PROGRAM

COMMUNICATING AND ENGAGING COMMUNITIES IN EMERGENCIES

For the last 14 years EMPA has brought together expert practitioners and researchers from around Australia, the US, New Zealand and Europe. They share frameworks and lessons learned – to stimulate thinking, encourage conversation and create change.

PROGRAM

  • DAY 1
  • DAY 2
  • DAY 3

WEDNESDAY 2 JUNE 2021

12.00 PM

Registration

1.30 PM

½ Day Workshop

ETHICAL STRATEGY WORKSHOP
Putting our values in place

Facilitator: Mark Crosweller, Director, Ethical Intelligence

The workshop will explore the values and ethical considerations necessary to effective communication. Scenarios will demonstrate what impact a clearly ethics driven strategy would have on the work we do.

3.00 PM

COFFEE BREAK

3.30 PM

Workshop continued.

5.00 PM

Close

5.05 PM

Welcome drinks (at Novotel)

THURSDAY 3 JUNE 2021

8.00 AM

Registration

9.00 AM

Welcome from the Conference Chair

Phil Campbell, Marine Rescue NSW

9.10 AM

Host state welcome

TBC

CHAIR:

9.20 AM

KEYNOTE: Crafting messages during COVID-19

Dr Norman Swan, Medical consultant and host of Coronacast

10.20 AM

COFFEE BREAK

CHAIR:

11.00 AM

Risk communications and warnings

Dr Josh Whittaker, NSW Rural Fire Service

Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC and University of Wollongong research team interviewed 200 people from the 2019-20 fires and another 1,000 surveyed online.

11.50 AM

'Remote control' communications team during the pandemic

Ruth Ward, Media Director, Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria 

The challenges of managing a comms team that’s working from home for months, including members that have never met F2F.

12.25 PM

The power of an image

Nick Moir, Chief photographer, Sydney Morning Herald 

Reflections from the frontline during the compounding disasters of the last 18 months.

1.00 PM

LUNCH

CHAIR:

2.00 PM

The 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes: looking back at communications in the lead-up, during and recovery - and where we are 10 years later?

Lee Cowan, Comms & Engagement Consultant, fmr Public Information Manager CCC

We look at little known facts about the Public Information preparedness for Christchurch earthquakes that hit the Canterbury region in NZ in 2010, followed by the killer 22 February 2011 quake, and ongoing aftershocks for months afterwards. Before exploring, what became at the time, the largest communications response to a disaster ever, for New Zealand. Finally, we review what we learnt and how some the learnings changed the way we respond to disasters – even ten years later.  

2.35 PM

Zero Lives Lost

Dr Simon Heemstra, National Hazard & Preparedness Manager, Bureau of Meteorology

New approaches to hazard response, and working relationships with emergency agencies in all states.

3.10 PM

RESEARCH: 8 years at the BNHCRC

David Bruce & Nathan Maddock, Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC 

A review of the notable communications research produced by BNHCRC

3.45 PM

COFFEE BREAK

CHAIR:

4.15 PM

KEYNOTE: The 2019-20 experience shapes resilience in all communities

Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner, Resilience NSW

5.00 PM

Close

6.30 PM

Conference Dinner

FRIDAY 4 JUNE 2021

8.30 AM

Registration

9.00 AM

EMPA Awards - Winners' Showcase

Short presentations by the winners of the 2021 EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communications

9.35 AM

KEYNOTE: Disaster Comms - a Federal perspective

Joe Buffone, Director-General, Emergency Management Australia

New approaches to hazard response, and working relationships with emergency agencies in all states.

10.25 AM

COFFEE BREAK

CHAIR:

10.55 AM

Community behaviours

Dr Dave Trudinger, Director, Behavioural Insights Unit, Department of Customer Service, NSW

Learnings from public behaviour during COVID-19 

11.30 AM

Big Weather (and what we can learn about it) 

Stephen Oliver, Manager, Documentaries, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

ABC has surveyed viewers of ‘Big Weather’ and other programs to gather insights in to behaviour patterns.

PANEL

12.05 PM

Reaching out to indigenous communities 

TBC: CFS, NTPFES, First Nations Media, NITV

12.50 PM

LUNCH

2.00 PM

Building and maintaining a substantial social media following

Simon Kelly, Director, Media & Public Affairs, Queensland Police Service

QPS has built a major Twitter presence with over 1 million followers; how did they achieve this, and how do they nurture their following?

2.15 PM

Bushfire and lockdown - communicating clearly in simultaneous emergencies

Anni Fordham, Department of Fire & Emergency Services, WA

Comms during the recent devastating fire season in Western Australia.

3.45 PM

COFFEE BREAK

CHAIR:

4.15 PM

The value of visuals in natural hazard emergencies

Dr Erica Kuligowski, Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow, RMIT University

Agencies in Australia disseminate visual media to explain disaster events, including the risks involved, their possible impacts, and what actions to take. However, it is unclear the features of visual media that best meet the risk informational needs of the public where hazards are concerned.

This study is conducted to test the efficacy of video content used by Australian emergency services agencies to promote knowledge about hazards, elicit risk perceptions about an event and encourage intention to act consistent with the agency warnings. Participants across Australia were surveyed on their existing knowledge of either fire or flood hazard, as well as their risk perceptions and protective actions taken in response to that hazard. Participants were then presented with a video on that hazard (i.e. one of 17 different fire or flood videos), and subsequently asked about their potential change in understanding about the hazard, their perceived risk associated with the event (based on the video), and what actions the video was encouraging the recipient to take.

Findings from this study will be presented, including the video content features that are most effective at achieving one or more goals (i.e. education, risk, action). Agencies with limited resourcing can then more strategically invest public money in content creation that achieves these goals and meets a community’s information needs in a timely manner. 

3.55 PM

Closing remarks from the EMPA Chair

Dr Barbara Ryan, University of Southern Queensland

4.00 PM

Close