International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

Early Warning for Early Action


2.00pm-3.00pm (AEDT), 13 October 2022



The United Nations General Assembly has designated 13 October as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction.

The theme of the 2022 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is about early warning and early action for all. This supports Target G of the Sendai Framework: ‘Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.’

In Australia, significant efforts have been made to enhance public information and warnings to support communities to take action to protect themselves and their communities against the impacts of hazards and emergencies.

Join AIDR on 13 October to learn about the development of the Australian Warning System and the Australian Fire Danger Rating System, and how they will influence community preparedness, safety and action now and into the future.

Our expert panel will explore the evolution of public information and warnings in Australia, case studies, lessons and challenges for the practice, and how practitioners can best connect with at-risk communities to drive action.

Guest Speakers:

Fiona Dunstan AFSM – Manager, National Community Engagement, BOM

Fiona is responsible for the Bureau's community engagement program. Fiona has many years of experience working in and leading both public information and community engagement programs and teams in emergency management agencies. Fiona was the Chair of the AFAC Community Engagement Technical group for 8 years and has been a member of numerous national and state committees. 

Kath Ryan, Executive Manager, Public Information and Warnings Unit, QFES

Kath has worked in the field of crisis and emergency communication for almost two decades, in roles across emergency services, biosecurity and energy sectors. Her experience in operational public information and warnings, media, engagement, and corporate communication has seen her keep communities well informed and safe through countless events including bushfires, cyclones, floods, storms, and major structure fires. Most recently Kath’s work focused on reforming the bushfire warnings approach for QFES, and leading the implementation of the new Australian Warning System in Queensland.

Dr Simon Heemstra – Director, National Projects and Innovation, AFAC

Simon serves as Program Director for the Australian Fire Danger Rating System. Simon joined AFAC from the Bureau of Meteorology, where he was the National Manager, Hazard Preparedness and Response, providing decision support for Commonwealth and emergency service partners and guiding the strategic development of BOM warning products and services. From 2002-20 he was with the NSW Rural Fire Service, working across state research policy and training. Simon has been a volunteer firefighter since 1994 and has a PhD from the University of Wollongong on bushfire patchiness.



Dr Margaret Moreton, Executive Director, AIDR

Margaret is a disaster resilience specialist, who has worked with communities, non-government organisations, all levels of government, emergency services organisations and the business and philanthropy sectors. Margaret has recently joined AIDR as Executive Director and is looking forward to leading and strengthening the reach and work of her team. Margaret has strong community resilience knowledge and networks, reflecting her extensive experience working with communities and organisations to enhance community resilience to natural hazards.