17 September 2008

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 9:00pm

Adelaide Conference

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Almost 1100 delegates attended our conference.

Our biggest event of the year, the International Bushfire Research Conference, incorporating the 15th Annual AFAC Conference, attracted almost 1100 delegates to Adelaide at the start of this month. Our pre-conference workshop – Bushfire Incident Response - also attracted 75 people with a working interest in managing all the complexities of a bushfire incident. This included five CEO/Chief Officer level participants. In addition, we had 60 research posters from across our Programs on display and added to the delegates memory stick.

The conference, the workshop and the posters are prime vehicles for the research of the Bushfire CRC to be transferred into our agency partners so it was pleasing to see so many people across our industry taking the opportunity to be informed of the latest developments in their field.

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The bustling Bushfire CRC and AFAC expo booth.

For the first time, the Bushfire CRC and AFAC had a combined booth in the Expo area. And what a booth it was! It was double the size of previous years and in the centre of the Expo floor. The extra effort to create such a booth was rewarded by the number of delegates – many new and many familiar faces – who visited or used it as their “home base” for the week. The booth was a real gathering place for many of us; a place for informal meetings and friendly greetings, that nicely complemented the formal program.

All the posters are now on the Bushfire CRC website. Photographs and other reports from the conference are being progressively added over the coming weeks.

Also check out the excellent ABC site dedicated to our conference. This was the first time the ABC has dedicated such a large amount of resources to support a conference anywhere in Australia. In its role as the emergency services broadcaster, our conference was an ideal opportunity for the ABC to enhance its reputation in the area. Go to www.abc.net.au/bushfireconference

Diary note –  Next year the conference is at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, 22-25 September 2009

 

Jim Gould

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Jim Gould, left, receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from Gary Morgan at the Adelaide conference.

Bushfire CRC Program Leader Jim Gould (Program A: Safe Prevention, Preparation and Suppression) has accepted an offer of an opportunity to work in Canada for 12 months as part of an exchange agreement between CSIRO and the Canadian Forest Service.

Jim, who is based at CSRIO Forest Biosciences in Canberra, finished as Program Leader last week and departs for Canada next week. In Canada, Jim will perform the duties of Senior Forest Fire Science Advisor for the Canadian Forest Service based at the Northern Forest Research Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

Jim has played a fundamental role in the formation and development of the Bushfire CRC in recent years. His contribution as both a Program Leader and as a researcher has been immense. On behalf of the Bushfire CRC I wish him all the best with his move.

 

New Program Leader

Jim’s departure created the need for a new appointment as Program A Research Leader. In Adelaide, at the Bushfire CRC Board meeting two weeks ago, consideration was given to a suitable person to conduct this role. The Bushfire CRC Board was very pleased that Professor Rod Keenan, Head of Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science for the University of Melbourne will become Program A Research Leader. While Rod is currently very busy with other commitments he will gradually increase his Bushfire CRC activities over the coming months. May I encourage you to make Rod feel welcome at the Bushfire CRC.

 

Fifth year review

The Board has initiated an independent expert review of the Bushfire CRC’s achievements to date with a view to further improving the benefits to the fire industry and to the community. An expert panel has been formed, consisting of three independent well regarded people.

The purpose of the 5th Year Review is to assess:

  • the scientific quality,
  • the research performance against agreed milestones,
  • the benefits derived from the Bushfire CRC research, and
  • the likely success of the knowledge transfer process to provide anticipated industry uptake.

In addition, the 5th Year Review Panel will be asked to provide comment on the proposed research program for the CRC for Fire; Environment and Society, in relation to the program’s likelihood of success in producing bushfire knowledge for Australia and New Zealand.

The Review will be conducted from 13-17 October 2008 at the Bushfire CRC offices in East Melbourne.

A presentation will be provided to the panel involving some members of the Bushfire CRC Governing Board, Bushfire CRC administration staff, Research Program Leaders and End User Leaders. The remaining days have been allocated to the Panel to seek clarification and to write a report that will be submitted to the Board.

 

Stakeholder Council

Our Stakeholder Council Annual General Meeting will be held at the Bushfire CRC offices in East Melbourne on 29 October. This meeting will contain several important agenda items involving the adoption of key research outcomes and discussion on the long term future of bushfire research in Australasia. More information will be sent to Stakeholder representatives shortly.

 

Bushfire book

On the evening before the Stakeholder AGM we will be holding a launch of the book Wildfire in the High Country for invited guests. This book is a wonderful text and photographic record of the fires of early 2007 in the southern high country of Victoria put together by the Mansfield Writers Group. The Bushfire CRC supported the publication along with the Country Fire Authority, and the Victorian departments of Sustainability and Environment and Human Services. The book launch is at 6pm on 28 October in Melbourne. More details soon.