The 21st century holds many challenges for us as academics and as community members. The complexity of the issues we need to grapple with as a society necessitates that ‘all hands are required on deck’. The old paradigm of knowledge generation being seen as something that only happens within universities which then trickles down to practice within communities cannot be sustained under these new circumstances. Our communities need our universities, but our universities also need our communities. By working together, we can draw on enormous collective capacities and resources that can be directed towards actions that benefit all. But, engaged research that contributes to building community resilience will not happen spontaneously. It needs to be intentionally and carefully developed by both academic and community partners. It is a process of learning and capacity building that happens through participation and reflection; of working through the processes together respectfully and thoughtfully. The strands of engaged research and community resilience have an affinity with each other, but weaving them together requires the insight, creativity and effort of many academics and community members.