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Preparing Victoria conference
The theme for the 2013 Emergency Management Conference was ‘Preparing Victoria’ and it attracted a record attendance.
Article by CFA Operations Manager - HQ, Peter Baker.
Over 550 people attended the conference on 9-10 July in Albert Park, a positive affirmation of the value and relevance of this event to emergency service organisations, government departments, municipalities, suppliers and other organisations involved one way or another with emergency management.
Described simply ‘as the best yet’ the conference clearly is about ‘all hazards and all agencies’, a theme that underlines the emergency management sector.
A range of high quality international and local speakers addressed relevant issues and developments. Key note speakers this year included:
- Former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh (spoke about communicating and building trust with communities)
- Louisiana State University Executive Director Disaster Management, Lt. Col. Joe Booth (spoke about the new ‘normal’ of disaster management)
- San Francisco Fire Department Fire Chief, Joanne Hayes-White.
Of special note, at the very last minute, Chief Hayes-White had to cancel her flight to Melbourne due to the passenger jet that crashed at San Francisco airport. Given her operational duties for that situation, she did however ‘attend’ the conference in real-time via a Skype hook-up. Joanne spoke to the conference for nearly an hour and included a 20 minute open and frank presentation on the passenger jet crash that kept attendees spellbound. Questions and interactions from the audience were answered exactly as if she had made it to Melbourne in person.
Of equal relevance and importance were the more than 30 local and interstate speakers who covered a diverse range of topics and workshops. There certainly was plenty to choose from at this conference.
There’s no doubt that this industry is constantly changing to meet the wide range of risks that can eventuate in Victoria. The conference, a component of the Emergency Services Foundation’s (ESF) educational portfolio, provided a great opportunity to hear the latest and to discuss changes and concepts at face-to-face level with the speakers and a variety of agency and organisation personnel.
The ESF was established in 1987 to support Victorian emergency service workers. ESF provides annual opportunities through the ESF Scholarship to support recipients through ongoing education, research and knowledge sharing opportunities. You’ll find further detail at www.esf.com.au.
Photo: Operations Manager - HQ Peter Baker at the CFA stand with Kiara Schoonens (DEPI)