Over the coming months, EMPA will be hosting a continuing series of webinars on a range of topics of interest to all emergency communicators. Subscribe to our mailing list below to keep informed and click below to see details for the most recent webinars.

JULY 2022 | APRIL 2022 | MARCH 2022NOVEMBER 2021 | OCTOBER 2021 


JULY 2022

Wednesday 27 July, 10:00-11:00 AM (AEST)  |  8:00-9:00 AM (AWST)  |  12:00-1:00 PM (NZDT)


EMPA Principle #3: Community Focused Communication

People are the primary focus. We need to work with communities. We need to build communication policy, plans and practice that truly acknowledge the community’s capacity and complexity, their perspectives and priorities.

The webinar will be hosted by EMPA director, Rebecca Riggs, who will facilitate a discussion with a panel of experts in the industry.


APRIL 2022

Wednesday 27 March, 10:00-11:00 AM (AEST)  |  8:00-9:00 AM (AWST)  |  12:00-1:00 PM (NZDT)

Can our political leaders do better in emergencies?

When disaster strikes, political leaders are expected to rise to the occasion. Why do they so often get it wrong? Press reports of responses to natural disaster influence perceptions of political leadership. Reports of Australian prime ministers’ visits to sites of disaster since the early twentieth century show us how reporting of disaster and perceptions of leadership are evolving.

MARCH 2022

Wednesday 30 March, 10:00-11:00 AM (AEDT)  |  7:00-8:00 AM (AWST)  |  12:00-1:00 PM (NZDT)

EMPA Principle #7: Building Teams and Creating Capacity

EMPA Director Rebecca Riggs will host a discussion on EMPA Principle No7: ‘Building Teams – Creating Capacity’, where experts discuss the need to resource and build scalable and adaptable teams of skilled communications practitioners and a need to prepare them, build their capacity and work to ensure their wellbeing.

The panel includes Lauren Maher (NSW SES), Chantelle Rule-Murphy (QFES) and Karl Ferguson (DPMC NZ).


Wednesday 24 November, 10:00-11:00 AM (AEDT)  |  7:00-8:00 AM (AWST)  |  12:00-1:00 PM (NZDT)


EMPA Director Rebecca Riggs will chair a discussion on EMPA Principle No1: ‘The Chair at the Table’, where experts discuss the need for communicators to be involved in decision making during emergencies.

Excellent communication is central to excellent operations. Communicators need a seat at the table and a voice in strategic decision making. They should understand, support, and influence operational objectives.”

The panel includes Michele Poole (FENZ), Leah Hornibrook (QFES) and Inspector-General for Emergency Management, Tony Pearce (Vic).

click image to view the EMPA Principles


Wednesday 27 October, 10:00-11:00 AM (AEDT)  |  7:00-8:00 AM (AWST)  |  12:00-1:00 PM (NZDT)


The Never-Ending Stream: Disaster Response in New York City from 9/11 to COVID-19

In the early morning after the 9/11 attacks, as the Associate Commissioner for Environmental Health at the New York City Department of Health, Kelly McKinney was assigned to the makeshift Emergency Operations Center in the second-floor library of the city’s Police Academy on East 20th Street, six blocks above the evacuated city—the so-called “Red Zone.”

He has spent the two decades since in leadership roles in every major emergency in New York City, first as the Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Office of Emergency Management and then as the Chief Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross in Greater New York. 

This session will focus on some of his key insights, those lessons learned, from twenty years in the disaster business in New York. These include the immediate challenge of grief management and the essential role of disaster mental health services; the needs imperative of the children and families trapped by the crisis, and the continuing challenges of leadership and change management in a post-COVID-19 world.



Kelly McKinney