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Presenters 2021

Dr Chloe Begg

Country Fire Authority

A social scientist with 10-years’ experience researching the implications of emergency management policy and practice on individual and community risk perceptions and resilience, Chloe is currently working in CFA’s Research and Development team.

Dr Raphaele Blanchi


Raphaele leads CSIRO’s bushfire adaptation team.  Her principal interest is understanding and reducing the risk of bushfires to communities and infrastructure. She has been involved in post major bushfire survey data collection and analysis, and led the investigation into the circumstances and challenges experienced by residents when sheltering during the Black Saturday bushfires

Dr Danielle Clode

Flinders University

Associate Professor Danielle Clode is a psychologist, biologist and author of a major review of psychological preparedness and A Future in Flames on Australia’s bushfire history. She has lived in fire-prone areas of South Australia and Victoria, and defended her home in the Cherry Gardens fire.

Dr Rob Gordon OAM

Clinical Psychologist

A Clinical Psychologist and a Psychological Consultant to the Government and Australian Red Cross for disaster recovery Rob has been involved in the recovery programs of more than 30 disasters in Australia and New Zealand.  He consults on community responses and stresses of recovery.


Malcolm Hackett OAM

Valley Community Financial Services

Chair of the Board that operates five local Bendigo Bank Community Bank Branches. Following the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires Malcolm was Chair of the Strathewen Community Renewal Association. He has personal knowledge of property loss and the painful insurance, planning and rebuilding journey.

Dr Katharine Haynes

Macquarie University

Katharine has conducted a number of post-fire investigations involving in-depth interviews with residents following the 2009 Black Saturday and the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires. She has a special interest in participatory and action research as a means for understanding and enhancing community-based adaptation and risk reduction.

Dr Justin Leonard


Justin Leonard has dedicated his 26-year research career to the understanding of how bushfire risk to life and infrastructure can be managed. This research combines learnings from bushfire exposure experiments with post bushfire survey investigations and computer modelling of bushfire interactions with buildings.

Dr Jim McLennan

LaTrobe University

Jim’s background is organisational and industrial psychology, focussing on safe decision making. He was a member of the Bushfire CRC research taskforce following the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires and subsequently conducted post-bushfire household interview surveys in other states investigating householder bushfire safety.

Dr Kevin Tolhurst AM

The University of Melbourne

In 1984 Kevin embarked on a career in bushfire science covering fire ecology, fire weather and fire behaviour. Kevin has applied his knowledge and interest to teaching, research, land management and community engagement. He has provided expert advice to various inquiries and fire and land management agencies.

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