Australian Disaster Resilience Conference 2022

Speaker profiles

Speakers and panels

Explore the people and presentations coming to the 2022 Australian Disaster Resilience Conference.

Dr Gill Hicks AM MBE

Artist, Published Author, Musician and Award-winning Director/Producer


Keynote speaker – shared with AFAC22

An artist, published author, musician and award-winning director/producer - Gill Hicks is a powerful and thought provoking communicator, sharing her insights on life after death. Her vital work, particularly in countering violent extremism, became her focus after she was left severely and permanently injured from the actions of a suicide bomber in the co-ordinated attack on London’s transport network in July, 2005. Prior to the bombings, Gill was a respected figure within the fields of Architecture and Design in London, where she lived for over 20 years. Gill has been recognised and awarded for her many contributions to the Arts, Health care and Peace Building.

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Jim Pauley

President and Chief Executive Officer

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


Keynote speaker – shared with AFAC22

Jim Pauley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a global self-funded non-profit organisation devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards.

The association, which is headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts in the United States, began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialised nation in 1896 and is recognised around the globe today as a leading safety authority. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission.

Prior to joining NFPA nearly eight years ago, Mr. Pauley concluded a 30-year career in the electrical and energy industry where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Government Relations for Schneider Electric.

Mr. Pauley serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of NFPA. He has also served in several past leadership positions including Chairman of the Board for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and was a licensed professional engineer in Kentucky.

Lucas Patchett OAM

Chief Executive Officer

Orange Sky Australia


Nic Marchesi OAM

Chief Delta Officer

Orange Sky Australia


Keynote speakers – shared with AFAC22

In October 2014, two best mates had a crazy idea to put two washing machines and two dryers in the back of a van, and wash and dry clothes for free. Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, the 2016 Young Australians of the Year, founded Orange Sky – a world-first, free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness. On a mission to improve hygiene standards, Nic and Lucas stumbled on something much bigger and more significant – the power of a conversation.

Orange Sky now has 35 laundry and shower services across 25 locations in Australia, with thousands of volunteers giving their time each week to help positively connect some of the 116,000 Australians doing it tough. The focus is on creating a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or feel disconnected from the community. Since its inception, Orange Sky has provided friends on the street with more than 2 million kilograms of free laundry, over 20,000 showers and more than 330,000 hours of genuine and non-judgemental conversation.

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Dr Niki Vincent

Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner

Victorian Government


Keynote speaker – shared with AFAC22

Dr Niki Vincent was appointed as Victoria’s first Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner in September 2020. She is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Gender Equality Act 2020 and plays a key leadership role in promoting gender equality in the Victorian community and workplaces.

Dr Vincent has a wealth of experience in gender equality and organisational leadership. This includes serving as the South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity from 2016-2020.

Prior to that, Niki held the position of CEO of the Leaders Institute of South Australia as well as a concurrent appointment as a member of the Remuneration Tribunal of South Australia. She has also led major programs of academic research in previous roles, holds an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor in UniSA’s Business School and has established and run two successful not-for-profit organisations.

In addition, Niki is an active ambassador for Time for Kids – a respite foster care organisation – and sits on the board of InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence.

Niki is a mother of 4 adult children, a full-time foster parent, has 2 young adult stepchildren and 10 grandchildren. She spends her sparse free time with her partner, family, and friends, and enjoys hiking, seeing films, listening to Radio National podcasts and a variety of music, gardening, doing yoga and camping in remote places.

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Moderator: Amanda Leck 

Emergency Management Victoria


 Jiembra Shiels 

 Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria 




   Thuch Ajak 

   United Africa Farm




  Sam Atukorala

  Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc



  Selba-Gondoza Luka

  Afri-Aus Care Inc.




  Ms Veema Mooniapah

  Multicultural Emergency Management




Panel: Collaborating for resilience: Multicultural communities and Emergency Management 

In 2021 the Victorian Council of Social Service and the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria established the Multicultural Emergency Management Partnership to strengthen relationships between multicultural communities and emergency services, and to enable all communities to better manage stresses and shocks, including emergencies, through a network of trusted, diverse and connected people.

This panel session will feature representatives from the program including leaders and connectors from multicultural communities explaining how the program is sharing responsibility and building resilience.

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Professor David Sanderson

University of New South Wales




What does community led resilience mean, and how can it be achieved? 

The uniting rhetoric for implementing successful resilience to natural hazards is that it is community led. This is for good reason - the evidence points to communities being more resilient before, during and after disasters when they are in the driving seat of their own decision-making. In Australia, as elsewhere, community led resilience is widely adopted by State and national agencies and implementing NGOs and appears regularly in policy and planning documents.

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Dr Kate Brady

University of Melbourne




Who is worst off after a disaster?

Disasters result in a wide range of complex impacts. Some impacts are tangible and visible and others are more difficult to identify. Individuals who experience the same disaster event can be affected in different ways.

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A/Prof Valerie Ingham

Charles Sturt University




The disaster fatigue of community leaders: a case study

In this presentation, we define community disaster fatigue and establish what evidences disaster fatigue on a collective level. We do this through a vignette of one community that experienced the 2019/20 Black Summer fires, followed by flooding exacerbated by fire-denuded landscapes, which then merged into the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr Claire Leppold

University of Melbourne




Disasters on disasters: finding best practice in communities affected by multiple disasters

Disasters have historically been considered as rare, singular events. However, the past decade has highlighted the ways that disasters can repeat, occur sequentially, cascade or overlap. In Victoria, numerous communities experienced the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires, followed by the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, and flooding in 2021. In early 2022, the Hunga Tonga eruption caused a tsunami which subsequently led to an oil spill. However, a key problem is that the majority of disaster-related research evidence, policy and guidelines for practice have been based on the premise of a single disaster occurring.

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 Soraya Dean - facilitator





Liz Mackinlay

Australian Business Volunteers 




Kate Cotter

Bushfire Building Council of Australia




David Macdermott

Australian Red Cross



Panel: Innovative partnerships for community resilience

In 2020, NAB formed a new flagship community program called NAB Ready Together. The program aims to support Australians before, during and after disasters. Cross sector approaches across government and civil society have been a critical part of this program. This session would be a panel discussion with key NAB Ready Together partners about insights and lessons from key community resilience projects.

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 Jack Pollock





 Lee McDougall 





Piloting a resilience investment vehicle

IAG, National Australia Bank, CSIRO, State & Federal government agencies are collaborating on pilots that will seek to fund built, social and natural interventions that build community resilience. The Resilience Investment Vehicle (RIV) pilot explores how public and private capital is directed to finance new and/or adapt existing infrastructure that builds resilience, reduces disaster risk & can derive a return.

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Dr Margi Prideaux





Empowering wisdom from below

During the 2019/20 Black Summer, unprecedented fires ripped across Kangaroo Island’s precious landscape in December and January. In the aftermath of the fires, Margi chronicled her community’s journey from the disaster into the stark awareness of climate chaos. A small, rural community violently shunted from climate apathy to frontline witnesses of a global climate crisis.

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Peta O'Donohue

South Australian Country Fire Service




Fiona Dunstan

Bureau of Meteorology




Listening and Learning on Kangaroo Island: supporting community resilience through post-emergency engagement 

The South Australian Country Fire service, recovery agencies, National Parks came together with an independent facilitator to co-develop the KI Fires Listening and Learning process. This presentation describes this post-emergency community engagement approach and its outcomes, including personal reflections by the participants, exploring the challenges and benefits for authorities and communities and how this process could be used more widely to build community resilience.

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Jennifer McDonnell





Sue Arlidge

Regional Development Australia




Bushfires and Businesses - not if, but when

This presentation will share stories from Kangaroo Island, SA, through the lens of the lived experience of several businesses and the presenters own experiences providing advisory and support services in the immediate, response and recovery stages. 

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Kevin Hazell





Land-use planning for bushfire: 12 years of reforms in Victoria

It has been 13 years since the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission handed down its report, with two-thirds of its recommendations directed to reforming Victoria's land use planning and building system. Despite set-backs and challenges, land use planning's role in bushfire resilience has gone from strength to strength in Victoria. This will be explored through case studies that help appreciate how decision making is being driven by past reforms.

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Felicity Greenway

NSW Department of Planning and Environment




NSW Strategic Guide to Planning for Natural Hazards

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment developed the Strategic Guide to Planning for Natural Hazards (the guide) and resource kit to help planning authorities and councils create more resilience in the community, build economic stability, protect valuable assets, integrate environmental principles and balance these with development demand.

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Deb Parkinson

Gender and Disaster Australia




‘I thought you were more of a man than that’: Men and disasters

The disaster literature identifies that gender stereotypes are more stringent in disasters. In the aftermath, the pressures only increase, and are amplified by the very real barriers to men accessing help to cope with their disaster experiences. In an increasingly risky world, it is vital that such expectations be recognised as both damaging and out-dated. Disaster risk reduction will be enhanced by a 21st century approach to who does what in disasters, and policies in the emergency management sector that prioritise both physical and mental health in its workers.

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Robert Muller 

Torrens Resilience Initiative 




The effects of information disorder on societal resilience

This presentation will explore the interactions between information disorder and social disorder, and how information disorder disrupts social institutions, social cohesion, and societal resilience through the undermining of the trust the public has in government and decision-making authority, rationality and science, the rule of law, and democratic institutions. The implications of information disorder for disaster resilience will conclude the presentation.

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Fiona Dunstan 

Bureau of Meteorology 




Let's do more than talk about weather

This presentation will outline the Bureau's Community Engagement Plan and key initiatives, showcasing how the Bureau is working in partnership to empower communities to reduce their disaster risk, build community resilience and contribute to the Bureau's vision to contribute to zero lives lost.

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Jacqui Cristiano

National Resilience and Recovery Agency




Developing the Second National Action Plan

During 2022, the NRRA has been undertaking comprehensive multi-sector engagement and co-design for the development of the Second National Action Plan, which needed to ensure credibility, support, buy-in and use by those who can effect change to meet the objectives of the Framework. During this session, the NRRA will share the lessons it has learnt on this journey to date and provide a sneak preview of its vision for the future.

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Iain Mackenzie 





DRR: Are we brave enough? 

If the world is truly riskier, then the time to adapt is past. Simple evolution of known models to reduce disaster risk will no longer suffice. It’s time to be brave and reform our approaches. Society is a complex system that revolves around people, their basic human, social and cultural needs serviced by an interconnected and co-dependant system of economy, politics, supply chains, services and infrastructure. When disaster strikes, all these systems are stressed and impacted to varying levels

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Ben Rogers (Chair)

Emerging Minds




Jess Moroney

Principal, Stirling East Primary




Louise Taheny

Director, Yorketown Community Children’s Centre




Nik Edwards 

Be You consultant




Panel: Understanding the educator's role in supporting children following a disaster

This panel will focus on providing educators with a foundational understanding of their role in the recovery process. It will offer a practical framework and tips for supporting children in the immediate aftermath, short-term and long-term following a disaster or community trauma – as well as preparedness skills and knowledge professionals can use in their daily practice and programs.


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Carla Hall 

Youth Affairs Council Victoria




Quinn Obran

Youth Affairs Council Victoria




Ensuring Young People have 'A Seat at the Table'

YACVic was engaged by the Victorian Government (Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) and the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET)) to engage directly with young people and community members in rural and regional areas about their experiences of, response to, and recovery from the devastating 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires across Eastern Victoria. This presentation will showcase how young people from bushfire-affected areas co-led and guided the project and resource development. Explains why youth participation is a crucial to building cohesive communities, the key principles you should follow, and resources for further assistance.

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Nina Keath 

City of Onkaparinga




Regional climate action. It's not rocket science to remember to include social science!

Southern Adelaide’s multi-award-winning regional climate partnership, Resilient South, is widely recognised for having bucked this trend, delivering on-ground strategic projects and cultural change within partner councils. Resilient South has helped shepherd climate change from a fringe issue to an embedded consideration. While there remains much to achieve, the partnership has delivered impressive outcomes, running on significant goodwill between partners. This presentation will share insights into how Resilient South has achieved action and argue that our approach of strategically integrating both the physical and social sciences has contributed to success.

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Beth Eggleston

Humanitarian Advisory Group




Finding alignment between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation: Pacific perceptions, practice and policy

This talk will present emerging findings from a localised research project that focuses on the Pacific, drawing lessons from abroad to dialogue at the domestic level in Australia. The talk will explore opportunities for integration of CCA and DRR programming, focusing primarily on local practice and implications at the community level, while recognising the influence of national and regional policy frameworks. It will put forward emerging evidence of best practice and highlight opportunities to strengthen and build on these models to ensure better outcomes for Pacific Island communities in the face of a changing climate.


 Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister

 Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy





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Jennifer Cobley





Georgia Whitbread





Anna Jackson


Insights and learnings from NRMA Insurance - driving preparedness action at scale

The session will explore the evolution of seasonal preparedness activity to an ‘always on’ approach utilising collaborative partnerships (NSW SES, Australian Red Cross, NSW RFS, Minderoo Fire & Flood Resilience Initiative), behavioural science, data, and research to drive risk awareness and preparedness action.

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Danielle Teychenne





Evaluating a data driven, behaviour change design approach for bushfire preparedness

In a free online bushfire preparedness quiz and behaviour change campaign titled ‘How prepared are you for a bushfire?’, natural hazard resilience organisation FireThrive challenges respondents to become more equipped bushfire evacuees. The tool is underpinned by Dr Kenneth Strahan’s (2018) self-evacuation archetype research and doubles as an engagement strategy to help local government and emergency services engage their residents to become more prepared for a bushfire. Learn about how the FireThrive team firstly distributed the tool throughout Australia, then – with data-driven insights – engaged local government areas.

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Angela Cook

Country Fire Authority Australia




Kelly Stoner

Country Fire Authority Australia




Strengthening disaster resilience: Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) for people with disability

People with disability are at a disproportionate risk during a disaster. They are two to four times more likely to die in a disaster than the general population. Previous research shows that multiple categories of social vulnerability intersect with disability, which increases the risk in a disaster. However, there is insufficient empirical evidence about the causes of deaths of disabled population during a disaster. The CFA’s Preparing Vulnerable People project deploys qualitative research that captures lived experiences of people with disability and demystifies key mechanisms behind this phenomenon.

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Professor Stephen Dovers

Australian National University




Carlene York

NSW State Emergency Service




Dr Kate Brady

University of Melbourne




Martijn Gough





Closing Panel: More co-benefits than you can poke a stick at: organising arguments for mainstreaming DRR

The Australian Disaster Resilience Conference 2022 is proudly supported by NAB.