AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ | 5-8 September 2018 | Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre | #AFAC18

Call for Abstracts – Closed


Call for Abstracts is now closed

Do not miss this opportunity to share your knowledge, research and projects with the wider emergency management sector and be part of the premier emergency management conference and exhibition in Australasia.

The AFAC18 conference program will include presentations from keynote and invited speakers, in addition to those presentations selected through the Call for Abstracts process. Presentations are not the only way your thinking can are shared, with many abstracts selected to be displayed in the AFAC18 AIDR Knowledge Centre as posters.

Authors are welcome to submit an abstract for an oral presentation or poster. The AFAC18 Program Committee will select abstracts for presentation based on the relevance to the theme and topics.

AFAC18 will focus on how change is fast becoming the new normal for emergency services. The conference program will explore how emergency services change lives; how we can improve ourselves and the emergency management sector for the better; and how we can all thrive in an ever-changing, complex environment.

1. Building capability through partnerships

Around the world Governments are increasingly turning to partnerships to build capability, reinforce response and deliver results. Benefits range from being able to deliver more for less to leveraging off specialist expertise, reputations and strong community and stakeholder relationships. Importantly, those that work with us in partnership are less likely to work against us later.

This topic invites discussion of successful and not so successful partnerships in all areas of emergency management from prevention to recovery. It showcases how adept agencies are bravely relinquishing autonomy to yield great results.

How can the emergency management sector build better partnerships with government and industry? How do partnerships assist in building capability for the sector and more resilient communities?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:
• Case studies
• Combined training and exercising
• Community engagement
• Improving practice through partnerships with industry
• Interagency collaboration
• Interstate and international partnerships
• Partnering with universities
• Working with government and non government organisations

2. Changing lives through volunteering

Volunteers are the bedrock of Australia’s emergency services. From fighting fires to marine search and rescue, our rugged terrain and geographical dispersion means we rely on thousands of volunteers every day to deliver critical services.

As integral members of the community, volunteers offer unique insights, local knowledge, differing experience and often strong relationships. They are often the first to arrive and the last to leave an incident. After an event they remain in communities to guide and lead recovery and champion change. This topic will explore how we value volunteers and the contribution they make. It looks at their roles across prevention, preparedness, response and recovery and questions how we might tackle declining numbers of volunteers. Importantly it explores the two-way reciprocity that exists between volunteers who change the lives of the community and what volunteers gain in return.

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:
• Flexible volunteering
• How volunteering builds social capital and social cohesion
• The future of volunteering
• Value of volunteering

3. Improving ourselves and the emergency management sector for the better

This topic asks the question how we can change ourselves and the emergency management sector for the better. What changes do we need to start making now, to prepare our workforces for the future?

Aside from great technical knowledge, fit-for-task and endless resilience, members of emergency services are also expected to be flawless communicators, community engagement experts, training managers, procurement specialists, weather forecasters, networkers, financiers, project managers, team players and great leaders. How realistic are these expectations, what skills are critical and how do we deliver?

How can we as leaders, ensure our teams are skilled, supported, diverse and ready for an ever-evolving future? What is required of our people before, during and after an emergency? How do we ensure diverse, happy and healthy services?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:
• Case studies and lessons identified
• Embracing new technology to improve practice
• Fit-for-purpose roles
• Future emergency management workforce and capability
• Lessons management
• Mental health and wellbeing
• Mentoring and coaching
• Research utilisation

4. Leading through change

We live in a world where change is the new normal. On a daily basis we are being asked to learn and adapt to new things. In all areas from mitigation to response and recovery new practices are being developed at an incredibly fast pace.

New science and evidence-based research demonstrates improved ways of working. Reviews and inquiries offer recommendations that often require sweeping change. Our organisations are under political and economic pressure to be more efficient in our service delivery. New advances in innovation and technology mean that change is more prolific than ever, with each idea promising to deliver in better and better ways.

The environments in which we operate – the natural, built and political – are changing and we need to be able to adapt and respond to these changes.

So how do we navigate this complex and convoluted information superhighway? What changes should we be paying attention to and which ones can we disregard? How do we get ready for the future of tomorrow when the purse strings are tightening? What is the future for emergency services and what can we do to better predict, navigate, manage and lead through change?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:
• Change management and responding to change
• Changing communities
• Changing environments
• Crisis management
• Innovation and technology
• Inquiries and reviews
• Knowledge sharing
• Land management practices
• Leadership
• Mitigation and risk management
• Prescribed burning
• Women in leadership

5. Shaping culture and communicating in a changing world

Communication is the new black. Emergency services have undergone great change in recent years. Previously introspective command and control organisations have been remodelled into person-centred, service delivery organisations with staff, customers and stakeholders. To attract and retain valued and capable people in today’s society, we must foster a positive, communicative and empowering environment.

This topic will explore how agencies are tackling cultural change against a backdrop of increasing expectations. It examines progress towards goals, plans for the future and why sometimes the best intentions can fall short.

How can we communicate more effectively to different cultures? How do we communicate in an inclusive way without unconscious bias? How can we ensure that messaging is suitable for our changing communities? What are the challenges we face communicating in a world of digital disruption?

Abstracts submitted under this topic could include:
• Changing the conversation from diversity to inclusion
• Communications technology and innovation
• Crisis communication
• Cultural communication
• Digital disruption
• Social media
• Warnings and public information
• Working with media

Abstract Submissions

Abstract submissions for AFAC18 and the ADRC are open to all, including career staff, volunteers, researchers and academics, industry, community and all levels of government.

The abstract selection process is extremely competitive due to the high quality of submissions. We expect that approximately 80 papers will be selected for oral presentations across the 3 day program. As a result it is likely that only one or two from each member organisation will be chosen.

Day 1 (Wednesday, 5 September 2018) of the program is the Research Forum, driven by the all hazards research agendas of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and complemented by the science from a wide range of universities, research organisations and emergency service agencies. Days 2 and 3 (Thursday 6 & Friday 7 September 2018) of the program feature concurrent streams which are designed to bring together and share the combined wisdom of experience, research and analysis from across the sector.

AFAC member organisations have been asked to conduct an internal selection process for abstract submissions. If you are a staff member or volunteer of an AFAC member, please contact your organisation in relation to this prior to submitting an abstract online.

Submission structure and format of abstracts

Authors must indicate which topic their abstract will address.

All submissions must include a brief abstract, which should be between 250 to 300 words.

Submission of an abstract comes with a commitment to produce the following:

• If you are accepted to present in the AFAC Main Conference Program, a 2,000 word paper is required, that will be published un-refereed on the AFAC website under conference proceedings. Failure to provide a paper will result in withdrawal of the invitation to present.

• If you are accepted to present in the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference, a 2,000 word paper is required, that will be published in the Australian Journal of Emergency Management (AJEM). Failure to provide a paper will result in withdrawal of the invitation to present.

• If you are accepted for the Research Forum, authors are required to submit either a 3000 word research paper for peer review as part of the peer reviewed component of the proceedings, a paper for the Australian Journal of Emergency Management, or an extended abstract of approximately four pages. Oral presenters electing not to provide either a 3000 word research paper or Australian Journal of Emergency Management paper will have the extended abstract published as part of the non-peer reviewed component of the proceedings. Failure to provide either a 3000 word research paper, Australian Journal of Emergency Management paper or an extended abstract will result in the withdrawal of your invitation to present at the Research Forum.

Authors who are not selected to present will be given an opportunity to display a poster.

Speaker registration types:
Speaker registration 3 Days | AFAC18 Conference
Speaker registration 2 Days | AFAC18 Conference
Speaker registration 1 Day | AFAC18 Conference
Speaker registration | Australian Disaster Resilience Conference (ONLY)

$1,345 + GST
$975 + GST
$490 + GST
$550 + GST