ANU Disaster Solutions Update: From Fires to Floods

How can we advance our approaches to preventing and responding to disasters, both in Australia and across the region? What's working and what's not? Are there innovative approaches that we can learn from? Join us to discuss these pressing questions at the inaugural ANU Disaster Solutions Update.

Held in-person at The Australian National University and online, the event will be critical for policy-makers and disaster-risk reduction practitioners; NGOs and volunteers working in disaster-risk fields; as well as the wider community.

Sessions include:

2-2.15pm: Opening Address

2.15-3pm: In-Conversation - Setting the scene

How is our changing climate increasing the occurrence and severity of natural disasters? Why are current approaches to disaster management not working? What can we do to respond more effectively? The session will include audience Q&A.

  • Dr Roslyn Prinsley, Head of Disaster Solutions, The Australian National University Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions
  • Professor Mark Howden, Director and Head of Climate Change, The Australian National University Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions

3-3.30pm: Break

3.30-4.45pm: Transformational approaches to disasters - preventing disasters in the first place

How can we leverage nature-based solutions to mitigate the severity of disasters? What role can research and technology play in bringing about transformational change to disaster response? This session brings together different perspectives on diverse approaches to transformational solutions. The session will include audience Q&A.

3.30-4pm: Snapshot Presentation - Nature-based solutions and sponge cities

  • Professor Kongjian Yu, Dean, College of Architecture, Peking University; Inventor and Advocate for 'Sponge Cities' concept

4-4.45pm: Panel - An integrated approach to protecting Australia from catastrophic bushfires

  • Professor Robert Mahony, Deputy-Director, ANU-Optus Bushfire Research Centre of Excellence, The Australian National University
  • Dr Philip Zylstra, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin University; Research Associate, Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Colleen Bryant, College of Science, The Australian National University

4.45-5.10pm: Break

5.10-6pm: Disaster risk-preparedness & recovery

What innovative approaches can we take to prepare for disasters and how can we improve our recovery response? Each presenter will be invited to provide a five minute 'burst presentation' from the chair before opening up to facilitated discussion and audience Q&A.

  • Annie Kia, Resident, Lismore - Community driven approaches
  • Dr David Caldicott, Emergency Consultant, Senior Clinical Lecturer, College of Health and Medicine, The Australian National University - Preparing our health systems for more disasters
  • Cherie Gray, Global Lead, Sustainability & Market Development, Swiss Re Group - The insurance industry as a driver for innovative disaster mitigation
  • Josh McLaren, Co-founder, Australian Young Professionals in Disasters - Moderator

More Information:

  • Event registration privacy notice
  • Please note that masks must be worn by in-person audience members during this event. More information regarding masks at the ANU can be found here.
  • Please click here for information on getting to our events. 
  • Light refreshments will be provided throughout the event.