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National Recovery Forum

The National Recovery Forum will bring people involved in disaster recovery together to develop connections and share knowledge, ideas, inspiration and good practice for communities to recover well from disasters and build a resilient future.
The National Recovery Forum will take place following the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference program on 6 & 7 October.

Throughout Australia we continue to see the impacts of disasters on different communities, individuals and families and we know the predictions for future disaster impacts. There is a broad call to build recovery capability in both the professional workforce and in our communities in early relief and recovery through to long term resilience.

Disaster recovery is complex societal work and at its best is about people’s strengths, dignity, healing and about how we go about building generative communities. Frameworks that help us to navigate complexity encourage the bringing together of multiple perspectives to make sense of what is going on.

You are invited to join community members and recovery practitioners from around Australia to build and share knowledge and practice about disaster recovery, and connect, reflect, and inspire each other about recovering well from disasters and building resilient futures.

Areas of recovery that will be covered on the day include:

Lessons implemented in recovery - partnerships with local entities, business recovery, the built environment, relief and clean up provision, natural environment
Community-led recovery and resilience and community capacity in recovery
Inclusion and equity, including community engagement
Leadership in recovery
Coordination and collaboration (including donations of goods, volunteers and donations of time, service provision)
Sustaining the recovery workforce

Free to attend

Supported by 



EMSINA presents - What’s the key lessons from our major fire campaigns in the spatial technology space

What are the key lessons in the from the disastrous fires and floods recently in the spatial technology space? The Emergency Management Spatial Information Network Australia (EMSINA) have a major project to pry out the key learnings in the technology space, particularly around the use of location technologies and spatial information. Have we learnt from past disasters? What are the new learnings in our rapidly expanding use of spatial technologies?

Spatial Information technologies comprise a range of disciplines which come together to provide valuable input across the Emergency Management sector. More commonly referred to as ‘mapping’, but definitely not just about making maps. Spatial Sciences are at the heart of dispatching, resource allocation, warnings, pre-incident planning, incident statistical reporting, fire modelling, remote sensing, plume modelling, impact assessment, smart devices, machine learning and field mapping - all key decision support areas in emergency management.

Through full presentations, lightning talks and facilitated discussions, EMSINA will present examples of the use and the growing demands of mapping and location technologies as applied in these past major fires within the emergency services organisations, Local/State/Federal Governments and to feed public information demands. During this professional development opportunity, you will see presentations from our Emergency Service Organisations and Government from across Australia along with some of the major vendors of location technologies. We will hear about how their systems held up to demand, what could have been better and most important we will focus on what the future holds from these learnings in an ever-increasing need for spatial in modern digital solutions. This program is coordinated by the Emergency Management Spatial Information Network Australia (EMSINA).

Free to attend

Supported by

EMSINA         fujitsu

Managing Extreme Wildfires

Event overview:

The summer of 2019/2020 saw globally unprecedented levels of extreme wildfire activity in south-eastern Australia – hundreds of blow-up fire events and dozens of pyroCbs. The sustained outbreak of multiple violent pyro-convective events around New Year’s Eve has highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of extreme wildfires, but also presents a unique opportunity to enhance our knowledge. Indeed, as the influence of global warming on extreme wildfires becomes clearer, these Australian events provide the basis for lessons of global relevance – this is particularly important as the pace of change appears to be accelerating.
However, as the science surges ahead, there is less and less time to pass on lessons-learned to those who need them. It is essential that Australian fire services are kept informed of the latest developments in the science of extreme wildfires so they can better adapt to the changes in their operating environment.
To this end, this one-day workshop aims to provide an understanding of the problem and our options for managing it.

Who should attend?

The workshop is targeted at senior incident management personnel (especially in operations, planning and intelligence functions), fire management planners, and risk analysts. Extreme wildfires are impacting all eastern states (from Brisbane to Hobart and Adelaide) and the south-west of Western Australia, so people from these jurisdictions are particularly encouraged to attend. Four years ago, the world’s first tropical event may have occurred at Port Hedland in WA.


Adjunct Professor Rick McRae recently retired after 32 years as a fire management planner, arson investigator, bushfire scientist and risk analyst in ACT Emergency Services. He has deployed overseas and to Tasmania as an FBAN.
Professor Jason Sharples has led cutting-edge scientific studies into extreme wildfires for over 15 years.
Both are at UNSW Canberra, and are involved in international collaborations into extreme wildfires.

Price to attend: $250


Fundamentals of the response of timber buildings to fire - from theory to application

Mass timber construction is becoming increasingly prevalent in the building industry due to the numerous benefits of engineered timber structures.

However due to their combustible nature, exposed mass timber structures can affect the dynamics of the fire within the compartment and the external plume, and burn continuously under specific conditions until structural collapse. Large surfaces of exposed engineered timber such as cross-laminated timber, used as floors and walls in building compartments, challenge the primary objectives of any fire safety strategy (i.e. egress, compartmentation and structural stability).

Self-extinction corresponds to the ceasing of flaming combustion, a condition necessary to enable the concept of burnout required for the design principles of compartmentation and structural stability. Failure to achieve self-extinction in compartments may be caused by several factors, which include an excessive ratio of exposed timber surfaces, encapsulation failure, or the fall-off of charred timber lamellae.
This CPD aims to provide an overview of the fundamentals of the response of timber buildings to fire - from theory to application. There will also be discussion around the critical research questions that need to be addressed for enabling a safe design for timber buildings.


Engineers will gain an understanding of:
• The flammability and structural properties of timber in fire
• The role of mass timber in quasi-cubic and open-plan compartment fire dynamics
• Structural behaviour of mass timber structures in fire
• Self-extinction of mass timber structures

Who should attend:

• Structural Engineers
• Fire Safety Engineers
• Fire Safety Professionals

Price to attend: $250

Supported by



Building RPAS Capability in Emergency Services  

Remotely Piloted Aircraft are receiving increasing recognition as a flexible and adaptable tool in many emergency management scenarios and is a rapidly developing technology. However, implementing a RPAS program provides challenges -from navigating federal aviation legislation, to implementing a cost-effective and sustainable RPAS and Pilot program, to evolving the capability sustainably with the evolution of technology. Fire and Resuce NSW (FRNSW) have built up their RPAS capability and has moved into advanced sensors, payloads and applications technology as part of day-to-day operations.  FRNSW have employed RPAS in multiple situations; from boat launches and near-shore hazmat response of an effluent vehicle, to subterranean fire monitoring and post-bushfire volumetric calculations for debris triaging to construction of a bushland interface digital twin and more – all of which help articulate the potential RPAS provide as a solution to some of the challenges facing communities and the environment in light of increasingly fiscally restraint.

This workshop offers a unique opportunity for personnel from other agencies to engage directly with FRNSW staff that have been involved in developing the FRNSW RPAS capability, so see first hand how they manage their fleet and gain insights into sensor capabilities and data use as well as watching real life demonstrations of RPAS in the field.

Price to attend: $250

Supported by


Green Wattle Creek Fire 2019/2020: Multi-agency large scale operations and the preservation of critical community infrastructure field study.

Event overview:

The Wollondilly and Wingecarribee LGAs are located south of Sydney in New South Wales between Campbelltown and Goulburn. The area is commonly known as the Southern Highlands. The area covered by the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee LGAs is 525,700 hectares. Over 60% of this area is covered by forest with well over 60% classified as water catchment.

The Green Wattle Creek fire was started on 27 November 2019 by lightning in the Blue Mountains National Park, southwest of the Warragamba Dam. As the fire spread over the following weeks it encompassed five separate LGAs and threatened communities as far apart as Jenolan, Colo Vale, Megalong Valley and the western outskirts of Sydney. Before it was extinguished by rainfall in February, the fire burnt through 278,200ha and destroyed 37 homes, with more than 1,000 homes saved. The fire also burnt through 36% of the whole Warragamba Dam catchment with 90% of the bushland immediately surrounding the lake being burnt.

This field trip and aerial tour of the Southern Highlands will provide an appreciation of the risks and complex challenges faced by combat agencies and the community. Attendees will gain an appreciation of the complexities involved in managing bush fires in one of the most bush fire prone areas in the World.

The field trip is designed to be a practical and hands on experience targeting the areas of Multi-agency large scale operations and the preservation of critical community infrastructure field study.

Price to attend: $250

Supported by

NSW rural

NSW SES State Command Centre & Operational Technology Tour 

Visit NSW SES for a tour through State Headquarters, State Command Centre & an overview of SES emergency management structures and an inspection of the new innovative technology including the Mobile Incident Control Centre (MICC) and Cell on Wheels (CoW).

We have organised for the MICC to be on display at Coniston (close to SHQ) where we will showcase the MICC, Cell on Wheels (CoW), new Heavy Rescue vehicle and the Unimog High Clearance Flood Operations Vehicle. Participants will then travel to NSW SES State Headquarters for a tour of the State Control Centre (SCC) lunch and then return to Sydney.

Price to attend: $250

Supported by


Tour of Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Plain 

The Hawkesbury Nepean valley is situated on the edge of the Sydney metropolitan area.  The residents and businesses of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley face unique risks in terms of economic or social damage and loss of life in the event of a flood.  The Insurance Council of Australia identifies that this Valley has the highest flood risk in New South Wales. The bathtub-like topography of the Valley increases the potential depth and speed of flooding relative to other floodplains.  This puts some population centres at risk of becoming ‘flood islands’ without any access to evacuation routes, and potentially being completely inundated in large floods.  In 2016 the NSW Government announced the Hawkesbury Nepean flood strategy to address the complex flooding issues faced in the valley.

On this field trip, you will be touring Warragamba Dam and the populated areas that can be flooded ranging from rural to peri-urban to urban areas, giving you the opportunity to appreciate the scale of and complexity of the flood problem. You will gain an understanding of the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery strategies for this complex river system.

Anyone who has an interest in large scale disaster management is encouraged to register. 

Price to attend: $250


Supported by