Keynote Highlight – Dr Richard Thornton, Chief Executive of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

The Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference continues to support the Disaster and Emergency Management community with a strong focus on natural disasters and 2015 marks the 4th year of the event. The ANZDM Conference will be held 4-5 May 2015 at Jupiters Gold Coast with the theme of EARTH; FIRE AND RAIN.

Presentation Title: From bushfires to all-hazards research – a nation under threat

Decades of good research has provided us with much knowledge about extreme weather, fire behaviour, flood mitigation, building in high-wind or earthquake zones, and more. What’s left are the difficult research problems, and many are about us – people issues – and how we live with the threat of regular natural hazards.  If we want to make our communities safer, Australians need to tackle these problems in more innovative ways. It’s time to remove the politics from the decision-making processes and engage all parties, public and private, to work towards the mitigation of hazards.

richard-thorntonKeynote Highlight – Dr Richard Thornton is the Chief Executive of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC a position he has held since April 2013. He led a team to develop the CRC following the Prime Ministerial announcement of funding in February 2013. Prior to that Richard was Deputy CEO and Research Director of the Bushfire CRC, a role he held since 2004 where is responsibilities included leadership and oversight of the research program.

Richard is a highly experienced Research Management Executive with 20 years in the field, both with the Bushfire CRC and Telstra previously. Richard has a physics background and has worked in science fields including nuclear and semiconductor physics, computational fluid mechanics, IT and telecommunications engineering, and online services, primarily in the private sector.


Richard is a member of the Board of the International Association of Wildland Fire and the Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the International Journal of Wildland Fire.