Dr Richard Thornton

Chief Executive Officer
Dr Richard Thornton

Dr Richard Thornton is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, a position he has held since the CRC began in 2013. He is responsible to the Board for the day-to-day management of the centre. He has overall responsibility for direction and performance, as well as being the public face of the centre.

Richard is a highly experienced research management executive with over 20 years in the field, previously with the Bushfire CRC and Telstra. He led the development of the CRC following the Prime Ministerial announcement in February 2013. Prior to that Richard was Deputy CEO and Research Director of the Bushfire CRC, a role he held since 2004.

Richard has a physics background and has worked in several science fields including nuclear and semiconductor physics, fluid mechanics, IT and telecommunications engineering, and online services, primarily in the private sector.

Until January 2016 Richard was a member of the Board of the International Association of Wildland Fire and the Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the International Journal of Wildland Fire. Richard is currently a Board Member of the CRC Association. He is a sought after speaker at conferences, events and in the media. 

Blog posts on Views & Visions

Post Date Key Topics
Developing our research priorities and partnerships 30 Sep 2021
We are underway – one month into Natural Hazards Research Australia 23 Aug 2021 governance, multi-hazard, resilience
Welcome to Natural Hazards Research Australia 01 Jul 2021 capability, multi-hazard, resilience
Flood planning benefits from multi hazard research approach 25 Mar 2021 flood, multi-hazard, planning
New research framework needs your input 26 Feb 2021 capability, framework, resilience
A new year and a lasting legacy 27 Jan 2021
Achievements, new ways of working and future research 16 Dec 2020
The future of research for the sector 21 Oct 2020 capability, communication, land management
International engagement – why does it matter? 25 Sep 2020 capability, communication, fire
Towards a new disaster research centre 18 Aug 2020 emergency management, fire, multi-hazard
Funding for natural hazards research and a time of delivery 24 Jul 2020 communication, local knowledge, multi-hazard
Benefits of the CRC highlighted by independent report 29 Jun 2020 communication, economics, local knowledge
Prescribed burning in focus 27 May 2020 communication, prescribed burning, recovery
Quite a start to the year 19 Mar 2020 communication, recovery
Doing more of the same on fires will not mitigate disaster impact 04 Jan 2020 climate change, policy, resilience
An active year with a task to create a new research centre beyond 2020 12 Dec 2019 economics, emergency management, multi-hazard
A long fire season in store 19 Nov 2019 climate change, fire, fire severity
Grim fire season looms but many Australians remain unprepared 03 Sep 2019 communication, emergency management, fire impacts
15 years of CRC and AFAC conference partnership 22 Aug 2019 decision making, emergency management, fire
Six years done and the main game is to use the research 28 Jun 2019 communities, emergency management, warnings
Working together on future research 02 Apr 2019 emergency management, land management, multi-hazard
Ten years on, there is a bit of complacency in all of us 07 Feb 2019 communication, communities, fire
The old ways of dealing with fire no longer valid 14 Jan 2019 capability, environments, fire impacts
Providing useful benefits in 2018 and beyond 20 Dec 2018 emergency management, mental health, multi-hazard
Remembering a friend and a mentor 19 Nov 2018
Research sets the tone at AFAC18 19 Sep 2018
The future is not just an extension of what we know 25 Jul 2018 multi-hazard
Comings and goings at the CRC 24 May 2018
Interest high and utilisation focus 19 Mar 2018 communication, policy, resilience
Independent performance review of the CRC 15 Feb 2018 communication, emergency management, multi-hazard
Thank you for the hard work and activity 20 Dec 2017 emergency management, land management, multi-hazard
Demonstrating impact vital 27 Nov 2017 emergency management, land management, multi-hazard
Uptake from partners evident at conference 19 Sep 2017 communication, emergency management, multi-hazard
Halfway to delivering to the country 25 Jul 2017 emergency management, mitigation, multi-hazard
International insight into fire protection 23 Jun 2017 communities, engineering, fire impacts
Welcome to new staff and great events 19 Apr 2017
25 years of rural fire research in New Zealand 15 Mar 2017 fire, prescribed burning
Community at the top of the list all over the world 13 Feb 2017 emergency management, land management, prescribed burning
A new research agenda 07 Dec 2016 coastal, governance, recovery
Still busy at the CRC 14 Oct 2016 emergency management, fire severity, prescribed burning
Conference highlights key issues for the sector 09 Sep 2016 cyclone, mitigation, multi-hazard
Three years on and the view turns to research use 21 Jul 2016 emergency management, land management
The RAF, the future and outreach 23 May 2016 emergency management, land management
An interesting week in Malaysia 01 Apr 2016 emergency management, flood, tropical
Inconvenient truth about disaster mitigation 13 Jan 2016 fuel reduction, mitigation, policy
Research must advance to keep us safe from natural hazards 09 Jan 2016 communication, communities, emergency management
End of 2015 - the start of delivery 01 Dec 2015
Insights from South Korea 15 Oct 2015 fire
Annual conference and new MoU 10 Sep 2015
Happy second birthday to the CRC 02 Jul 2015
CRC Program Review and New National Research Priorities 01 Jun 2015
Important work on the national stage 15 Apr 2015
It may feel like a quiet season, but don't get complacent 13 Feb 2015 communities, policy, risk management
Natural hazards—a wicked problem 15 Jan 2015 emergency management, multi-hazard, risk management
Portugal conference and end of 2014 10 Dec 2014
We need your help and support - CRC Program Review 16 Oct 2014
Wow – what a week! 12 Sep 2014
Addition of natural hazards to bushfire - a seemingly simple task? 25 Aug 2014
Strategic and policy landscape 17 Jul 2014
One year on 18 Jun 2014
Back at work 12 May 2014
It was just a year ago… 25 Mar 2014
Thank you - now let's get started 26 Feb 2014
A year of establishment 14 Dec 2013

CRC Staff

Dr Richard Thornton is a current member of the CRC's administrative staff.

Lead end user

This project was commissioned and funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.
Research team:

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Audio-Video 18 Nov 2020 Future research opportunities | Northern Australia Research Engagement Forum (8/9) File Save (0 bytes) indigenous communities, local knowledge, Northern Australia
Guide-Fact Sheet 28 Apr 2020 Submission the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements PDF icon Save (2.4 MB) fire, fire severity
Guide-Fact Sheet 28 Apr 2020 Victoria IGEM Bushfire Inquiry PDF icon Save (1.59 MB) fire, fire severity
Guide-Fact Sheet 17 Apr 2020 Submission NSW Independent Bushfire review PDF icon Save (1.59 MB) fire, fire severity
Guide-Fact Sheet 20 Mar 2020 Submission to South Australian Bushfire Inquiry PDF icon Save (1.58 MB) fire, fire severity
Guide-Fact Sheet 01 Oct 2019 Prospectus - Building a disaster resilient Australia PDF icon Save (764.01 KB)
Guide-Fact Sheet 10 Apr 2018 2017-2021 Strategic Plan PDF icon Save (641.89 KB)
Guide-Fact Sheet 06 Mar 2018 Organisational Chart PDF icon Save (477.96 KB)
Presentation-Slideshow 04 Jul 2017 Showcase 2017 welcome & launch of National Research Priorities PDF icon Save (4.09 MB)
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Apr 2017 The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC PDF icon Save (6.56 MB)
Guide-Fact Sheet 17 Nov 2016 Strategic plan 2016-21 PDF icon Save (517.11 KB)
Presentation-Slideshow 05 Jul 2016 Developing a national natural hazards research agenda PDF icon Save (739.58 KB) fire, multi-hazard, Northern Australia
Guide-Fact Sheet 01 Oct 2015 Organisation Chart October 2015 PDF icon Save (314.63 KB)
Guide-Fact Sheet 11 Dec 2014 Organisation Chart December 2014 PDF icon Save (353.4 KB)
Presentation-Audio-Video 30 Oct 2014 Natural Disasters - the challenges for Australia and the region (full panel discussion) File Save (0 bytes)
Presentation-Audio-Video 27 Oct 2014 Dr Richard Thornton - The Challenge of Natural Disasters File Save (0 bytes) risk management
Presentation-Slideshow 04 Sep 2014 Bushfires and Natural Hazards - A simple equation? Bridging the gap between the policy and the practical PDF icon Save (2.9 MB)
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Aug 2014 Objectives of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC program PDF icon Save (1.13 MB) communication, policy
Presentation-Slideshow 08 Jul 2014 From Bushfire to All-Hazards Research PDF icon Save (816.14 KB)
External Resource 06 Jun 2014 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC submission to Productivity Commission June 2014 PDF icon Save (3.28 MB)
Guide-Fact Sheet 01 Apr 2014 Research Projects Overview April 2014 PDF icon Save (835.43 KB)
Presentation-Slideshow 13 Feb 2014 Presentation to International Association of Fire Safety Science Symposium PDF icon Save (328.53 KB)

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