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17-20 August 2021 | International Convention Centre, Sydney 

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Call for abstracts

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AFAC21 THEME

Balancing impact and expectations

As recent emergency events have shown, there’s an evolving extreme that is producing new challenges in terms of impact on the community, environment and economies.

The community expects the emergency management sector to stay ahead of these events but with resourcing challenges, overlapping seasons here and abroad, and the surge in reviews, inquiries and recommendations, what do agencies do differently?

AFAC21 will focus on how we manage the consequences of major events and meet the expectations of the community and government. The program will explore how the sector can continue to learn and find opportunities to deliver with new and innovative approaches.

Call For Abstracts

AFAC21 supporting topics

New approaches

Reviews, inquiries and a Royal Commission have offered insights and recommendations on how fire and emergency services can improve. There are expectations from communities, governments and stakeholders that need to be managed. Recommendations need to be actioned quickly and services enhanced, while keeping within budgetary constraints.

The fire and emergency services sector is not the first industry to experience this type of challenge, so what can we learn from looking outside? How can we build networks with others to find new ways of working? Can we find new solutions to problems through innovation and collaboration? What approaches have been successful previously and why? How do we identify practices which will probably stand the test of time?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:

  • Technology and innovation
  • Partnerships
  • Change management
  • Reviews and inquiries
  • Policy
  • Operational success

Supporting ourselves and others

Fire and emergency services inherently experience traumatic events, supporting communities in their time of need. Ongoing exposure to stress and trauma and sustaining ongoing operations significantly impacts the workforce. Organisations have a duty of care and need to ensure that there are systems and processes in place to provide support when it is needed.

How can we lead through trauma? How can we sustain operations while managing fatigue? How do our leaders perform their role, and support their staff during these times?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Leadership
  • Peer support
  • Workforce management
  • Case studies of lived experience of trauma

Embedding research into practice

Using research has many operational and strategic benefits for fire and emergency services. It challenges paradigms, fosters innovation and offers evidence and options to enhance practice, improve services and deliver outcomes. Research utilisation is the process of synthesising, disseminating, and using research-generated knowledge to make an impact on, or change in the existing agency practice.

There is no one approach to utilising research, so how can it be done successfully? How is research supporting practitioners? What are some of the examples of where research has been embedded into practice?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:

  • Learning and lessons management
  • Continuous improvement
  • Capability development
  • Using data to develop tools
  • Research and science
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Case studies

Communities

Our communities are evolving, and the emergency management sector must ensure we are evolving with them. Urban areas are sprawling, and people are moving to new areas for lifestyle changes. As cities and regions change, so do the buildings and infrastructure that supports them.

How are fire and emergency services keeping up with these changes? What new developments have occurred in the natural and built environments and what challenges do these pose? How are we keeping communities connected and informed about their risk, and planning for the future?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:

  • Managing expectations
  • Built environment
  • Community safety
  • Community resilience
  • Engagement and education
  • Public information and warnings

AFAC21 Selection Process

Abstract submissions for AFAC21 are open to all, including career staff, volunteers, researchers and academics, industry, community and all levels of government. The submission and selection process is as follows, and please ensure you have the approval and support from your agency before submitting an abstract:

STAGE 1: Authors are invited to lodge a personal submission, a submission on a colleague's behalf, or a submission on behalf of their organisation, addressing the relevant theme and topics. An author can submit multiple abstracts for consideration by the Conference Committee. Submissions open on November 5, 2020 and require written responses which can be uploaded via the online submission system.

STAGE 2: Submissions must be lodged online and completed by February 8, 2021.

STAGE 3: Submissions will be reviewed by the Program Committee who will assess each submission. The Committee will score each submission based on its relevance to the overall conference theme and the topic being addressed.

STAGE 4: Submissions are assessed and shortlisted, and the final oral presenters are selected by the Program Committee - these will then be endorsed by the Steering Committee by the end of March, 2021.

STAGE 5: Authors who have been successful in being granted an oral presentation and/or poster presentation will be notified by the end of March, 2021.

STAGE 6: Authors must accept their offer by April 30, 2021. Following the acceptance of the offer, speakers agree to register to attend the Conference and provide the following:
 

  • An oral presentation (if applicable) including accompanying PowerPoint slides (event template will be distributed accordingly)
  • If you are presenting on the AFAC Main Conference Program or the ADRC Conference Program, you will need to upload a 2,000 word paper by July 5, 2021
     
  • A high resolution head-shot and 200 word bio to be emailed to info@afacconference.com.au

Oral presentation

An oral presentation (if applicable) including accompanying PowerPoint slides (event template will be distributed accordingly)

AFAC and ADRC Program

  • If you are presenting on the AFAC Main Conference Program or the ADRC Conference Program, you will need to upload a 2,000 word paper by July 5, 2021
     
  • A high resolution head-shot and 200 word bio to be emailed to info@afacconference.com.au

Australian Journal of Emergency Management

Authors may select to have their paper submitted for consideration in the Conference-focused edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management (AJEM). Authors who wish to have their paper considered for the AJEM News and Views section will submit a 1,500 word paper to zoe.kenyon@afac.com.au by May 14, 2021 for consideration by the AJEM Editorial Committee.

Authors who wish to have their paper considered for the AJEM Peer Review section will submit a 4,000 word paper by May 14, 2021 to AJEM_Editor@aidr.org.au for consideration by the AJEM Editorial Committee. If a paper submitted is not accepted for publication in AJEM, that paper will be published as part of the Conference proceedings.

Contact us

For any questions about abstract submissions or for more information, please contact:

  • Zoe Kenyon, Director Communications and Events, AFAC
  • Amy Saleh, Conference and Events Manager, Hannover Fairs Australia