WA Emergency Management Conference

Preparing for a new era of disasters

Wednesday, 13 October, 2021 (International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction)
Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
8.00am registration for 8.30am start. Finish: 4.30pm approx



In Person  $150.00 (+ $3.50 Booking Fee)
In Person (Volunteer)  $75.00 (+ $3.50 Booking Fee)
Livestream  $100.00 (+ $3.50 Booking Fee)
Livestream (Volunteer)  $50.00 (+ $3.50 Booking Fee)
  • In support of all of our amazing volunteers involved in Emergency Management throughout the State, we are offering a 50% discount on ticket prices for volunteers.

Do you want to be part of something important, innovative or thought-provoking that has the potential to shape how we prepare and respond to the increasing rate and severity of disasters driven by climate change?

The Shire of Dardanup has gathered a panel of big thinkers and experts for an industry-leading, in-person and live-streamed state emergency management conference in October addressing the theme: ‘Building Capacity to adapt in an Era of Unprecedented Disasters’.

It’s time to think outside the box and with funding assistance through the State Emergency Management Committee’s AWARE Grants Program, the Shire is leading the charge.


Dr Robert Glasser 
Head of the Climate and Security Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)


  • United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Head of the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)
  • Member of the Secretary General’s Senior Management Group
  • Member Deputy Secretary General’s Climate Principals Group
    Secretary General CARE International

Dr Glasser has over 30 years of experience as a practitioner, advocate and policy-maker in the areas of climate change, sustainable development and disaster response.


Dr Erin Smith
PhD, MPH, MClinEpi

Associate Professor of Disaster and Emergency Response in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University.


  • World renowned for her expertise in first responder mental health and well-being
  • Convenor – Psychosocial Special Interest Group, Board of Directors, World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM)
  • Widely published in both academic journals and discipline-specific magazines. She writes a regular column “Let’s Talk Mental Health” in The Australian
  • Emergency Services Magazine and has published frequently in The Conversation
  • Editorial Board, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, Journal of High Threat and Austere Medicine, and the Journal of Addictive Diseases.
  • Board Member of The Code 9 Foundation
  • Ambassador for the Victoria Police Mental Health and Well-being Committee
  • Advisory Board Member of the Australian Federal Police SHIELD project
  • Expert consultant, Emergency Services Foundation in Victoria


Dr Kate Brady
National Recovery Adviser, Australian Red Cross. Research Fellow – Community Resilience, University of Melbourne


  • Research expertise in collective trauma and community recovery after disaster or upheaval
  • Distinguished career over the past decade in disaster recovery operations, programming, training and resource development
  • Significant influence on State and National emergency management policy
  • International profile in collective trauma, risk and resilience and in disaster recovery program evaluations

Since completing her PhD in 2020, Kate has joined the team at the University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health as a Research Fellow. Her research focuses on what people find helpful and unhelpful after disasters.


Aaron Kearney (OAM)
ABC International Pacific Disaster Preparedness Broadcast Unit Lead and host of “Pacific Prepared” program


  • Multi-award-winning broadcaster, photojournalist, sports commentator, five-time New York Festival award winner, AIPS Sports Award Silver Medallist and Prodi Journalist of the Year
  • Walkley Award Winner for emergency broadcasting
  • Works across newspapers, television, radio and social with Fairfax, Channel Seven Australia, the ABC and others

Aaron is in demand across the globe for his experience in broadcasting, commentary, storytelling and innovation, working for the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, the BBC World Service and universities and corporations on five continents. An inaugural Summer Fellow at Reuters Institute for Journalism at the University of Oxford, he holds a Masters Degree and Graduate Certificate from Griffith University, specialising in broadcast for development.


Lewis Winter

Adjunct Lecturer in Emergency Management, Charles Sturt University


  • Worked at Federal, State and Local Government level on innovative emergency management projects.
  • Contracted by WALGA to train local government personnel in emergency management.
  • Contracted to train Australian Defence Force officers on base.
  • Consults to industry and government departments in Australian and overseas on complex emergency management projects and plans.
  • Recovery coordination following large scale emergencies.

Lewis has a Masters Degree in Emergency Management, an Advance Diploma in Public Safety, Diploma in Business, Diploma in Local Government and is a Certified Practicing Risk Manager.


Tim Muirhead

Director of CSD Network


  • Over 30  years’ experience in all aspects of community and cross-cultural development. The CSD Network, established in 1993, specialises in these fields, working with all spheres of government, and  the non-government and community sectors.
  • Author of “Weaving Tapestries – the new handbook for developing community”, used by many community workers and community members, particularly in WA and  ‘Finding Heraan’ an allegory that specifically addresses the importance of sharing our often different truths and insights.
  • Reputable trainer and presenter in the fields of community development and engagement as well as (alongside Nyoongar colleagues) Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relations.

At all times Tim works to foster collaborative approaches between people with often diverse knowledge, skills and perspectives. He creates environments in which participants can speak, and hear each other, with courage, confidence and openness. His approach to developing community is focused clearly on developing human spirit and connection. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, specialising in Psychology, Anthropology and Human Geography.


Chris Widmer ESM – Conference MC

Awarded the Emergency Services Medal from the Australian Honours List, Peter Keillor Award recognising service to the SES in WA and the DFES Diligent Services Medal, SES Long Service Medal and the National Medal for Service with clasps.


  • Over 43 years of experience in the emergency services industry.
  • Post graduate qualifications in applied management and leadership, in addition to undergraduate qualifications in training and assessment, business management, leadership and emergency risk management.
  • Though Plan-it WA Consulting, Chris provides business improvement activities, corporate emergency and business risk management, training and development, along with leadership training and mentoring programs to local governments, the mining industry and State Government departments.
  • Chris’ Incident Management Skills have been used locally and with deployments to significant national emergencies including New South Wales (on several occasions) and throughout Western Australia. He has been an endorsed ‘Incident Controller’ for Level 3 (highest of three levels) fires and natural hazard emergencies, with experience in managing significant emergency events.


Craig Cuthbert

Coordinator Community Safety & Emergency Management, Shire of Mundaring


  • Volunteer firefighter for 22 years.
  • Emergency response and preparedness trainer.
  • Emergency Responder and Security Officer on remote mine construction sites.
  • Emergency Management Officer and Emergency Responder in the mining industry.

Brett Hopley

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development


  • State Animal Welfare in Emergencies Coordinator.
  • Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for State Animal or Plant Biosecurity Incidents.


Bec Pianta, Russell Wells, Clifton Bieundurry, Jeremy Wright, Zachariah Merrit

Bushfire Centre of Excellence

The Bushfire Centre of Excellence is an education hub where bushfire management personnel can come together for training and learning. A dedicated team is also examining bushfire knowledge, research and the traditional fire practices of Aboriginal Australians.

The Centre is the first of its kind in Australia and located in the Shire of Murray’s Peel Business Park, about an hour south of Perth


Severe weather is creating disasters like the 2019 New South Wales Bushfire Crisis and this year’s Wooroloo Bushfires, Cyclone Seroja and flash flooding. Here in the South West of WA a 16 per cent decline in rainfall has been recorded over the past 30 years, driving more extreme fire weather and increasing the likelihood of disasters beyond our historical experience.

It’s time to think outside the box and with funding assistance through the State Emergency Management Committee’s AWARE Grants Program, the Shire is leading the charge.

Topics we hope to explore during the conference include:

  • The impact of climate change;
  • The role of traditional, Indigenous and local knowledge and practices;
  • Supporting the ongoing health and wellbeing of volunteers and personnel;
  • New technologies for working in crisis situations;
  • Planning for animal welfare;
  • Creative new perspectives not limited or controlled by rules or tradition.


Tickets are available for purchase online direct from the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre website HERE.

Prices are as follows:

  • LIVE IN-PERSON: $150 or $75 for volunteers
  • STREAMED: $100 or $50 for volunteers


Some of Bunbury’s accommodation providers are offering discounted rates for your convenience during your visit.