Conference preview: research, insights and case studies to feature at AFAC21

After being postponed in 2020, the AFAC21 conference returns to Sydney with an exciting program, running in partnership with the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference and the Institution of Fire Engineers Australia National Conference.

The AFAC21 program will respond to the theme ‘Balancing impact and expectations’, focusing on managing the consequences of major events, while meeting the expectations of the community and government. A range of expert presenters will explore how the emergency management sector can continue to learn and find opportunities to deliver with new and innovative approaches.

Commencing with the AFAC Research Day, the program will include presentations about the value of research, based on a study from RMIT University and Strahan Research, and insights into the new Australian Climate Service presented by Bronwyn Ray.

The concurrent stream program will cover a range of topics including cultural partnerships, workforce and capability, risk, prediction and modelling, recovery and wellbeing, evacuation and communications.
Delegates will participate in combined plenary sessions with keynote speakers including: Australian of the Year, Grace Tame; ABC’s International Affairs Analyst, Stan Grant; Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, Dominique Hogan-Doran SC; and Commissioner of Resilience NSW, Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM.

Following their presentations, speakers are invited to the AIDR Knowledge Centre in the exhibition for the Meet the Speaker program. The program offers an opportunity for attendees to learn more from presenters and expand their networks. The Centre also houses the extensive collection of conference posters. The exhibition will feature the latest in equipment and technology to support the work of fire and emergency services and will host an exciting live demonstration and Expo Stage program.

The Australian Disaster Resilience Conference will bring together delegates from a range of sectors to share knowledge and build connections for a disaster resilient Australia. Centred on the theme ‘Meeting in the middle: community voices and complex choices’, the program will generate national conversation about local impact, community engagement in disaster resilience and decision making to reduce risk.

For the first time, the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference will expand to 2 concurrent streams. Presentations will cover issues of resilience policy and strategy, children and youth, the business of resilience, place-based resilience, disaster risk reduction, disability inclusion, recovery, resilience through collaboration, community leadership and engagement in action. Running as a concurrent stream, the Institution of Fire Engineers conference will focus on 'Shifting the culture: enhancing safety, sustainability and resilience'. The program is approved as a continuing professional development event for members of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

The final day of the conference is dedicated to professional development, including workshops, field trips and the National Recovery Forum, hosted by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.

AFAC21 powered by INTERSCHUTZ will take place at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 5–8 October. Explore the full conference program and register at

The 2021 Australian Disaster Resilience Conference will be held on 6–7 October. View the program and register at