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Improving Safety in the

Public Realm

We helped the Queensland government understand why people engage in risky behaviour in the public realm. Then designed with them a range of strategies to encourage safer behaviour.



  • In a department first, we provided the client with an evidence-based, deep understanding of the risk profiles of different parts of the population

  • Designed a hierarchy of interventions to reach different parts of the population and increase compliance behaviour

Understanding people to encourage safer behaviour

The Queensland Department of Environment is responsible for the management of wildlife habitat across the state. North Queensland’s wildlife habitat is a key asset for the tourism and other industries. Millions of visitors and locals enjoy the outdoors of North Queensland, but not all comply with required safety norms, for instance around wild animals such as crocodiles. The department wanted to understand how it could encourage safer behaviour in the outdoors. 

The client needs to influence individuals’ behaviour in wildlife environments across a broad range of populations. We first helped the department understand in detail the different types of visitors across the habitats, their relationship to the places they use and what drives their behaviours. Then we used this data to establish a range of risk profiles, as well as a number of intervention categories that could be used to change behaviour. From there we designed a number of interventions tailored for every risk group to positively influence behaviour across each of the intervention categories.

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Sunset Selfie

One on one research to understand place identity


Our approach to develop risk profile and behaviour design approaches was ethnographic: We conducted in-depth persona research in relation to the community’s relationship to place, wildlife habitat and the key drivers that influence behaviour. Over the course of three months, we conducted in-depth research across all populations in North Queensland including locals, tourists, tourism operators and sports groups.


We ran in-depth in home interviews, observed people doing sports, fishing or everyday activities near the water, by themselves or in groups. We surveyed key sites from a place identity, semiotic and visitor behaviour perspective and evaluated what particular interventions could be effective.


After a thorough data analysis and synthesis we designed the different categories of interventions for each of the different risk profiles.

Ready to find out more? Contact us today for a free consultation on your project.

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