News from the CRC

Release date
31 Aug 2017
More information:
Nathan Maddock
Senior Communications Officer

Collaboration key to improving emergency services performance at conference

More than 3000 people from Australia and New Zealand’s emergency services will meet next week in Sydney (4-6 September) to discuss the latest in disaster-related research and experience.

With over 100 speakers on the program, the AFAC17 powered by INTERSCHUTZ conference is the largest emergency management conference in the region. The three days feature key speakers from across emergency services, research organisations and industry. Speakers will cover topics such as: prescribed burning, smart data and technology, emergency warnings, coping with heatwaves and climate prediction. The full program is available on the conference website,

AFAC CEO Stuart Ellis believes the conference will help emergency services and land management organisations redefine their role in protecting and supporting local communities.

“AFAC17 will bring together global emergency management experts to share insights on how we can all collaborate for success and improve performance in emergency management. Each year we see new challenges and must continue to learn, and it is our emergency managers, volunteers and researchers who are at the forefront of improving this performance,” said Mr Ellis.

The conference begins with a dedicated Research Forum, highlighting how the latest research and scientific developments into natural hazards are benefiting emergency services. It is a day to learn about the latest scientific developments, says the CEO of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Dr Richard Thornton.

“There is no silver bullet for natural hazards safety, and we must continue to ask the difficult and complex questions to identify what we do not know,” said Dr Thornton.

The conference has once again partnered with INTERSHUTZ, Europe’s largest trade fair for fire rescue, civil protection and security. The partnership with INTERSCHUTZ organisers, Deutsche Messe, has ensured a huge trade exhibition, with over 170 stands as well as a two day program of live demonstrations (Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 September). Many international companies are exhibiting in Australia for the first time.

Live demonstrations will allow attendees to experience firsthand the latest developments in emergency equipment and technology. Highlights will include a virtual reality firefighter training simulation, innovative car crash rescue techniques from the Australian Road and Rescue Organisation and a fire retardant for solar panels which reduces the electrocution risk to firefighters.  

Keep in touch: You can follow the conference via Twitter using the hashtag #AFAC17, as well as @AFACnews and @bnhcrc.

For any media enquiries, please contact Nathan Maddock, +61 439 377 080 or

Note: The conference is being held at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 4 to 6 September.

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