Australian Disaster Resilience Conference 2019

Conference program

Are we future ready?

The Australian Disaster Resilience Conference returns in 2019, bringing the latest thinking and innovation in disaster resilience.

Rob Cameron, EMA

'Our population continues to change and evolve as our nation grows, bringing both a strength in diversity and an increasing importance in ensuring that our collective disaster resilience efforts reach the many, not the few.'


Rob Cameron OAM
Emergency Management Australia

Program by day 

Download full program (PDF 4.1MB)

Tuesday 27 August

  • Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum

Wednesday 28 August 2019: Australian Disaster Resilience Conference

    Opening and keynotes
8.30am   Opening ceremony
9.15am   Keynote:
Robert Glasser
Shared with AFAC19
10.00am   Keynote:
Eliane Miles – Australia's changing communities: Now and towards 2030
Shared with AFAC19
10.45am   Morning tea
    Connecting for resilience | Chair: Maree Grenfell - Resilient Melbourne
11.40am   Does saying we’re resilient make it so? The Cairns Resilience Scorecard Project
  • Sioux Campbell – Cairns Regional Council
12.10pm   Empowering resilient businesses to drive thriving communities
  • Renae Hanvin – corporate2community
12.40pm   Building resilience through regional collaborations and partnerships
  • Jimmy Scott – Queensland Reconstruction Authority



Supporting recovery | Chair: Andrew Coghlan - Australian Red Cross

2.15pm   A recovery approach – drawing out the strengths within the community
  • Sharna Whitehand – Corangamite Shire Council
2.45pm   Panel:

Respect and recovery – state and local government working together with communities

  • Andrea Spiteri – Department of Health and Human Services Victoria
  • Ange Gordon – Community member and La Trobe Health Assembly
  • Anne Leadbeater – Leadbeater Group
  • Euan Ferguson – Recovery Coordinator
  • Leanne Barnes – Bega Valley Shire Council
  • Wendy Graham – NSW Office of Emergency Management

Afternoon tea 

    Taking action | Chair: Margaret Moreton - Leva Counsulting
4.30pm   Taking preparedness action to scale
  • Jacqui Pringle – Australian Red Cross

Refuge 2019: Displacement

  • Emily Sexton – Arts House
  • Claire Coleman – Writer and poet

Arts and culture – sustaining people and place in a changing world

  • Scotia Monkivitch – The Creative Recovery Network
5.30pm   ADRC networking drinks
7.00pm   Optional add-on: AFAC19 gala dinner


Thursday 29 August 2019: Australian Disaster Resilience Conference




Dr Lance O'Sullivan – Positive Disruptive Leadership
Shared with AFAC19

9.15am   Keynote:
Bronwyn Weir
Shared with AFAC19
10.00am   Morning tea
    Diverse perspectives | Chair: Bridget Tehan - Victorian Council of Social Services

'We want to show people what kids can do': A participatory student-led evaluation of the Strathewen-Arthurs Creek Bushfire Education Partnership

  • Grade 6 student presenters – Strathewen Primary School

Empowering disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction through cross-sector leadership

  • Dr Michelle Villeneuve – University of Sydney
  • Mandy Moore – NSW Office of Emergency Management
12.10pm   Return of the Firestick
  • Uncle David Wandin – Wurundjeri Elder
12.40pm   Lunch

Inclusive approaches | Chair: Ben Beccari - Victoria SES

1.50pm   On heatwave risk communication to the public: new evidence informing message tailoring and audience segmentation
  • Dr Scott Hanson-Easey – University of Adelaide
2.20pm   The lived experience of four disasters – insights into community urban resilience experiences
  • Kristin Gabriel – Resilient Sydney
2.50pm   The future is now for the inclusion of women in emergency management planning
  • Mary Farrow – Emerald Community House

Closing panel:
A changing world, 10 years on from Black Saturday
Shared with AFAC19


Closing ceremony 
Shared with AFAC19


Friday 30 August: AFAC19 Professional Development Program

Fourth National DRANZSEN Forum 

The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR), through the Education for Young People program, promotes the development of hazard-related knowledge, skills and strategies for all young Australians. Disaster resilience education equips students with the confidence to take protective action before, during and after an emergency or disaster.

The Disaster Resilient Australia-New Zealand School Education Network (DRANZSEN) is a national initiative, developing the knowledge and skills of educators to deliver disaster resilience education in partnership with local experts in hazards and emergency management. This 4th National Forum offers an opportunity for educators, researchers, practitioners from emergency services and others, to:

  • consider current research in disaster resilience education
  • explore innovative case studies from Australian schools
  • review national priorities
  • identify common challenges, opportunities and future directions.

This national event draws on positive outcomes from state and territory DRANZSEN events in May and June, enabling participants to benefit from the diverse experiences of experts and educators from all around the country. Australian students will share personal reflections on disaster resilience learning experiences and suggestions for development. Attendees will be informed of significant findings from a major nationwide research project, evaluating the effectiveness of disaster resilience education programs and resources. Examples of effective learning content and delivery will be presented, and educators will be directed to supporting resources to facilitate the implementation of initiatives in their own context.

Teachers and other representatives from the education sector (including curriculum/STEM leaders, school principals and critical response personnel) are encouraged to attend, as are community engagement and education staff from the emergency and disaster management sector, relief and recovery agencies, federal, state and local government representatives, research academics, subject teachers’ associations, community and volunteer organisations, and corporate organisations.

Field Trip: Cultural Burning for Management Outcomes

Victoria recently released the ‘Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy’, providing a framework to reinvigorate cultural fire through Traditional Owner-led practice across all types of Country and land tenure. This field trip presents an opportunity to engage with indigenous fire practitioners, as well as witness and hear the wisdom of ancient indigenous land management practices. Walk on Country with local indigenous elders and fire practitioners, and gain a small insight into the methodologies, Lore and holistic lens of indigenous land and fire management practices.

This field trip offers a new way of looking at the responsibilities of and connection to the environment, discussing the “right medicine” required to keep people and Country safe from large bushfires, and shift thinking to the potential of new management practices. Conversations will focus on how Country will explore the development of relationships to work collaboratively in understanding how partnerships can be useful to achieve objectives for both Traditional Owners and land management agencies.

Esmina Presents: Driving Emergency Management's Digital Future through the Power of Location Technologies

Spatial Information technologies comprise a range of disciplines which come together to provide valuable input across the Emergency Management sector. Through full presentations and lightning talks, this workshop will showcase examples of the use and the growing demands of mapping and location technologies.


Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment Forum 

Due to the nature of their work frontline fire and emergency service personnel are invariably exposed to dangerous and unpredictable situations and environments. This forum will touch on new and emerging trends, developments and technologies in personal protective equipment and provide an update on the ever-evolving world of standards and their associated test procedures.


Firefighter Safety Research – Bringing the Lab to the Streets

For firefighters to conduct safer operations, it is vital they understand their work environment and the various factors that can influence fire ground decision making and available tactical considerations.
This workshop will provide an overview of recent fire research conducted by Underwriters Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards and Testing.



Trade Exhibition

Crowd at AFAC18 trade exhibition

Australian Disaster Resilience Conference delegates will have full access to the AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ Trade Exhibition – the largest AFAC conference exhibition to date. 

See the full exhibitor list at the AFAC19 website.

Delegates will be able to network and meet like-minded peers, view posters and gain insight from speakers at the AIDR Knowledge Centre. 

Visitors to the AFAC19 Trade Exhibition can also engage with conference presenters at the Meet the Speaker Lounge, listen to presentations from experts on the Expo Stage and watch live displays in the Demonstration Zone. 


City of Melbourne logo


The Australian Disaster Resilience Conference is proudly supported by the City of Melbourne. 

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