to Australian homes and wildlife. Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson was working throughout to coordinate the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network, which worked on the ground to provide immediate support for those who had lost everything.

For Rev. Dr Robinson, this was the latest task in work he has been involved with for over twenty years, first as a Rural Fire Service chaplain and volunteer, then in fulltime disaster chaplaincy ministry. Across Australia and the Pacific, he has seen a growth in the frequency and intensity of disaster events, driven by climate change.

On Thursday, 30 July he will detail these experiences when he delivers a keynote address to the Climate Pastoral Care Conference. This address will focus on the topic, “Bushfires, Chaplaincy and Climate Change.”

According to Rev. Dr Robinson, this keynote address will provide, “An insight into how recent climate-driven disaster events have affected people, and what our disaster recovery chaplains have observed, particularly in the last fire season.”

“I work full-time in disaster welfare response, particularly through the provision of chaplaincy to evacuation and recovery centres through the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network,” Rev. Dr Robinson said.

“Climate-driven disaster-events are, increasingly, a fact of life; not just isolated incidents.”

“It’s important  that the Uniting Church is engaged in this work – in better understanding the issues of climate change and working toward a better outcome in caring for God’s world and people,” Rev. Dr Robinson said.

The 2020 Climate Pastoral Care conference runs from 30 July to 1 August. You can view the full program here and register online here.

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