Our People

Heather Stuart
Cluster Lead User Representative
Key interests:


Lead end user

This study will examine in-depth lessons from historical emergencies and disasters by engaging with state and federal response agencies, as well as those supporting response and recovery, and local government.
Research team:

How can incident management teams function to the best of their ability in challenging and high stakes environments? This research has developed practical techniques and strategies to help emergency managers to function in complex situations – situations which can exert extreme pressures on response and management teams, sometimes causing breakdowns in teamwork that can lead to impaired operational response.

Two tools have been developed, the Emergency Management Breakdown Aide Memoire and the Team Process Checklist. The tools’ flexibility and ease of use helps emergency managers to strengthen teamwork before, during and after emergencies. The tools can be used during training, during emergencies, and in after-action reviews. Agencies that are already trialling these techniques include the South Australian Country Fire Service, Tasmania Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service.

Catastrophic events are cascading in nature, escalating in their impacts as interconnected essential services fail, causing further impacts and making the recovery more complex and prolonged. Events may not respect borders or boundaries, resulting in unclear accountabilities amongst responding agencies, and conflicting strategies and public messaging as different jurisdictions respond.

This study commenced in July 2017, and aims to better understand the nature of catastrophe and identify ways to improve management approaches in the Australian context.

This new study, which began in July 2017, will focus on understanding what effective diversity and inclusion is and how this can be measured. This will be achieved through identifying where effective diversity and inclusion is occurring within organisations, the characteristic of this and how it can be implemented and measured at an organisational level. This will be examined from community, organisational and economic perspectives.

For the first time, a nationwide research project will investigate the mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s emergency service staff and volunteers. This new project, led by beyondblue in collaboration with the CRC, will invite up to 20,000 current and former personnel from 35 police and emergency organisations across Australia to participate in a survey about their mental health and risk of suicide.

This project will provide important information to understand both the number of people affected and the range of issues they face.

Posters credited

Decision Making, Team Monitoring and Organisational Learning

This Project aims to provide enhanced ways of:

  • Making decisions in complex situations
  • Monitoring teams to detect problems
  • Learning from operational performance
Key Topics:
Decision making, team monitoring & organisational learning: 2017 update

This project has three main research streams that are:

  • Providing enhanced methods of making decisions;
  • Developing methods to better monitor and modify the behavior of teams
  • Identifying the enablers and barriers to organizational learning

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Jul 2017 Enhancing capability in emergency management PDF icon Save (1.15 MB) capability, decision making, emergency management