Sorry Perth, you’re the first to go in the zombie apocalypse, new study says

Believe it or not, but new research from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS) has shown Perth would be the worst-hit in a zombie apocalypse, with over 100,000 being infected in the first four days. 

Commissioned by Xbox Australia (at least it’s not taxpayer-funded) as part of a new video game release, the researchers used a model called the SZR (Susceptible-Zombie-Removed) developed by Cornell University researchers in 2015 (yes, this actually exists!) to rank each city in Australia and New Zealand. 

This ‘Zombie Survival Index’ was based on a range of criteria including the potential rate of infection, how the disease would spread, how residents said they would act, and how well each city could defend themselves against the scourge. 

The science behind survival 

So where’s the best place to survive? 

Darwin came out on top, thanks to its remote geographical location and the fact half of residents said they’d take up arms to defend themselves – the highest rate in the country. 

Sydneysiders were the most confident in their survival (40 per cent), but were still beaten out by Melbournians who were the most likely to work together to battle the hordes. 

Most respondents also confessed they’d sacrifice a neighbour to the zombie plague over their family pet (we’d choose the dog every time too). 

And if the worst does happen? 

The Centre says we have to build a “defensive ring” around the source of any attack – otherwise the zombies will just overpower everyone. Alternatively if you have enough warning – run like hell. 

Good advice. 

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A special thanks to our contributors

Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the and within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.



Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.