Category Archives: CDMPS

Farewell Junbi Zhou; visiting PhD candidate from Hohai University, China

junbizhouPhD candidate Junbi Zhou from Hohai University was invited to join CDMPS and study with us in Melbourne for a year.

Junbi researches household vulnerability to disaster. People who live in poverty are, consequently, more vulnerable to disaster events because they have little means to help them recover. “We should target these [highly vulnerable] people when they suffer disaster losses… they should be the priority” said Junbi.

Junbi identified these highly vulnerable households in China. She analysed data about household socioeconomic factors, including household size, income and education, and used a model to determine their level of vulnerability (low to high). This information can be used to inform government policy that focusses on reducing household vulnerability and improving disaster resilience by providing, for example, better education, health insurance and forms of recovery support.

About her time at CDMPS, Junbi said “it was a great honour. It’s an excellent team [with] people from diverse backgrounds… For example, some people, like me, majored in economics or management and others are from engineering… We are able to share very different ideas, which I think make us a better team”. Junbi would like to stay in the field of disaster management and hopes to collaborate with CDMPS after she finishes her PhD thesis.

Junbi has been a valuable part of the CDMPS team and we look forward to working with her in future.

Book Launch: Spatial Enablement in a Smart World

Our close partner The Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration, in collaboration with the Global Spatial Data Infrastructures Association (GSDI), Leuven University Belgium and the University of New Brunswick Canada, released a refereed book entitled ‘Spatial Enablement in a Smart World’. The book was launched during the GSDI15 World Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.


Book launch, GSDI15

If you would like to view or download the book, you can access it here

Successful Disaster Management Workshop, GSDI World Conference

Last week, at the 15th GSDI Conference in Taipei, our team successfully delivered several research papers and a Workshop discussing the design and development of a Global Disaster Management Platform, as well as Smart Disaster Prevention.


Prof. Abbas Rajabifard, Director of CDMPS and CSDILA, presenting at the Disaster Management workshop, GSDI15


Congratulations to our new Professor


Congratulations to our research member Nelson Lam for his promotion to full Professor. 

Professor Nelson Lam is the Academic Lead of the Earthquake Resilience Unit at CDMPS.

We would like to extend these congratulations to the fine scholars recognised from across the University’s academic community in the announcement made by the VC yesterday afternoon.

Beyond Bushfires Final Report


Today the findings of ‘Beyond Bushfires’ were released; a six-year study of more than 1000 people impacted by Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, which claimed 173 lives and damaged or destroyed 3500 buildings (2133 homes), in 2009.

The University of Melbourne, including members of CDMPS, led the study with 11 partners including government, primary health care networks and the Australian Red Cross.

The report focussed on the mental health effects of the bushfires on Black Saturday survivors and explored the influence of family, social and community relationships on individuals’ recovery. It confirmed impressive community spirit and uncovered clear evidence that human connection was at the heart of recovery and resilience.

However, many people still suffered significant mental health problems up to 5 years after the disaster. Rates of poor mental health were up to twice the levels you see in populations unaffected by a disaster.

Lead author, Assoc Prof. Lisa Gibbs, of Health Equity and CDMPS at the University of Melbourne, said “We found one of the strongest predictors of wellbeing was strong ties to other people and involvement in social networks and community groups.” Yet, the study found that social ties were also linked to poor mental health outcomes in some circumstances.

Interestingly, the study showed that connection with the natural environment often helped mental health outcomes. In addition, it provided evidence of both the positive and negative mental health effects of staying in a disaster-hit area to rebuild, versus leaving to start somewhere new.

It’s hoped that this knowledge will support recovery and future preparedness, and the report provides a series of recommendations to families, government and service providers.

To find out more, please view the Final Report


Workshop at GSDI 15 World Conference


CDMPS will present a workshop at the upcoming 15th Global Spatial Data Infrastructure World Conference (GSDI 15) in Taipei, Taiwan. The workshop will discuss the design and development of a Global Disaster Management Platform, as well as discuss Smart Disaster Prevention.

The workshop will be presented in two parts:

Part 1: The Vision for a Global Disaster Management Platform (GDMP)
This section will present the conceptual model of the GDMP. It will also discuss the components that make up the overall platform, including the Intelligent Disaster Decision Support System, RiskFinder, the Disaster Management Research Register, and the disaster Management Education Portal.

Part 2: Smart Disaster Prevention
The second part of the workshop addresses a theme of the conference – Smart Disaster Prevention. This topic will be examined and discussed in terms of how it could be achieved through models such as the GDMP.

For more details, or to enrol in our workshop, visit

For more CDMPS updates

CSDILA Hosts International Symposium on Smart Future Cities in Melbourne

symp_banner_v02On September 27-28 the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration, a collaborative partner of CDMPS, successfully hosted the International Symposium on Smart Future Cities with a focus on The Role of Spatial Data and Urban Analytics, at the University of Melbourne. The event aimed to present and discuss the latest innovations, research and practice related to smart future cities, and attracted delegates internationally from over 10 countries, and nationally from a range of sectors across Australia.

As a sponsor of the event, CDMPS members were given the opportunity to deliver presentations as part of the session program and to also showcase their work within the exhibition.  

Overall, more than 150 people attended the event and there were over 50 presentations on 8 key themes. The event began with a keynote session focusing on international and national smart city trends and issues, and followed with a number of parallel sessions focused on dedicated themes. In addition to the presentations, several sectors from academia, industry and government exhibited their recent smart initiatives to the audience. At the conclusion of the first day refreshments were served to encourage networking and collaboration opportunities and the opportunity to meet with PSMA Australia discussing in detail the G-NAF and GeoSpace initiatives, was offered in addition to tours of the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety, or a tour of the University of Melbourne.

The event continued on Wednesday with a second keynote session and a final parallel session. To conclude the event a formal lunch was held to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the Centre for SDIs and Land Administration which included awards and reflections on the work of the Centre over the past 15 years.

Overall, the symposium was very successful and fulfilled the objectives of the event which were to: present the latest innovation, research and practice; exchange ideas; establish and extend partnerships; develop a future research agenda; and contribute to knowledge.


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.

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