The Context of Community Pest Management in Australia: Myths, Stories and Narrative Enquiry

  • Tanya M. Howard
  • Theodore R. Alter
  • Paloma Z. Frumento
  • Lyndal J. Thompson


In this chapter, we introduce concepts that ground our research purpose, methodology and analysis. We provide key background information to illustrate the current ecological and social landscape of pest management in Australia. This includes:
  • Outlining how Australia’s history and culture influence the current context of pest management today.

  • Presenting our framing of pest management as a community problem that requires collective action.

We make recommendations about how these concepts might help practitioners in their work with community members. These include:
  • Being alert to the influence of power dynamics in shaping community interactions, including how sources of knowledge are used and valued.

  • Developing skills in critical reflection about community values and beliefs as a necessary foundation for addressing public issues such as pest management.

  • Recognising that terms and ideas, such as “community engagement” and “shared responsibility”, can carry diverse meanings for different people. Practitioners should push past assumptions to define terms with community members within their specific context.

  • Suggesting that stories are one way to build common purpose and increase the likelihood of shared community action.

This chapter aims to persuade you, the reader, that best practice community pest management is achieved through a balance of both social and scientific knowledge. We suggest that:
  • Storytelling and dialogue allow individuals and groups to rethink present issues and future possibilities, encompassing diverse or less dominant perspectives to challenge current thinking.

  • Readers can use the stories to prompt reflection about ways of approaching issues in working with people in community.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya M. Howard
    • 1
  • Theodore R. Alter
    • 2
  • Paloma Z. Frumento
    • 2
  • Lyndal J. Thompson
    • 3
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Agriculture and LawUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.Center for Economic and Community DevelopmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Education and TrainingUniversity of New EnglandCanberraAustralia

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