Australian Disaster Resilience Conference 2021

Conference program

Meeting in the middle: community voices and complex choices

The disaster risk and resilience landscape is constantly evolving, and so too are the approaches we take in policy and practice.

The Australian Disaster Resilience Conference returns virtually in 2021 with the latest ideas and innovations in disaster resilience and risk reduction on 6 - 7 October.

In line with the growing interest and body of knowledge, the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference has expanded its program to two streams in 2021, offering a more comprehensive conference experience that delegates can tailor according to their interests.

A state-of-the-art virtual conference platform will also allow delegates to access presentations on demand, enabling the option to catch up on sessions across both conference streams.

This year's conference program is designed to generate national conversation about local impact and highlight leading thinking and practice for community engagement in disaster resilience and collaborative decision making to reduce risk.

Program by day


Australian Disaster Resilience Conference | Day 1

Wednesday 6 October 

8.15am   Opening Ceremony
9.00am   KEYNOTE: Dominique Hogan-Doran SC
9.45am   KEYNOTE: Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM
10.30am   Exhibition Viewing and Poster Session
11.40 am   Welcome to the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference

A National Approach to Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
Nico Padovan PSM, National Recovery and Resilience Agency


Learner agency in bushfire education: an explanatory case study from Harkaway Primary School, Victoria
Dr Briony Towers, RMIT University/Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Leigh Johnson Harkaway Primary School


Policy maker to policy taker - applying learnings from a lived experience
Karen McPaul, Queensland Reconstruction Authority

  Engaging young people at the centre of bushfire recovery
Quinn Obran and Carla Hall, Youth Affairs Council Victoria

Disaster resilient and adaptive to change - narratives to shape achievable visions of resilience, support coordinated practice and catalyse collective action
Dr Deborah O’Connell, CSIRO

  Shifting the paradigm: trialling student and school community led disaster risk reduction programs in South Australia
Belinda Dunbar and Chris Sedunary, SA Country Fire Service
1.20pm   Exhibition Viewing and Poster Session
2.30pm   PANEL:
Sharing responsibility with the business community to build national resilience
Daniel Aldrich, Northeastern University Boston, Kate Carnell AO, Renae Hanvin and James Ritchie, corporate2community and David Parsons, Crisis Management Australia

  City of Ryde resilience planning - A journey of collaboration and engagement
Kylie McMahon, City of Ryde Council
3.00pm     Building resilience in remote Indigenous communities across northern Australia
Dr Kamaljit Sangha, Charles Darwin University
3.30pm   A deeper look at the economic cost drivers of
natural disasters
Shauna Coffey, Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities
  Resilient Byron Inc - A systems thinking model to bolster community regeneration and resilience
Dr Jean Renouf, Southern Cross University
4.10pm   Exhibition Viewing and Poster Session


  Person-centred emergency management approach: A case study from Mackay, Queensland
Helen Styles, Mackay Regional Council, Michelle Villeneuve, University of Sydney
5.20pm     Ask me what I need? Autism awareness training project for emergency services
Berinda Karp, Autism STEP Australia
6.00pm   Resilience NSW Resilient Australia and Get Ready Community Awards Ceremony


Australian Disaster Resilience Conference | Day 2

Thursday 7 October

8.30am   KEYNOTE: Turia Pitt
9.15am   KEYNOTE: Stan Grant
10.10am   Exhibition Viewing and Poster Session

Understanding preparedness and recovery. A survey of people’s preparedness and recovery experience for emergencies
John Richardson and Agathe Randrianarisoa, Australian Red Cross


The Resilient Sydney story
Beck Dawson, Resilient Sydney


An Australia wide learning network: Grappling with complexity to sustain a responsive community recovery
Louise Mitchell, Social Recovery Reference Group and Miranda Hampton, Adelaide Hills Council

Putting together the jigsaw puzzle: a case study on collaborative grass roots community-led and coordinated efforts driving recovery and resilience

Anne Crestani, Step by Step Recovery Support Service, Jo Davies, Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre, Vicki Edmunds, Blue Mountains City Council, Andrew Kaye, Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service, Kris Newton, Mountains Community Resource Network, Esther Perry, Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network


Seeking the ideal in the realm of recovery - community led recovery
Andrew Coghlan, Australian Red Cross and Lisa Gibbs, University of Melbourne

12.50pm   Exhibition Viewing and Poster Session
2.00pm   Enabling communities - from the heart of the community
Trish Curtis, Upper Murray Regional Neighbourhood House Network
  Social housing and flood risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. A place-based community engagement and action research approach
Dr Amanda Howard, University of Sydney, and Madeleine Dignam, Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Risk Management Directorate
2.30pm   Australian Red Cross South Australia Community-Led Emergency Resilience Project
Cristel Chambers and Shanti Ramasundram, Australian Red Cross
  Harnessing community networks responding to COVID-19 - The case of African migrants in Melbourne’s public housing
Dr Sandra Carrasco and A/Prof Temitope Egbelakin, University of Newcastle

Community leadership and emerging partnerships 
Dr Margaret Moreton, Minderoo Foundation 

  The Rockhampton VOAD consortium: a mechanism to support collaboration, coordination and communication of volunteer organisations active in disasters
Amanda Nixon, Volunteering Queensland

CLOSING PANEL: Beyond impact and expectations
Karen O'Connor, Minderoo Foundation, Lisa Harrison, Suncorp, Stuart Ellis AM, AFAC, Alistair Dawson, Queensland Inspector-General Emergency Management, Carlene York APM, NSW State Emergency Service, Jenny Brockie (moderator) 

4.35pm   Closing Ceremony



Conference posters

View the impressive collection of presentations in the Virtual Poster Gallery. Browse all posters on display or search for specific posters by title or author. When viewing a poster, you can leave comments in the Discussion Forum. All posters will be made available online via the Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub. 

Vote for your favourite poster

While you’re browsing the virtual poster gallery, don’t forget to vote for your favourite posters! The winner of the Judge’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Award will be announced at the AFAC21 Closing Ceremony and Award Presentation at 4.30pm on Thursday 7 October.

Poster Title

Poster Author(s)

A new kind of emergency service volunteering Jason F. Bridgman
Advancing disaster risk management in Queensland: Key learnings from five years implementing State-wide multi-tiered framework (Queensland Emergency Risk Management Framework) Brenton Phillips
A data-driven discussion on disaster risk and resilience Nirupama Agrawal
AFAC Doctrine AFAC
Agility in Operations - A Geospatial Perspective Melissa Daley
AIDR professional development events Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
An exploratory investigation of sprain and strain injuries among South Australian professional urban firefighters through narrative text Joel Dunstan, Dr Brad Stenner, Dr Graeme Carrick-Ranson, Professor Kevin Norton
An on-the-ground perspective of recovery and resilience following the 2019/2020 bushfires Rebecca Evers
Application of Psychological and Behavioural Principles in Emergency Rescue Organisation Swee Giang Khoo, Jasmine Chia
Application of Psychological First Aid Principles for EMS Personnel in SCDF Jasmine Tan, Siew Maan Diong, Han Wei Poh, Gan Kai Qi
Are we creating two-tier firefighting foam fire protection systems? Mike Willson
Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Technology and Bushfires: A practical, insider's look at fire prediction and management technology Angus Dorney
Australian Hotspot Seasonality Analysis: July 2019 to June 2020 Prof Rick McRae
Australian Hotspot Seasonality Analysis: July 2020 to June 2021 Prof Rick McRae
Benefit versus cost analyses for a variety of mitigation strategies for flood prone buildings Tariq Maqsood, Ken Dale
Betting Your Life - Pascal's Wager as a Simple Way of Articulating the Odds of Inappropriate Disaster Risk Mitigation Choices Steve O'Keefe
Birdie Cares: a targeted brief intervention to prevent trauma responses to natural disasters in babies and young children Alex De Young, Susan Johnson, Dr Andrea Baldwin, Anita Nepean-Hutchison, Elisabeth Hoehn, Sharleen Keleher
Birdie's Tree: Disaster Risk Reduction in Early Childhood Education Sharleen Keleher, Dr Anita Nepean-Hutchinson
Birdie's Tree: Supporting the families of emergency services workers Dr Andrea Baldwin, Sharleen Keleher
Building community awareness and resilience to flood risk: an integrated approach Tahlia Rossi
Building Forward vs Repairing Backwards; Building Resilience: Michael Ducie, Peter Murphy
Collaboration for Community Resilience (COVID 19): working together towards a strong and thriving community. Jo Brown, Janette Lowe, Ebony Rhook
Collaboration in COVID 19. A social network evaluation of the value of partnerships in the context of COVID-19 Jo Brown, Maedeh Aboutalebi-Karkavandi, James Coutinho, Janette Lowe
Collaborative Communication and Community Engagement approaches in Fiji and Vanuatu: supporting effective two-way communication with disaster affected communities Jacinta Isaacs
Common ground: Birdie and the Bushfire Recovery Program Chris Anderson, Dr Andrea Baldwin, Sarah Eagland
Community and Local Government - Working Together Towards Inclusive Disaster Recovery Planning, A Blue Mountains Perspective Rebecca Southwell
Community Based Bushfire Management - Community voices making complex choices Rebekah Baynard-Smith, Fiona Macken
Connecting the Disaster Dots - helping culturally diverse communities in Sydney's Lower North Shore prepare for and deal with emergencies' Nick Chapman
Could school flood education be the catalyst for advancing women in STEM? Catherine Walker, Andy Sheehan
Developing Victoria's New Tenure Blind Bushfire Management Strategy Sandi Bowles
Disaster Resilience in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities - Learning from Unheard Voices Antoine Chandonnet
Discovering Emerging Technologies to Manage, Meet and Exceed Expectations Chris Doherty, Peter Murphy
Do It In Douglas: building greater economic resilience to navigate crisis Jeanne-marie Kleinhans
Double, double, change is no trouble Mona Momtazian, Leigh-Anne Sorensen, Joanne Robinson, Jodie Reid
Education for young people Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
Effects of Firefighting on Semen Parameters: An Exploratory Study Michelle Engelsman
Effects of Ice Slurry Ingestion in Fire Station Outdoor Training - a pre-cooling strategy for SCDF Emergency Responders Dr Rensheng Deng, MAJ Hasan Kuddoos, Dr Saravana Kumar, LTC Lee Soon Huat
Emergency Preparedness Survey of People with Disability in Australia Jade Chang, Michelle Villeneuve, Anthony Bradstreet, Dale Dominey-Howes, Mick Morris, Gwynnyth Llewellyn
Emergency+ and what3words: three words to save time, resources and lives Alice Commins, Khulan Bat-Erdene
Emissions from prescribed burns Adam Leavesley, Katey Dugdale
Empowering the resilience of the Kuku Yalanji and Eastern Yalanji clan to pandemic response and preparedness Jeanne-marie Kleinhans
Enablers for community-led recovery: What can government do to build organisations and community capability? Louise Mitchell
Extending the Australian Fire Danger Rating System to include Ignition, Suppression and Impact Indices Dr Stuart Matthews, Dr Belinda Kenny, Dr Alex Holmes, Dr John Runcie, Dr Meaghan Jenkins, Samuel Sauvage
Fence damage assessment app - Using technology to improve responsiveness in recovery Naomi Withers, Gafoor Muhamad
Financial Counselling's Role in Disaster Recovery Julie Barrow, Peter Gartlan
Finding the community in community-led-practice Christine Jessup
Fire and emergency aviation training assessment framework AFAC
Fire Awareness and Intervention Programme (FAIP): Facilitators and Barriers to Engagement Nichola Tyler, Tia Neha, Louise Dixon, Tara Nichols, Jacinta Rogers
Firefighting Foam Transition to Fluorine Free - Is it as Simple as "Foam Out/Foam In"? Peter Storch
FRNSW COVID-19 Incident Management Team's Pandemic Response Kenneth Murphy
Global Impacts from Bushfires Prof Rick McRae
Global Wildfire Information System Adam Leavesley
Handbooks Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
Harnessing Positive Psychological Capital in Emergency Responders' for Enhancing Performance and Well-Being Michele Tan, Ng Xin Ying, Jasmine Tan, Siew Maan Diong
Harnessing Satellite Technology for Emergency Management: A Capability Driven Approach Jackie Craig, Andy Koronios, Peter Woodgate, Nick Stac
Health and Safety Index: Health and Wellbeing Benchmark Results Mark Wright
Holistic Community Resilience building for Bushfire Melanie Haymont
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition
How Experimentation can Help Emergency Services Prepare for the Future Peter Murphy, John Smith
How Practical Scientific Research Can Reduce Fire Hazard and Its Impacts on At-Risk Communities During Bushfire Dr Ka Wai Fan
How prepared are you for a bushfire?' - community bushfire preparedness behaviour change campaign Danielle Teychenne, Rachael Vorwerk, Daniel Steen
Hydration management for emergency responders- evidence, technologies and biomarkers Dr Michael Erlichster
Information Governance for Disaster Risk Reduction (IG4DRR) Jutta May
Innovation and Technology to Improve Natural Disaster Management in Australian Rural Industries Michael White, Greg Lee
Inspire Retain Engage: a research-driven approach to developing volunteer leadership Louise Cooke
Investigating Thermal Abuse Conditions on Lithium-Ion Batteries Rylee Lam
K'gari (Fraser Island) Bushfire Review Corinne Mulholland
Knowledge Hub Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
Learning and development guides AFAC
Learning from the Future Geoff Brown, Stephen Atkinson
Libraries as Resilience Centres. Rob Thomson
Looking after ourselves, Communities and Others: Lessons learned from a disaster assistance deployment to Tonga after Cyclone Gita in 2018 Peta Miller
Meeting in the middle, A Case Study, coastal erosion, risk adaption and community involvement, Wamberal NSW Mark Ellis
Mental Health Clinician Reflections on the Recovery Journey from the Black Summer Bushfires Jinu Abraham, Anthony Colechin
Mental Health Management for Members Stacey Dunn
Modelling the benefits of bushfire management Martijn Gough, Joshua Moore
Mountains Mishaps: Community Information and Co-operation for Search and Rescue Operations in the Blue Mountains of NSW Christopher Webber
National Aerial Firefighting Centre AFAC
National Planning Principles for Animals in Natural Disasters: An Australian Perspective Joshua Trigg, Mel Taylor
National Resource Sharing Centre AFAC
Neighbourhood Centres, building resilience before, during and beyond disaster Lyn Lormer
New Way of Learning - much more than just a "click and read" experience Andrew Chan
Opportunities and risks associated with fuel management approaches for reducing future bushfire risk Dr Amelie Jeanneau, Holger Maier, Aaron Zecchin
Placing a Value on Resilience: Advocacy to Practice Genevieve Neilson
Planet to the Rescue: Improving Disaster Response through Satellite Imagery Tom Farrow
Portable GC-MS Method for Rapid On-Site Identification of Hazardous Organics at Fire Scenes Rylee Lam
Positive Mental Health in Young Adult Fire and Emergency Services Volunteers: A Wellbeing Framework Amanda Taylor
Predicting Blow-Up Fire Events - developing the BUFO2 model Prof Rick McRae, Jason Sharples
Preparing operational leaders to expect the unexpected through innovative learning interventions Andrew Chan
Prescribed Burning In Australasia AFAC
Producing gridded rate of spread reduction mapping for untargeted bushfire hazard assessments using CSIRO EASI AWS cloud compute Kimberley Opie
Providing Equity: Effectively Increasing Female Physical Aptitude Test Pass Rates Michelle Engelsman
Providing mental health support to people impacted by the Black Summer bushfires - Clinical observations and insights Dr Mark Franks
Public/Private Partnerships creating new horizons for capability delivery Kenneth Murphy
Reaching the hard to reach: Exploring child-adult partnerships in disaster resilience landscapes. Reem Hasib, Danielle Brunton, Julia Mavros
Real-Time Evidence-Based Decision-Making Tools for Enhanced Disaster Resilience - Technology Empowering Local, Regional and National Stakeholders Miles Macdonald
Reducing Physical Bushfire Risks To WA Communities Murray Carter
Residential fire fatalities AFAC
Resilient Australia Awards Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
Risk assessment of falling debris from burning combustible claddings Firas Shawash
RPAS, Veterans and Volunteers: Disaster Relief Australia and the use of RPAS for damage assessments following the Black Summer Fires. Brent Hoade
Schools in fire country: using human centre design to drive the scaled implementation of evidence-based education Neil Munro
SES Learnings from the October 2020 "Halloween Hailstorm" Emilea Salonen
Session suggestion- RPAS in Emergency Management Deb Sparkes
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)'s Continuing Education and Training (CET) - Institutionalising a CET Credit Scheme in the SCDF. Francis Ng, Daniel Ng, Zhi Han Heng, En Hao Lee, William Utama
Standards AFAC
Strengthening the bridge between research and practice: the value of having research scientists embedded within agencies Chloe Begg
Structural firefighter uniform, laundry and the clean firefighter principle Jeremy Stubbs
Sustaining Emergency Responders Commitment and Morale amidst COVID-19 Pandemic: Experiences from the Singapore Civil Defence Force Han Wei Poh, Diong Siew Maan
The Be You Bushfire Response Program Samantha McGuffie, Natalie Perrin
The case for building resilience in our children in the context of increasingly frequent and intense disasters Sarah Eagland, Chris Anderson, Toni Bennett, Oliver White
The Connected Firefighter Larry Digney
The Elephant in the Room - Providing a basis for community resilience Dr Stuart Strachan
The Inner Circle: Children, Families and Educators at the centre of Natural Disasters Liz Parker
Understanding the volunteer journey: combining data and research insights to understand why volunteers stay and leave Kirsty Percasky
Using Therapeutic Storybooks to Promote Post-Traumatic Resilience Sally Hodges, Michelle Woszatka
Volunteer Leadership Program Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
Vulnerability and resilience: determinants for support requirements during a prolonged power outage Leanne Hampel, Nicole Carey, Nicole Cicuto
What Is Community Electricity Resilience? Audrey Cetois
what3words: a simple solution for communicating any incident location Alice Commins, Khulan Bat-Erdene
You are invited to get hands-on with the triKIT and experience the benefits Timothy Kirkness