Author Archives: Greg Ireton

CDMPS in Marysville with RMIT MoDDD students

Great to work so closely with Prof Esther Charlesworth and her team to assist the first batch of the RMIT Master of Disaster, Design and Development (MoDDD) students with a field trip to Marysville. The township was significantly impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires and the experience of community members, businesses, local government and practitioners still provides a rich insight into the complex nature of recovery from disaster.

The group also heard from Prof Ed Blakely and the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.

CDMPS was able to ensure that community, practitioners, and government were able to engage in discussion with the students about the good and the bad of recovery to better inform them at the start of their career in disaster management. Thanks so much to community leaders and local government staff for their support of this initiative.

Below is a photo of the first panel discussion held in the beautiful Narbethong Community Hall.


CDMPS presents at International Conference of Public Safety Science and Technology 2016 (Beijing)

CDMPS was invited to present to the International Conference of Public Safety Science and Technology 2016 in Beijing. This is a rapidly growing conference with over 300 delegates in attendance. Greg Ireton, the Manager of the Centre, presented on some of the key findings around social and community impacts of disasters in Victoria and the implications that this has for community resilience.

There was good interest in this topic with invites being extend to present on this topic at conferences in China later in the year.



CDMPS appointed as an International Advisory Board Member of the China Association of Public Safety

In  our recent visit to Beijing to meet and discuss collaboration in disaster management and public safety at Tsinghua University, Centre Director, Prof Abbas Rajabifard and Centre Manager, Greg Ireton were appointed as members of the International Advisory Board of the China Association of Public Safety.

Along with Tsinghua University, other board members include:

  • Prof. Kimiro Meguro, Director, Int. Center for Urban Safety Engineering (ICUS), University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Prof. Nabil Adam, Founding Director of Rutgers Institute for Data Science, Learning, and Applications (I-DSLA), Risk Analysis Framework for Interconnected, Critical Infrastructure Systems
  • Prof. Petrus van Gelder, Director, Safety and Security Institute, TU Delft, Netherlands
    Dr. Herve Borrion, Senior Lecturer, University College London, England
  • Mr. Meir Elran, Program Director, Institute of National Security Study, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Discussions amongst the board included academic and student exchange, co-delivery of post graduate training in disaster management and public safety as well as working collaboratively on publications.

More details to follow on this initiative.

Board_apoointment_small Board_small

China-Australia Disaster Management International Symposium (CADMIS 2016)

A busy couple of months in the Centre and just catching up on the activities.

July saw the the Centre co-chair the first China-Australia Disaster Management International Symposium in Nanjing along with Hohai University (our hosts) and the Huaihe River Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources.

IMG_4262The symposium consisted of presentations, discussion and engagement that took place over the two days to further advance the field of disaster management for both China and Australia.

The symposium aims included:
1. to present and discuss the latest innovations, research and practice related to disaster management within the context of a global disaster management platform
2. to establish and extend partnerships between China and Australia. Thirdly, to develop a future research agenda to tackle identified disaster management issues identified for China and Australia; and
3. to exchange ideas and to contribute to knowledge in the disaster management field.

The symposium brought together researchers and practitioners from the following organisations:
• Hohai University
• The University of Melbourne
• The Huaihe River Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources
• The China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research
• Beijing University of Chemical Technology
• Nanjing University of Finance and Economics
• Dongbei University of Finance and Economics

A key topic of the symposium was the Global Disaster Management Platform (GDMP). The GDMP is a collaborative international research project funded by the University of Melbourne – under the International Research and Research Training Fund (IRRTF) that is led by the CDMPS at the University of Melbourne. The project aims to develop a platform that can bring together and connect communities dedicated to the disaster field to enable them to share and collaborate. Partner countries in this project include China, India, Chile and Brazil.

Through this China-Australia international research symposium, achieving the GDMP vision of an interactive, coordinated and smart disaster management community that delivers positive outcomes for wider society has been brought closer to being realised.

Connected Vehicles Forum (July 2016)

Last month the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety hosted an executive forum on communications from connected vehicles. This forum was sponsored by General Motors (GM) and attracted senior representatives from Industry, Government and Academia.

Organisations involved included Australian Turntable Company Pty. Ltd., City of Melbourne, CRC for Spatial Infrastructure, Emergency Management Victoria, Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), Ericsson, GM – On Star, GM Holden, Huawei Australia, Motorola, National Emergency Communications Working Group, Nokia, Telstra, University of Melbourne, Victoria Police, Victorian Department of Treasury & Finance, and Vodafone.

The aim of this forum was to promote informed discussion on the evolving topic of communication requirements for connected vehicles of all types and to introduce the GM On-star connected vehicle concept. Feedback from participants has been very positive and was followed up by meetings between senior Victorian Government, Academia and General Motors.

IMG_1341The Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety would like to thank General Motors for the opportunity to host the event and all those who participated to make the forum such a success.

360 Degrees of Crisis Communications

Join us for the fourth in the CDMPS free lunchtime seminar series for 2016.

12:15pm—1:15pm Wednesday 25 May 2016
Greenwood Theatre, Electrical Engineering Building (193),
The University of Melbourne, Parkville.

This seminar is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about all aspects of disaster management from highly experienced academics and practitioners.

Seminar 4

In our May seminar, Bob Jensen brings us ten of his key lessons about leaders and crisis communications and how this crucial role fits into emergency management. Bob will illustrate the nature of the 360 degree approach to crisis communications through his experience with the response to Hurricane Sandy that impacted on the United States in 2012. Bob will explain how this approach is scalable to every level and can be used in the government and private sector as well.

Bob Jensen is a crisis and risk management leader with more than 30 years of experience with the U.S. government including serving in the White House, in war zones and for more than 30 major disasters including Hurricane Sandy, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the massive earthquake in Haiti.  Bob has also been a keynote speaker across the globe. Bob is also a member of the International Advisory Committee of for the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety.

Interested in hearing more from Bob? Check out ‘Leadership in Crisis’, Friday 3 June 2016 –

Register for this event on EventBrite here – REGISTER

Map of building location – Unimelb Map or Google Maps

Seminar: Disaster, Media and Ethics: The role and challenges of journalism post-disaster

Join us for the third in the CDMPS free lunchtime seminar series for 2016.

12:15pm—1:15pm Wednesday 27 April 2016
Greenwood Theatre, Electrical Engineering Building (193),
The University of Melbourne, Parkville.

This seminar is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about all aspects of disaster management from highly experienced academics and practitioners.

Seminar 3

Our April seminar brings together two highly experienced people to explore the role of and challenges of journalism following disaster.

Denis Muller is a leading expert on media ethics and worked as a journalist for 27 years including Assistant Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald and Associate Editor at The Age. Since 1995 he has conducted independent social and policy research across education, health, environment and media fields. Dr Muller teaches media ethics and is the author of Media Ethics and Disasters. Dr Muller has been conducting the Centre’s research into how the media covered the Black Saturday Bushfires and the second stage of this project, consulting with bushfire-affected communities about their experiences with the media. Denis is also Fellow at the Centre.

Kerri Ritchie is a senior reporter in the ABC newsroom in Melbourne. She’s a former ABC Foreign Correspondent (New Zealand 2008-2009), Australia Network Correspondent (Indonesia 2010) and Executive Producer of Insiders (2007). Kerri has covered the Samoa tsunami, floods in Queensland amongst many other disaster events.

Register for this event on EventBrite here – REGISTER

Map of building location – Unimelb Map or Google Maps


Prof Abbas Rajabifard announced SSSI Professional of the Year

On Wednesday 13th April this week at the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award night as part of Locate 16 , Prof Abbas Rajabifard won the 2015 Professional of the Year award. This award recognises a person who demonstrates achievements deemed by their peers in the industry to be exemplary in promoting the spatial profession and is considered to be at the pinnacle of their career. This is awarded annually by the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.

This award followed on from Abbas having been a winner of an Individual Award category at the Victorian Excellence Awards (VSEA) in September 2015, and subsequently being shortlisted for the 2015 National Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) Individual Awards

We are very proud of this award and in his absence overseas, he was represented by Serene Ho who accepted the award on his behalf on the night.

OGC announces successful completion of Incident Management Information Sharing IoT Pilot

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has announced the recent successful completion of the OGC Incident Management Information Sharing Internet of Things Pilot Project (IMIS IoT Pilot). The IMIS IoT Pilot was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the IJIS Institute. The project was launched last July 2015 to demonstrate open system sensor integration for emergency and disaster response.


Farzad Alamdar (PhD candidate), Dr. Mohsen Kalantari, and Prof. Abbas Rajabifard were involved in the IMIS IoT Pilot from the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS). CDMPS team contributed in the pilot through developing series of sensor web-based prototype capabilities to improve situational awareness during incident response operations.

Please refer to for more information about this project and contact Farzad Alamdar, PhD candidate, via email at if you have any queries or wish to discuss further.

IMISIoT summit

Disaster, Design and Development: Lessons from Architects Without Frontiers and RedR

Join us for the second in the CDMPS free lunchtime seminar series for 2016.

12:15pm—1:15pm Wednesday 23 March 2016
G21, Ground Floor, 142 Pelham Street, Parkville

This seminar is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about all aspects of disaster management from highly experienced academics and practitioners.

 small_RMIT Esther Charlesworthsmall_Francisco_RedR_Lap_Joint_Nepal Prof Esther Charlesworth, RMIT University                Francisco Monteiro, RedR Australia

Our March seminar brings together two very highly experienced people to explore the role of design and development in dealing with disaster.

Prof Esther Charlesworth is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University, Melbourne and Academic Director of the new Masters in Disaster, Design and Development (MoDDD). She is the founding Director of Architects without Frontiers (AWF), who have designed and delivered over 40 health and education projects to vulnerable communities, globally since 2005. She has published widely on the theme of social justice, conflict and architecture, including CityEdge: Contemporary Case Studies in Urbanism (2005), Architects without Frontiers: War, Reconstruction and Design Responsibility (2006), Divided Cities (2009) The EcoEdge (2011) Live Projects (2012), Humanitarian Architecture (2014) and Sustainable Housing Reconstruction (2015).

Francisco Monteiro is a Portugese architect who recently moved to Melbourne to join RedR Australia. He is an emergency shelter expert with extensive experience in international development, disaster response and post conflict/disaster rehabilitation. Francisco has worked in East Timor, where he designed and built a network of more than 75 schools, and in Mozambique where he managed a UNESCO World Heritage project. He has managed infrastructure projects in Iraq and spent more than three years as a shelter and construction delegate with the disaster response team at the Australian Red Cross. In this role, he provided technical support to emergency shelter projects in the Pacific and Mozambique and was the shelter cluster coordinator in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

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