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Forging a Fire-Ready Future

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Event description

Amid the increasing threat of unavoidable bushfires, our community confronts a pressing challenge: how do we prepare for the inevitable? As fires become more frequent and intense, the need for proactive measures grows urgent, but is Tasmania ready?

Join our experts as they explore strategies that might fortify us against a catastrophic fire event. Together, we'll challenge assumptions, share insights, and discover pathways toward preparedness.

The experts

  • Councillor Anna Reynolds, Lord Mayor of Hobart
  • Professor David Bowman, Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science, University of Tasmania
  • Professor Greg Lehman, Professorial Fellow of Indigenous Research, University of Tasmania
  • Dr Phillipa McCormack, climate adaptation law and policy expert, University of Adelaide
  • Mike Brown AM, AFSM, Former Chief Fire Officer, TAS Fire Service
  • Hosted by Professor Richard Eccleston, Director of the Tasmanian Policy Exchange, University of Tasmania.

Attend online
Join this talk in-person, or online. To attend online, register via Zoom, and we'll email you details. To register for the in-person event, get your free tickets through Humanitix.

Pre-event refreshments
Head to the venue early and enjoy complimentary refreshments from 5.30pm.


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Councillor Anna Reynolds

Lord Mayor of Hobart
Councillor Anna Reynolds was elected Lord Mayor of Hobart in November 2018, the third woman to be elected into the role. First elected as an Alderman to the City of Hobart in 2014, she was Chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee during her first term. Anna began her career establishing a community legal centre in North Queensland, after completing her degree at the Australian National University. She has held senior roles in advocacy, policy development and management, including: Managing the Australian Conservation Foundation's Parliament Liaison Office; Deputy Director of WWF International's Global Climate Change Program and Chief Executive Officer of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania.

As Lord Mayor, Anna is focused on a range of issues including affordable housing, climate change, active transport, and protecting Hobart's heritage.

Dr Phillipa McCormack
Climate adaptation law and policy expert, University of Adelaide

Phillipa is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide. Her research focuses on climate change law and governance, with a particular focus on laws about climate adaptation in the context of bushfires and biodiversity conservation. Phillipa’s current research projects include analysis of legal and policy frameworks that apply to fire mitigation and hazard reduction across Australia and in California. Her research is important for informing and understanding the implications of legal reform proposed by royal commissions and inquiries following major fire events.

Professor David Bowman
Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science, University of Tasmania

Professor David Bowman is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and the Director of the transdisciplinary Fire Centre at the University of Tasmania, where he holds a research chair in Pyrogeography and Fire Science. He is internationally recognised as a thought leader in wildfire science and management, publishing influential research in high-impact journals, providing policy advice to government, and serving as an expert media commentor.

Professor Greg Lehman
Professorial Fellow, Indigenous Research, University of Tasmania

Professor Lehman is a Tasmanian Aboriginal scholar and writer who is a passionate and accomplished contributor to public discourse on the history and culture of Tasmania. His work encourages better recognition and understanding of Aboriginal heritage and culture as a necessary part of Tasmania’s future. His research interests include colonial art history, visual cultures, Indigenous knowledges, environmental history and fire ecology. He has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geography and Spatial Systems at the University of Tasmania, a McKenzie Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Pro Vice Chancellor Aboriginal Leadership at the University of Tasmania. His continuing research aims to deepen understandings of human landscape history in Tasmania through creative engagement with visual histories, Indigenous culture, knowledges and perspectives.

Mike Brown AM, AFSM
Former Chief Fire Officer, TAS Fire Service
Mike Brown worked with the Tasmania Fire Service for 39 years. His roles ranged from operations, brigade management, district and regional management to Chief Operating Officer and Chair of the State Fire Commission, which he held for more than six years. He led Australia's only fully integrated fire and emergency service with 5,500+ members across different sectors, including career, volunteer, urban and rural fire and emergency services.
At a National level, Mike served as a Director on the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), Chair of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), and as the Deputy President of the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO).

Professor Richard Eccleston
Director of the Tasmanian Policy Exchange, University of Tasmania
Professor Eccleston is the founding Director of the Tasmanian Policy Exchange (TPE) at the University of Tasmania. He is a specialist in social and economic policy and has worked on a wide range of policy issues, analysing and developing practical evidence-based solutions to some of the most significant policy challenges facing our community.
In recent years Richard has worked with governments to lead several projects, including tax reform, housing affordability, migration, preventive health and the future of renewable energy in Tasmania. He has led the TPE’s detailed work on Tasmania’s future climate policy including a recent paper about measuring and reporting bushfire emissions (in collaboration with Professor David Bowman).

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