Craig Lapsley

Former board member
Craig Lapsley

Craig Lapsley was Victoria’s inaugural Emergency Management Commissioner, in place since July 2014. The Emergency Management Commissioner has overall responsibility for coordination before, during and after major emergencies including management of consequences of an emergency. The appointment falls under the Emergency Management Act 2013.

Craig was appointed as Victoria’s first and only Fire Services Commissioner in 2010 after 30-years in Australian emergency management, mostly with the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) including service as a volunteer firefighter. Craig finished his employment with CFA in August 2007, ranked as Deputy Chief Officer.

In 1996 Craig was seconded to NSW Fire Brigades (Sydney) in the position of Manager State Operations for two years. He was also seconded to Victoria State Emergency Service in 2005 to transform SES from a government department to a newly formed statutory authority.

In 2007, he was appointed Director Emergency Management – Health and Human Services and was responsible for the health sector emergency response to major incidents including mass casualty, pre-hospital (ambulance) and hospital surge capability. This extended to the state coordination and management of recovery arrangements for all emergencies, including recovery efforts after the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

As Victoria’s first Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig believes the shift to an “all communities, all emergencies” approach to emergency management will ensure a systematic and coordinated approach before, during and after major emergencies.

It is an opportunity for the alignment of strategy, planning and investment across multiple agencies, to champion unified information systems, a culture of information sharing, and a sharp and deliberate focus on better decision making with the community as a central partner in emergency management.

Craig is Chief Patron of Road Rescue Association Victoria and on the National Emergency Services Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross. He was a director with the Victorian Emergency Services Foundation and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. He is Patron of SARDA (Search and Rescue Dog Association), the Bendigo Football Netball League and the Central Victorian Fire Preservation Society.

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