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23 Jun 2021

Local and international fire and emergency management sector to convene at pivotal AFAC21 conference

Under a theme of Balancing impact and expectations; research, resilience, preparedness and new services are just some of the subjects to be explored at what promises to be the largest AFAC event yet.

Leading emergency services professionals and subject matter experts will meet in Sydney on 5-8 October 2021 at AFAC21 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the long-awaited conference and exhibition.

After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, AFAC21 brings first response agencies, government, academia, community, not for profit, building, environment, and engineering sectors together for face-to-face collaboration and knowledge exchange. Embracing the opportunity to further develop the sector after a particularly eventful last few years, AFAC21 welcomes an even wider and diverse group of industries and services featuring the Institution of Fire Engineers (Australia) National Conference, the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference, and the Professional Development Program as part of an extensive agenda.

Ahead of the official opening ceremony, AFAC will host its Research Day, featuring the latest research and utilisation that informs the work and practice of fire and emergency services.

Over 100 speakers across 7 immersive streams will take a holistic approach to emergency prevention, management, and recovery. Tackling some of the industries toughest topics, internationally acclaimed keynote speakers include:

  • Grace Tame
    2021 Australian of the Year & Advocate for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM
    Commissioner, Resilience NSW
  • Dominique Hogan-Doran SC
    Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements
  • Stan Grant
    ABC's International Affairs Analyst

Stuart Ellis, CEO of AFAC, the National Council for fire and emergency services, commented on the importance of this year’s conference and exhibition for the sector.

“AFAC21 will be a pivotal occasion in the event’s history. Not only were we unable to bring the sector together in person last year, but we’ve also faced some of the most extraordinary and unique challenges in recent history since our last meeting in 2019. As we continue to encounter evolving emergency situations, it’s important that experienced and emerging sector leaders meet and discuss these challenges – it is only through the combined contributions of the diverse areas that make up our fire and emergency service sector that we can fulfil our individual agency responsibilities and best serve the community as a whole,” says Mr Ellis.

AFAC21 is powered by INTERSCHUTZ – the world’s leading trade fair for the fire and emergency services – and is co-produced by Deutsche Messe, featuring the largest exhibition of its type in the southern hemisphere.

Showcasing both national and international brands delivering emergency management first responders with the latest innovative products, services, and solutions in 18,000sqms of combined indoor/outdoor space. An extensive educational frontline program will feature an Expo Stage, Demonstration Zone and the Knowledge Centre will showcase ground breaking research by industry authors. An exciting live demonstration program will again feature in 2021 and will include accident scene extrications, truck lifting off vehicle techniques, robotics, virtual reality firefighting equipment and much more. The Expo Stage – Free to Attend sessions with senior speakers will cover industry topics focussing on the latest vehicle technology, aerial solutions, geospatial/mapping, fire prediction and detection technologies, emergency management, first responders, communications/data management and more.

AFAC21 is being held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney from 5-8 October 2021.

Early bird tickets are available until 30 June 2021, purchase tickets here:

For further information about the conference please visit:

Notes to Editors:

  • Keynote speakers are available for interview on request via media contacts below
  • Conference Spokespeople available for interview upon request via media contacts below:
    • Stuart Ellis, CEO, Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC)
    • Tim Bostridge, Managing Director, Deutsche Messe
  • Accredited media are invited to attend AFAC21 and will be hosted in the media room. Additional support for live-cross, broadcast and interviews with stakeholders can be arranged. Broadcast vans can be accommodated onsite. Please register for your media pass by sending your name, position and publication title to

Media contacts:

Elizabeth Williams, Group Account Director |
+61 411 201 354
Oakley Grioli, Senior Account Executive |
+61 434 295 302


All images can be found on the AFAC Flickr page and can be used royalty free. 

Images: AFAC19

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About AFAC21

5-8 October 2021 | International Convention Centre, Sydney
Balancing impact and expectations

Returning for four action-packed days, the AFAC21 conference and exhibition will attract delegates and visitors from emergency and security services agencies, all levels of government, non-government organisations, the private sector, research and education institutions and community groups from Australia, New Zealand and worldwide.

AFAC21 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is brought to you by AFAC, Deutsche Messe and the Institution of Fire Engineers (Australia).

Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC)


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Hashtag: #AFAC21