Dr Richard Thornton
AFAC17 discussed the latest in research, learning and practices in collaborative management and natural hazard responses Australia’s leading emergency management conference and expo, AFAC17 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, attracted a record attendance of more than 3,200 visitors to Sydney. Compared to the previous edition of AFAC in Brisbane which had already broken attendance records last year, nearly twice as many professionals visited the event to discuss the latest in research, learning and practices in collaborative management and natural hazard responses at the International Convention Centre Sydney. The successful partnership of Australia’s National Council for Fire and Emergency Services and Deutsche Messe, organisers of the world-renowned emergency management trade fair INTERSCHUTZ, brought the exhibition to Sydney for the first time in six years. Taking up an expansive 14,000 sqm, the exhibition showcased almost 200 companies and organisations including Isuzu, Iveco, Tatra, Mercedes-Benz, Scania, Fraser Fire & Rescue, Fuso, Volvo and HINO. Compared to the previous event which had already seen an increase of exhibitors, another growth of 17 percent showed the industry’s support to AFAC. Showfloor highlights and collaborations Stuart Ellis AM, CEO, AFAC remarked on the overall success of the conference and exhibition: “The theme of the conference was collaborating for success and it was really great to see so much collaboration occurring throughout the four days. The calibre of speakers across the programme, alongside the live demonstrations of technology and new rescue techniques demonstrate the strength of Australia’s emergency management and natural hazard response sector.” Showfloor highlights included the interactive Expo Stage, along with 10 live outdoor demonstrations showcasing the latest technology and rescue techniques. Attracting more than 100 local and international experts in a range of emergency management fields – speakers included Dr Blair Trewin, Climate Scientist, Bureau of Meteorology; Ann Bostrom, Professor in Environmental Policy, University of Washington and Bart van Leeuwen, smart data expert and senior Dutch firefighter – all presenting their latest research and knowledge across the conference. Emergency management research Dr Richard Thornton, CEO, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) commented on the value of research in emergency management: “Australia is a leader in emergency management research, and we are proud to see research from the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC being shared with the industry at the Research Forum. AFAC17 powered by INTERSCHUTZ provides a fantastic chance for the broader sector to see how our science is being used, as well as what is to come over the next four years.” At the close of the exhibition, over 70 per cent of exhibition space for the 2018 exhibition had been sold. AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ will be held in Western Australia from 5-8 September 2018 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.