The forum panel at the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2014
The forum panel at the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2014
13 Oct 2014

2014 International Day for Disaster Reduction

Monday 13 October was the International Day for Disaster Reduction - the CRC hosted a forum at University House at the Australian National University in Canberra. All talks were filmed, with the replays available by clicking the 'Resources' tab at the bottom of this page.   

The public was invited to participate in the forum featuring a panel of speakers who explored Australia’s contribution to natural disaster risk reduction at home and in our region.

What are the challenges we face in preparing for and responding to natural disasters? What can we do today to ensure that the impacts are less tomorrow and that the recovery process is better? What policies need to change?

The forum drew on the perspectives of researchers, academia, government and NGOs and was jointly hosted by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, the Australian National University, the Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Red Cross.


  • Andrew Coghlan - Australian Red Cross, National Manager, Emergency Services.
  • Dr Helen James - ANU - specialist in Asian disasters, governance and sustainable development.
  • Professor Stephen Dovers - ANU - Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society.
  • Samantha Chard - Attorney-General's Department - Assistant Secretary Emergency Management Policy

MC - Catherine McGrath, former ABC journalist and commentator.


The International Day for Disaster Reduction started in 1989 with the approval of the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees the day as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

The day promotes how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of disaster risk reduction. Each year the day is themed. For 2014 the theme is Resilience is for Life: Older Persons and Disasters.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC was recently appointed the national coordinator for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) in Australia. This is backed by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council and seeks to promote and support disaster risk reduction research programs and activities around the world, including the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

More details here:


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The forum panel at the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2014
13 October, 2014 | Monday 13 October was the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC holding a free public forum to raise awareness in Canberra.

Type Title Credited author Credited author/s NON-CRC
Presentation-Audio-Video Prof Stephen Dovers (ANU) - Natural Disasters Stephen Dovers
Presentation-Audio-Video Dr Helen James (ANU) - Natural Disasters Helen James
Presentation-Audio-Video Dr Richard Thornton - The Challenge of Natural Disasters Richard Thornton
Presentation-Audio-Video Disasters - The Challenges for Australia and the Region (highlights package)
Presentation-Audio-Video Samantha Chard (Attorney-Generals Dept) - natural disasters Samantha Chard
Presentation-Audio-Video Natural Disasters - the challenges for Australia and the region (full panel discussion) Stephen Dovers, Richard Thornton, Sam Chard Helen James, Andrew Coghlan
Presentation-Audio-Video Andrew Coghlan (Red Cross) - Natural Disasters Andrew Coghlan

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