Latest trends in Australia's emergency management sector

Hannover Fairs Australia

Tuesday, 13 August, 2019

Latest trends in Australia's emergency management sector

Local and international emergency services leaders will meet in Melbourne at AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ over four days in August, for what promises to be the largest and most inclusive AFAC exhibition and conference yet.

First response agencies, government, community, academia, not-for-profit, heavy industry, building, environment and engineering sectors are expected to drive the surge in attendance, activity and knowledge exchange.

For the first time, the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) National Conference will be held alongside the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference as part of an expanded AFAC19 program. Opening proceedings, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum will reveal leading research into natural hazards, while also covering human factors such as resilience and recovery.

This year’s conference theme, A shift to the new norm: riding the wave of change, reflects how the sector is transitioning to a new normal in response to factors creating significant change, including frameworks for diversity and inclusion, empowering communities to be more resilient and better prepared for emergencies, and helping societies recover from natural disasters sustainably.

More than 120 speakers in six immersive streams will delve deeper into the subject of progression and share with attendees how to prepare for the future, based on the lessons learned from the past.

“This year we’re looking at some big issues affecting the community including population growth, climate change and technological advancements, but we’re also challenging the sector by examining traditional areas of responsibility, agency capability, and diversity and inclusion initiatives to better reflect the communities we serve,” said Stuart Ellis, CEO of AFAC.

“AFAC19 is a vital opportunity to bring together the many segments that make up our evolving fire and emergency service sector, to discuss all issues that have become the new normal in emergency management,” he added.

With big subjects and big changes to be covered, AFAC19 brings leading international and national keynote speakers to the conference, including:

  • Dr Robert Glasser: Australian Strategic Policy Institute Former Head of the UN Office for Disaster. Topic: Risk Reduction
  • Josephine Reynolds: The UK’s first full-time female firefighter. Topic: Using My Voice
  • Eliane Miles: Social researcher, business strategist, trend analyst, demographer. Topic: Australia’s changing communities: Now and towards 2030
  • Dr Lance O’Sullivan: Medical Innovator, former New Zealander of the year. Topic: Positive disruptive leadership
  • Bronwyn Weir: Lawyer, co-author of the Shergold Weir report, legal advisor to the Victorian Cladding Taskforce. Topic: Improving compliance and enforcement in the building sector through cultural change
  • Donna Wheatley: Commander, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) Melbourne. Topic: Inclusion in the Fire Service – Storming to Norming

Co-produced by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and Deutsche Messe, AFAC19 will feature the largest exhibition to date.

In addition to nearly 200 companies showcasing the latest innovative products, services and solutions over 12,000 m2, the exhibition will feature an Expo Stage program with 30 practical presentations.

Exciting live demonstrations will include live fire training from Smokeshield Australia, a flight crew extrication from a helicopter by Edge Training & Simulation and a crash scene extrication from the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation.

AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from 27 to 30 August 2019.

Further information is available at

Image courtesy AFAC.

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