Climate science is a fundamental part of protecting and improving the resilience of communities from the extremes of climate change.

Floods, fires, heatwaves, storms, and rising oceans—extreme events—will become more widespread with every fraction of warming. Governments, industry, and decision-makers are asking climate scientists for help and advice to prepare for the decades to come. We need to be able to look ahead and plan for the future.

The Engagement and Impact team at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes brings together some of Australia’s most talented policymakers, media and communications specialists, science communicators, content makers, designers and more to ensure that the essential science of climate extremes is heard by the people who need to know.

We train researchers in engagement and impact skills so they can be recognised by decision-makers as: Trusted, Respected, Legitimate, Credible, Reputable

Researchers achieve this by:

  • providing expert comment to international and Australian media;
  • making submissions to government inquiries and processes;
  • producing and appearing in web and social media content;
  • meeting with decision-makers directly to educate them about climate science and
  • producing resources for school teachers to incorporate climate science into their syllabi.

What’s Ahead

Engagement and Impact Strategy 2022 to 2024

In 2022 and 2023, the Engagement and Impact team at the Centre of Excellence changed significantly, with four new engagement and impact experts joining the organisation and the previous team departing for new opportunities.

Building on the previous team’s strategy, the new team refocused the Centre’s activities to build a long-lasting legacy for the Centre and its experts.

  • Invest in long-term skills. We can provide access to and support the development of skills in engagement and impact through practical actions and examples.
  • Create opportunities. We will create platforms, publications and opportunities for Centre experts to showcase their research and be recognised for their engagement and impact skills.
  • Boost confidence. We will help Centre researchers feel confident engaging with government, policymakers, media, and industry and learn how to take small actions to make their communications more impactful.
  • Celebrate the Centre and our people. As the Centre comes to a close, we will make sure our people and their research are celebrated and recognised.

Our Support

  • We will refine the previous Engagement and Impact team’s priorities, meeting our promises to our funders, partners and community while re-focusing on the most effective use of our skills and resources.
  • Researchers will have increased their confidence in how to engage in their work and make an impact on stakeholders, enabling them to continue to demonstrate the impact of their research well into the future.
  • Researchers can take forward a body of engagement activities and material that exhibits and highlights their skills at the end of the Centre.
  • We will provide and prioritise activities that cement the Centre’s long-term legacy.

2024 — Providing Skills and Support for the Future of Climate Science

To leave a long-term and lasting legacy for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, the new Engagement and Impact team is focusing on longterm skills and support for researchers in 2024.

Engaging in the policy process. Centre of Excellence researchers have and will continue to submit to government and industry inquiries – learning about policy processes and translating science for decision-makers. The Engagement and Impact team will also continue producing the Centre’s highly regarded Briefing notes and reports to assist policymakers in understanding the science of climate extremes.

Highlighting early career researchers. The Centre will continue to publish a range of written and video profiles of early career researchers, teaching them how to be interviewed, promote themselves and prepare for media opportunities as their careers develop.

Long-term media skills and opportunities. The Centre has partnered with the Australian Science Media Centre (AMSC) and Science Media Exchange to provide ongoing media opportunities, often leading to multiple Centre researchers appearing in stories together, providing diverse perspectives on climate science. Twenty-one Centre experts provided regular media commentary through the ASMC in 2023.

Training workshops and one-on-one support. The Engagement and Impact team has delivered media training, career development and more. The team has also provided one-on-one support to the Centre researchers at all levels, from assisting senior researchers in preparing for high-level Government consultations to holding coaching sessions for students doing their first-ever media appearances. In 2024, the team will build on these training workshops and one-on-one support.

Design, imagery and boosting climate science. The Centre’s graphic designer, Georgina Harmer, assists researchers in communicating their research
through effective design. This will be achieved through the development of a range of templates — for posters,

Teaching climate science in schools. The Centre’s highly successful Climate Classrooms program will continue in 2024, led by Dr Sanaa Hobeichi (a former maths teacher and now one of the Centre’s most valued researchers) and the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub.