Civil Defence forum lines up disaster management specialists

2 May 2017

Long term community recovery from the impact of Australia’s worst-ever bushfires will be among highlights of a major regional Civil Defence conference in Whangarei later this month.

Australian Anne Leadbeater OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) will outline the lessons learned from the state of Victoria’s Black Saturday fires where more than 400 fires resulted in 173 people dying, more than 400 being injured and 2000-plus homes destroyed.

Ms Leadbeater is a specialist in disaster recovery. She also lives at the Black Saturday fires’ Kinglake, Victoria epicentre and experienced the event first hand.

Lessons from the February Port Hills fires near Christchurch will also be presented to the Civil Defence Forum by Marlborough Rural Fire Officer Richard McNamara.

The two are among speakers talking on a range of specialist emergency and disaster management topics at Northland’s annual Civil Defence Emergency Management Forum in Whangarei on Wednesday 17 May 2017.

Northland Civil Defence staff in-the-field experiences supporting the national Kaikoura earthquake response will be among other forum highlights.

New Zealand director of Civil Defence Sarah Stuart-Black will also talk about civil defence from a national perspective.

“The forum is Northland’s major one-stop-shop conference feature bringing together some of the latest information of interest to those in the region’s Civil Defence Emergency Management industry,” says Kim Abbott, Northland Civil Defence Officer.

The forum is being held at Forum North in Whangarei. About 200 people are expected to attend from sectors including industry emergency response services and community civil defence groups. It starts at 9am and is also open to interested general public.