The speakers have been chosen, the stands are being booked and excitement is ramping up for the much-anticipated return of AFAC21 on 17–20 August 2021.
The emergency-management sector will come together once more after two of the most memorable years to discover the latest in technology, tools and practice.
What lies ahead?
Held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, AFAC21 powered by INTERSCHUTZ will be themed ‘Balancing impact and expectations’. The call for papers resulted in organisers receiving a deluge of exceptional session ideas and keynote speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Meticulous planning will ensure that the event is Covid safe and meets all safety compliance requirements.
Back better than ever, AFAC21 will build on the success of the hugely successful AFAC19 in Melbourne that saw a record number of over 4,000 practitioners, researchers, critical thinkers and international guests in attendance.
‘AFAC has long been the main event for this industry. It’s the one where everyone turns up – all of the experts and the decision-makers are there,’ said Ian Price, business manager of GAAM Emergency Products. A well-known figurehead in the sector, Ian has been involved in firefighting machinery for over 50 years and has exhibited at AFAC for 25 years.
‘It’s excellent to hear that AFAC21 is in the planning after the 2020 event was postponed. It was a tough year for everyone, and the focus has very much been on just surviving but we’re getting through it and it will be great to see everyone again in August in Sydney.’
Preparing for the unprecedented
The central theme for AFAC19 was ‘A shift to the new norm: riding the wave of change’ – no one at the time could have known just how fitting this focus would prove to be. Who would have thought 2020 would be so full of huge events and uncertainties?
It demonstrated that AFAC is so much more than a gathering of like-minded industry peers and supporters but a benchmark for the industry and instrumental in setting it up for future success and to serve at the highest level possible.
AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ gave delegates the opportunity to explore the concept of change with 248 conference presenters addressing a wide variety of topics including climate change, culture and diversity, land management, prescribed burning, flood mitigation, infrastructure and quantifying risk.
It was the largest trade exhibition in the history of the event. At 12,000sqm, delegates were able to witness the latest technology and operations equipment first-hand with a live demonstrations area, further presentations and 194 exhibitors, including 47 international exhibitors from 17 countries.
This year’s theme is ‘Balancing impact and expectations’
The conference will take its cues from the incidents that made so much impact over the past few years. As recent emergency events have shown, there is an evolving extreme that is producing new challenges in terms of impact on the community, environment and economies.
The community expects the emergency-management sector to stay ahead of these events, but with resourcing challenges, overlapping seasons here and abroad, and the surge in reviews, inquiries and recommendations, what do agencies do differently?
AFAC21 will focus on how we manage the consequences of major events and meet the expectations of the community and government. The programme will explore how the sector can continue to learn and find opportunities to deliver with new and innovative approaches.
Other supporting topics that will be explored at the conference include new approaches, supporting ourselves and others, embedding research into practice, and communities.
What can you expect at AFAC21?
AFAC21 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is Australasia’s largest and most comprehensive emergency management conference and exhibition. Once again, it will be brought to you by AFAC, Deutsche Messe, the Institution of Fire Engineers (Australia) and Australian Disaster Resilience Conference.
On rotation around Australia’s major cities, the AFAC21 event’s host agencies are the: ACT Emergency Services Agency, ACT Parks and Wildlife Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry Corporation of NSW, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service.
AFAC21 will offer you an unrivalled opportunity to learn from international and local thought leaders across the multi-streamed AFAC conference, featuring the Institution of Fire Engineers (Australia) National Conference and the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference.
Day one of the conference will conclude with the conference welcome and awards ceremony, where much-deserving key innovators and leaders will be acknowledged for their contributions to the sector.
A fitting end to day two will be the annual AFAC powered by INTERSCHUTZ gala dinner, always a great excuse for an elegant costume change and an evening styled to a theme that is to be confirmed.
Following on from the conferences, the Professional Development Programme (PDP) will feature practical workshops and site tours.
AFAC21 will also feature its renowned world-class exhibition. Every year, the exhibition attracts a comprehensive range of exhibitors covering all facets of emergency-management equipment, technology and services. All attendees have access to the very popular live demonstration zone and practical expo stage presentations.
The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) Australia national conference will be held in conjunction with AFAC21. The conference will explore the theme ‘Vision 2021: Shifting the culture: enhancing safety, sustainability and resilience’. See the Call for Papers at ife.org.au
The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) will also once again be co-locating the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference with AFAC21. The conference will explore the theme ‘Meeting in the middle: community voices and complex choices’. More information is available on the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference website at aidr.org.au/adrc
For more information, go to afacconference.com.au