News from the CRC


Chair of the AFAC15 conference committee Chris Beattie (SA SES) launches the 2015 program
Chair of the AFAC15 conference committee Chris Beattie (SA SES) launches the 2015 program
Release date
29 Apr 2015

Fire and natural hazards programmed for Adelaide

More than 1000 delegates will gather in Adelaide in September to discuss the latest challenges and trends in emergency management at the region’s major all hazards conference - the AFAC and Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC annual conference.

With leading national and international speakers presenting in more than 90 sessions over four days, Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Ellis, said this year’s conference theme New Directions in Emergency Management was an opportunity for delegates to hear speakers from a broad range of industries and research organisations.

“Natural and man-made disasters strike all countries; particularly in our region. Examining how emergency management services, land managers and communities prepare, respond to and assist with recovery is vital to developing evidence-based policy and practice,” Mr Ellis said.

“This conference is designed to bring together and share the combined wisdom of experience, research and analysis from across the sector to enable a deeper understanding of the approaches needed to secure the region’s future and prosperity.”

Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Richard Thornton, said the conference and the Research Forum day will show why research and innovation are more important now than ever.  

“With an emphasis on the research being conducted across all hazards, the science on show across the week will highlight the diverse work being delivered to emergency service agencies. The conference and Research Forum present a great opportunity for all emergency management practitioners to learn what we are discovering about the biggest challenges in emergency management across Australasia, and finding ways to use this knowledge every day to make our communities safer,” Dr Thornton said.

South Australia State Emergency Service Chief Officer, Chris Beattie, welcomed the opportunity to host the conference in Adelaide on behalf of all the South Australian based emergency service agencies.

“Adelaide has much to offer as this year’s conference destination and we are looking forward to being joined by so many of our industry peers. The newly developed conference facilities are state of the art and the iconic location on the banks of the River Torrens will provide easy access to many of the city’s cultural gems as well opportunities to experience all that the vibrant city of Adelaide has to offer.”

“This conference will provide an opportunity to discuss and share new approaches in an all-hazard emergency management environment, and work together to examine sector reform, the challenges and opportunities of 'Shared Responsibility', and seek out new and engaging ways to partner with the community, researchers and the sector to foster and build disaster resilience,” Mr Beattie said.

Delegates will hear from a number of leading international and Australian experts including:

  • Margareta Wahlstrom – Special Representative for the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Dr Mark Finney – Research Forester, US Forest Service
  • Dr Rowan Douglas – CEO, Capital Science and Policy Practice, Willis Group (UK)
  • Trefor Munn-Venn, COO Rhapsody Strategies (Canada)
  • Dr Alex Zelinsky, Chief Defence Scientist, DSTO
  • Dr Paul Willis, Director, RiAus
  • Iain MacKenzie, Inspector-General Emergency Management, Queensland
  • Dr Bill Griggs, Director Trauma Service, Royal Adelaide Hospital

Key activities over the week include:

  • 1-day, all hazards Research Forum:  1 September
  • 2-day conference: 2-3 September
  • 6 Post conference development sessions and field trips: 4 September

For the full conference program and registration details go to the conference website.

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