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Australian Tsunami Research Fund

I wrote part of my book on Golden Buddha Beach, bizarrely feeling safer and stronger returning to the island rather than in the strangely foreign world of Melbourne. At the time, there were hardly any people living at the resort, as it was still only barely functioning. One day, I noticed a group of people walking down the beach. I greeted them as they approached and the explained they were scientists researching the tsunami. “Do you happen to know an Australian journalist who was here when the tsunami hit?” they asked? And so began an important friendship. One of those scientists, Professor James Goff, is now at the University of NSW in Sydney and he has established The Australian Tsunami Research Centre, a global leader in tsunami research. It is unique in the Australasian region in that it uses the combined skills of geologists, engineers, sociologist, policy scientists and ecologist to not only understand the SCIENCE of tsunamis but to understand how to properly educate people to understand that tsunami. Another of those scientists I met that day is Prof Walter Dudley, retired now from the University of Hawaii but no less passionate about his work. He has spent decades interviewing tsunami survivors in order to understand survival! He is in Australia at the moment helping researchers interview survivors of rips in Australian oceans. Fascinating work. I love the way these guys think about using their skills to actuallyl make a difference in future tsunamis. Walt was telling me the other day that there hasn’t been a “pacific wide” tsunami for more than 100 years, and normally there’s at least one every 50 years. But I can’t believe how frequent tsunamis have been since the 2004 one. Anyway the point of this post is to say I’ve decided to donate all the proceeds of my book now to the Australian Tsunami Research Fund. Apologies for the yellow post-it note at the top of the page still saying Samoa. Indirectly it is still helping Samoa as James is doing a lot of work there, but I need to get my coder to change that (I don’t know how to do it myself!). So thank you for continuing to be interested in my work and my book. Anyway you can find out more about the Australian Tsunami Research Centre: http://www.nhrl.unsw.edu.au/