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NCC 2021 Bushfire Conference and North Head field day

Monday, 28th June 2021

NCC 2021 Bushfire Conference and North Head field day

The NCC’s Bushfire Program holds a Bushfire Conference every two years bringing together academics, land and fire management practitioners, agencies, organisations, Traditional Owners and communities to discuss the latest issues in fire and land management.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the conference planned for May 2020 was postponed until 2021 and moved online over three days (May 4-5).

Each day was dedicated to the effects that different fire intensities have on communities and ecosystems. Keynote addresses were made by leading thinkers and practioners in the field, including:

  • Dr Mark Ooi
  • Emeritus Professor Bill Gammage
  • Professor Phil Gibbons
  • Associate Professor Owen Price
  • Professor Lesley Hughes
  • Former Chief of Fire and Rescue Greg Mullins
  • Professor Andrew Bennett
  • NSW Energy and Environment Minister, the Hon. Matt Kean, made the opening address. Then Shadow Emergency Services Minister Trish Doyle, then Shadow Environment Minister Kate Washington, and NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Peter McKechnie also made opening remarks.

    The conference was made possible through generous sponsorships by the NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Humane Society International and Crown Lands, who also presented over the three days.

    Traditional burning practices, the use of hazard reduction burns, the implementation of the new risk management processes for bushfire management committees, the importance of community resilience and the impacts of climate change were all discussed with over 180 questions asked to the 47 presenters.

    Around 300 people participated in the conference, including a face-to-face field day held at North Head Sanctuary in Manly, on Friday the 4th of June. 65 people attended the field day including an array of stakeholders and agencies who manage North Head: National Parks and Wildlife Service, Harbour Trust, Northern Sydney Aboriginal Heritage Office, North Head Sanctuary Foundation, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Fire and Rescue NSW.

    Themes explored on the day included threatened species recovery and management, bush regeneration, new approaches in heritage, environmental and fire management as well as a discussion of the hazard reduction burn that escaped in the sanctuary on October 17th in 2020.

    Resources from the conference will be released through the Bushfire Program’s Fire and Restoration hub in the coming months (, including presentations by some of the keynote speakers. If you would like to learn more you can contact the conference team at

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