Professor John Handmer (RMIT School of Science; Geography, University of Melbourne; IIASA), is a human geographer. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Program of ICSU (International Council of Science), and is, or has recently been, on a number of Australian advisory bodies. These cover climate change adaptation, disaster risk and resilience, and currently the National Vulnerability Profile project. He played a leading role in the IPCC’s Special Report on Extremes, and as part of NCCARF (National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility) he led the network on Emergency Management and co-authored the Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan for Emergency Management. He works on the human dimensions of disasters, and his group at RMIT was one of 20 cases nationally selected for its impact on policy and practice by the Excellence in Innovation for Australia 2014 report. He received the 2016 RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Research Award for Impact.
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Resilient Nation? Australia in the 21st Century.
Many in the emergency managements sector have argued that Australia and many Australians lack resilience. His talk will look at three dimensions of Australia as a resilient nation: the question of national resilience and what it might entail; ideologies, activities and trends that are supporting or undermining resilience in Australia; and the situation of groups that would normally be seen as especially needing support for resilience. It will be argued that the situation of these groups can provide insights into a nation’s resilience, and should be part of resilience assessments.