Research Driving Change - Showcase 2017

04 Jul 2017

Showcase 2017 - Research Driving Change

Research Driving Change – Showcase 2017 is a special event in the life of the CRC – a showcase of our research achievements 2013 to 2017.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC will host the event in Adelaide on 4-5 July 2017, which is possible thanks to sponsorship from the Attorney-General's Department and the University of Adelaide.
Register Now

Research Driving Change – Showcase 2017 is an opportunity to listen, discuss and digest the learnings from across the whole research program, and highlight how the findings are being put into practice. Hear the views of end-users on what works in directing research and how to make it easier to absorb the findings into operations and policy.

All attendees will take home a package of publications that summarise the key findings of each project and point to ongoing ways of participation in utilisation. Research Driving Change – Showcase 2017 will also introduce the new projects that are beginning this year.

This is a time to celebrate achievements and reaffirm the goals that will take us through the next four years of national research into natural hazards.

Some of the original projects have finalised their research, while many others are set to begin the next stage of the science. But that is not the end of the story, as researchers and partners continue to work together on making sure the outputs are making a difference in natural hazards management.

New projects are also poised to begin that will take the research program into exciting new directions and build upon the work done in recent years. These include research into catastrophic event planning, land use planning, flood risk communication, predicting impacts on the built environment along the coast, diversity and wellbeing in emergency services, and mental health. 

Research Driving Change – Showcase 2017 is a showcase of CRC achievements so far. The event is open to everyone, not just CRC partners. Come along, be informed and stay involved, we can all make a difference. Put National Wine Centre in Adelaide, Tuesday 4 July and Wednesday 5 July in your diary now. There is a small registration fee to cover some of the costs, CRC members $190 inc GST and non-members $380 inc GST. Numbers are limited so look out for more details to follow soon.

We have negotiated with the below hotels a discounted price for the Showcase, please feel free to contact the hotels direct for your stay.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide, you will need to book through the link provided

Majestic Hotels please contact the hotel on +61 8 8100 4476 and quote “Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC”  

Stamford Plaza, you will need to Call Reservations 08 8461 1111 and quote the code BU1707 at the time of booking.

Agenda (subject to change)


Day 1: Tuesday 4 July 2017



Catherine McGrath – MC
Dr Laurie Hammond – Chair, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Dr Richard Thornton – CEO, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

National Research Priorities launch
Dr Richard Thornton – CEO, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

Communicating and warning: getting the message across more effectively

Warnings and information both before and during emergencies are critical elements of modern emergency management. There has been significant progress in legislation, policy, operational practice, research and the use of technology, with a national focus to better engage and empower communities has propelled change and continuous improvement. CRC research is helping to identify the major areas of personal risk and understand human perception of risk. Hear from national leaders about how CRC research is changing public communication and education, from disaster resilience education in the schoolroom to the shape of warnings before and during events.

Andrew Richards, Manager Community Engagement, NSW State Emergency Service
Fiona Dunstan, Country Fire Service SA
Anthony Clark, NSW Rural Fire Service
Prof Vivienne Tippett, Queensland University of Technology
Prof Kevin Ronan, CQUniversity
Tony Jarrett, NSW Rural Fire Service
Morning tea


Towards a safer built environment

Australian building codes and land use planning practices have evolved over time reflecting advancements in engineering design, our understanding of the cost and benefit of mitigation and community expectations. What once was acceptable practice, no longer is seen that way; so how do we best manage and adapt our buildings and infrastructure to mitigate against natural hazards, to protect lives and reduce economic impacts?  This session brings together the spatial mapping of the national building stock characteristics with mitigation approaches for severe wind and earthquake. Examples will be presented demonstrating the application and importance of this research to developing more resilient communities.

Elliott Simmons NSW State Emergency Service
Mark Edwards, Geoscience Australia
Paul Martin - Mayor of York Shire WA
Jon Harwood - Suncorp

Supporting Indigenous communities in Northern Australia

This is a story of a long-term research program, a complex program that has focussed on working with Indigenous communities and researchers that has brought together advanced technology, data analysis, social governance and the development of culturally appropriate, environmentally sustainable economic opportunities to supporting building the resilience of Indigenous communities in northern Australia. 

Steve Sutton, Charles Darwin University


Lightning presentations

Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities,  Dr Tim Neale, Deakin University 
Factors affecting long term community recovery, Kate Brady, Red Cross

PhD 3 minute thesis presentations

An analytical technique for determining the redistribution of structural load effects with increasing wind loads, Korah Parackal, James Cook University
The interactions between emergency responders and animal owners in bushfire: improving community preparedness and response outcomes,  Rachel Westcott, Western Sydney University
Web 2.0 in disaster and emergency: a risk assessment of tortious liability, Melanie Baker-Jones, Queensland University of Technology

12:30pm: Lunch


Building bushfire predictive services capability

Predictive services are a key contributor to mitigation activities including fuel reduction burns, community warnings and fire behaviour analysis. With national efforts looking to strengthen prescribed burning practices, the fire danger rating system, and to better engage and empower communities, it is more crucial than ever that best available science actively support the sector. Hear how CRC science is being used to understand the impact of prescribed burning on catchments, the environment and bushfire risk; how satellite and land sensing technologies are helping to estimate fuel loads and soil moisture; and how weather and fire interact to potentially the impact of fires. And charged with this information, the sector is able to better warn the public, fight fires and improve the safety of the public and firefighters.

Dr Stuart Matthews, NSW Rural Fire Service
John Bally, Bureau of Meteorology
Dr Adam Leavesley, ACT Parks and Conservation Service
Dr Karin Reinke, RMIT University
Assoc Prof Jason Sharples, UNSW Canberra
Dr Jeff Kepert, Bureau of Meteorology
Dr Mika Peace, Bureau of Meteorology
Dr Alex Filkov, University of Melbourne

3:00pm: Afternoon tea


PhD 3 minute thesis presentations

Attribution of active fire using simulated fire landscapes, Bryan Hally, RMIT University
Preventing youth misuse of fire in New South Wales: an empirical evaluation, Kamarah Pooley, Queensland University of Technology
Child-centred Disaster Risk Reduction: achievements, challenges and scope, Mayeda Rashid, CQUniversity

Lightning Presentations

The DELWP emergency risk research program, Hamish Webb, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Victoria
After the fire – learning from experience, Anthony Clark, NSW Rural Fire Service
Resilience research centres – an international view, Prof Gavin Smith, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Panel - Making a difference - how is CRC research influencing our business.

A reflective discussion on why emergency management organisations invest research, how that research is benefiting the practice and policy of natural hazards emergency management and the value it contributes.

Greg Nettleton, Chief Officer, Country Fire Service SA
Mark Smethurst, Commissioner, NSW State Emergency Service
Chris Arnol, Chief Officer, Tasmania Fire Service
Stuart Ellis, CEO, AFAC

5:00pm: Close Day 1

6:00pm: Showcase dinner



Day 2: Wednesday 5 July 2017

9:00 am

Panel: Getting value from research investment: experiences in taking research to practice

A reflective discussion on the key characteristics of projects that successfully transition from research into practice (and hopefully impact) and pitfalls to avoid.

Amanda Leck, Director Information and Community Safety, AFAC
Noreen Krusel, Manager Research Utilisation, AFAC
Ed Pikusa, , Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources South Australia
Neil Cooper, ACT Parks and Conservation Service

Enhancing capability in emergency management

Events associated with natural hazards are increasing in complexity, duration, and require involvement of an increasing number of agencies. At the same time financial constraints from government, declining volunteer numbers, an aging workforce and workforce restructuring are presenting agencies with significant challenges. If we are going to ask people to work in these increasingly complex environments, then we need to provide them with the skills and tools to be able to do so effectively. Hear from practitioners about how CRC research is helping incident controllers to determine how teams are performing in real time and to identify any teamwork issues that might lead to impaired performance; to improve how organisations learn from evidence and implement changes in practice and to identify opportunities and barriers to adoption of these tools and providing strategies that agencies can use to overcome these barriers.

Heather Stuart, NSW State Emergency Service
Chris Bearman, CQUniversity
Mark Thomason, Country Fire Service SA

Lightning presentations

Catastrophic and cascading events: planning and capability, Andrew Gissing, Risk Frontiers
National mental health and wellbeing study of police and emergency services, Rob Heaslip, beyondblue
Diversity and inclusion: building strength and capability, Celeste Young, Victoria University

10:30am: Morning tea


Understanding the value and challenges of risk mitigation

Despite future risk being a function of today’s decisions, we still spend less than 3% of the annual costs of disasters on mitigation activities. How can we understand the potential benefits of mitigation investment in a complex political environment? This session draws together research on understanding risk ownership, quantifying intangible values, and identifying and searching through the myriad options available for spending the limited mitigation dollar in an uncertain environment across multiple hazards. Hear from policy makers, planners and land managers putting the research into practice to help understand the options available to them while at the same time maximising bang for your buck.

Ed Pikusa, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources South Australia
Celeste Young, Victoria University
John Schauble, Emergency Management Victoria
Dr Fiona Gibson, University of Western Australia
Tim Groves, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources South Australia
Richard Pieper – Office of Emergency Management Western Australia
Graeme Riddell, University of Adelaide
Mike Wouters, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources South Australia

Lightning presentations

Urban planning for natural hazard mitigation, Assoc Prof Alan March, University of Melbourne
The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index, Melissa Parsons, University of New England

PhD 3 minute thesis presentations

Network disruptions during long-duration natural hazard events, Emma Singh, Macquarie University
Flood management in a changing climate: integrating effective approaches, Caroline Wenger, Australian National University
Implementing policy to enable disaster resilience in the Australian Federation, Susan Hunt, Australian National University
12:30pm: Lunch


Sustainable volunteering; transformation not decline

Volunteers play a fundamental role in emergency management preparedness, response and recovery. Recent changes to the physical and social landscape in Australia, shifting demographics, political climate and urban rural fringe and climate change, are having the direct effect on emergency management, forcing organisations to reconsider the traditional notion of volunteers. The net effect of this is a need for a genuine shift to change outdated paradigms towards transformation in the emergency management sector. In this session, hear about the CRC research into volunteer values and leadership and alternative models of volunteering and how agencies can adapt to this new paradigm. There will be also be a diverse range of end-users that will help you make sense of this research and provide tangible examples of how this research works on the ground and importance of this research for resilient communities now and in the future.

Paul Davis, Emergency Management Victoria
Deb Parkin, Inspector-General for Emergency Management, Victoria
Dr Blythe McLennan, RMIT University
Georgina Goodrich, Department of Communities and Social Inclusion South Australia
Dr Michael Jones, University of Wollongong 

Lightning presentations

Enabling sustainable emergency volunteering, Dr Blythe McLennan, RMIT University

Water, water everywhere: living with flood and coastal threats

Australia loves coastal living! Our intensely urban environments are focused along a thin coastal strip that has continually changed over to reflect long to short term influences such as climate change, sea level, sediment supply, storms, and human intervention. Living in this dynamic environment requires the development of tools that help land use planners and emergency managers to forecast how the coast will respond to these factors. This session will provide an overview of how end-users are benefiting from new approaches to predicting flood heights, extreme coastal water levels and the coastal sediment response to clustered storm events. 

Miriam Middelmann-Fernandes, Geoscience Australia
Robert Schwartz, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts
James Guy, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources South Australia
Yuan Li, Monash University

Lightning presentations

Improved predictions of severe weather, Dr Jeff Kepert, Bureau of Meteorology 
Forecasting impact for severe weather, Jane Sexton, Geoscience Australia

3:00pm: Afternoon tea


Influencing the policy and practice of disaster resilience

In response to a shifting risk profile, where more Australians are being exposed to risk, the emergency management sector is under pressure and a greater emphasis on enabling community resilience, the emergency management sector are making changes to ensure the approach to policy and legislation is current and in line with sector and community needs. But what does this look like? How can this truly work in practice? In this question and answer session, you can listen to researchers discuss how policy can be more adaptable and flexible while still being based on science and evidence. There will also be a discussion on how the sector can start using the inquiries and royal commissions as a lessons learnt process, rehabilitating the sector to be prepared and ready for further disasters. A range of end users will also be there to talk about how they have used this research in practice and how you can too.

John Schauble, Emergency Management Victoria 
Prof Stephen Dovers, Australian National University
Dr Jessica Weir, Western Sydney University

Panel: A changing world - where to for Australian emergency management research?
The emergency management landscape is continually evolving. Looking five to ten years into the future, the focus of this session is to provide an organisational/sectoral view of the big questions facing the sector and the importance of research to support the operational and policy needs of sector stakeholders. 

Malcolm Jackman, CEO, South Australia Fire and Emergency Services Commission
Elizabeth Quinn, Assistant Secretary, Disaster Resilience Strategy Branch, Attorney-General’s Department
Stephanie Rotarangi, Chief Fire Officer, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Victoria
Major General Richard Wilson, Chair, Queensland Reconstruction Authority
Doug Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Strategy Officer, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services


Close Day 2





Research Driving Change - Showcase 2017
23 June, 2017 | With the program now available, Research Driving Change - Showcase 2017 on 4-5 July is a must attend event for those working to improve the way Australia prepares for and responds to natural hazards emergencies. Register now.

Research Advisory Forum 2014 at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide.
21 March, 2017 | Register now for the Research Driving Change - Showcase 2017. This event marks a milestone in the life of the Bushire and Natural Hazards CRC - the half way point in our cycle and a chance to review achievements and preview new projects.

Research Advisory Forum 2014 at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide.
13 February, 2017 | You are invited to a part of a special event in the life of the CRC – a showcase of our research achievements 2013 to 2017, in Adelaide on 4-5 July 2017.

Type Title Credited author Credited author/s NON-CRC
Presentation-Audio-Video Research Driving Change - Showcase 2017

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

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2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

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