Prof Mark Howden

Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University.

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Sarah Barker

Special Counsel in the Corporate Group at international law firm Minter Ellison.

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Mark Crosweller

Director General of Emergency Management Australia.

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Dr Hallie Eakin

Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University.

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Dr Kathleen McInnes

Senior researcher and leader of the Sea Level, Waves and Coastal Extremes group in CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere.

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Dr Hugh Hunt

Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration at Cambridge University.

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Dr David Wachenfeld

Chief Scientist at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

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Prof Anthony Capon

Professor of Planetary Health at University of Sydney

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Craig Lapsley

Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner

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Travis Sydes

Coordinator of Natural Asset Management and Sustainability for the FNQROC

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Mark Leplastrier

Executive Manager, Natural Perils, IAG

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Jon Barnett

Australian Research Council Future and Professor in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne

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Alistar Hobday

Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO

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Karen Hussey

Centre Director, Centre for Policy Futures, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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Jean Palutikof

Director, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Griffith University.

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Panel sessions – Climate Adaptation 2018

1.Climate change and legal risks in land-use planning decisions

Sponsored by: The Victorian Government, Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning.

Addressing risks in the planning stage is more cost-effective than repairing damage, retrofitting or losing assets in extreme weather – but what happens when planning does not effectively address these risks?

The Victorian Government will sponsor a panel discussion about legal risks in land-use planning decisions in the context of climate change. The panel will explore the barriers to understanding and managing legal risks in land-use planning decisions in the context of climate change, and discuss practical approaches to minimising legal risk.

Chair: Michael Wheelahan (DELWP)
Panel: Tayanah O'Donnell (Future Earth), Mark Baker-Jones (CDP), Sarah Barker (MinterEllison)


2.Indigenous communities adapting

Quietly, quietly, Indigenous communities around Australia are building adaptation plans and taking actions to reduce climate risks on country and maintain a tradition of sustainable custodianship. In this session we hear from some of those programs and Traditional Owners and talk about lessons learnt and going forward.

Chair: Cara Beal (Griffith University)
Panel: Robyn Grey-Gardner (NT Government), Eileen Deemal-Hall (Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, John Rainbird (TSRA) and Hilda Mosby (Torres Strait Islander)


3.What we need to talk about: Communicating around adaptation

What are the messages we need to get out about adapting to climate change?
Is our communication effective? What are we doing well, what are we not doing well?
What is the key to good communication on climate change adaptation?

Join these experienced communicators to talk about the challenge of getting the adaptation message out and heared.

Chair: Johanna Nalau (Griffith University)
Panel: Doug Parsons (America Adapts), Karl Braganza (Bureau of Meteorology) and Merryn McKinnon (Australian National University)


4.Climate change risk and the changing insurance landscape

Sponsored by: The Victorian Government, Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning.

Climate change is increasing the scale, intensity and frequency of risks that have until now, been managed and transferred to the private sector through insurance. But what happens when this is no longer an option? What can the insurance industry, governments and private citizens do to minimise exposure to climate change risks?

This panel will explore how the insurance industry is responding to climate change, what is needed from the industry, government and others to effectively manage risk into the future, and alternative approaches to insurance and risk transfer.

Chair: Ian Edwards (Griffith University)
Panel: Sharanjit Paddam (Deloitte), Kate Simmonds (Willis Re), Joel Pridmore (Munich Re) and Gabby Fennessy (Victorian Management Insurance Authority)


5.Local adaptation – stories from practitioners

On-ground adaptation and adaptation planning is happening in all corners of Australia. In this panel, practitioners will share their experiences – the successes and failures – and will open the dialogue between delegates on what we are doing well, what we aren’t, and what we need going forward.

Chair: Jean Palutikof (NCCARF) 
Jon Doole (Kingborough Council), Marisa O’Halloran (Goulbourn Greenhouse Gas Alliance), Travis Sydes (FNQROC), and Robert Gibson (Moyne Shire Council)


6.Working ethically across knowledge and action for climate change adaptation

Sponsored by: ANU Climate Change Institute

This panel session will explore the ethical dimensions of working across knowledge and action in climate adaptation. Whose research is the right research to inform decision-making? Is there such thing as too much trust between researchers and decision-makers? Where is the line for ethical conduct in evidence-informed climate adaptation? How can researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners ethically navigate the competing demands of their respective domains, while building bridges to with others? The panel represents key insights from research, policy, and practice to illuminate the complexity of, and way through, these ethical challenges.

Chair: Professor Kate Auty (ACT Commissioner for Sustainability)
Panel: Mark Howden (ANU Climate Change Institute), Mark Crosweller (Emergency Management Australia) and Judy Lawrence (New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute)


7.Climate adaptation for Queensland - Where are we now?

Sponsored by: Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ)

The Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q-CAS) was released in 2017 and sets out a coordinated approach to ensure that Queensland understands and prepares for climate change. The Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) is a member of the Queensland Government’s Q-CAS Partners group formed to support development and implementation of the strategy.  Through its partnership with the State, the LGAQ is involved in a number of initiatives under the Q-CAS. These initiatives include:

  • The Queensland Climate Resilient Councils (Q CRC) program;
  • The Queensland QCoast2100 program; and
  • Participating in the preparation of industry-led Sector Adaptation Plans

At the NCCARF conference in Adelaide in 2016 the Queensland Government ran a panel session about the Queensland Climate Change Directions Statement that informed the Q-CAS, where proposed adaptation initiatives were discussed. This session will provide an opportunity for the Queensland Government and the LGAQ to return to the NCCARF conference to discuss the initiatives designed under the Q-CAS and what the partnership approach has meant for each stakeholder.

Chair: Kirsten Lovejoy (Department of Environment and Science)
Panel: Dorean Erhart (LGAQ), Donovan Burton (Climate Planning), Sel Sultman (Department of Environment and Science) and Catie Dunbar (Department of Environment and Science)

A complimentary pre-conference workshop is an opportunity for early career professionals to:

• discuss emerging issues in adaptation, to enrich attendees’ experience of the main conference
• understand emerging needs and opportunities for adaptation professionals
• network with peers and industry experts
• enjoy a soft opening to the conference to help navigate the main conference.

Note, attendees of the workshop will need to be registered for the conference and will be encouraged to present a poster.
You can register your interest in attending the day by emailing

Risk Asssessment

Sponsor: Aither & BMT WBM

The current approach to assessing the costs and benefits of coastal adaptation in Australia is not sustainable, does not meet the challenges posed by the inherent uncertainty of climate change and will therefore not effectively address climate change risks. A more robust and sophisticated approach is available that can provide decision-makers with the information and confidence they require to make sound investments of the right scale at the right time. In this interactive workshop we will run through a step-by-step practical case study of this robust, integrated and dynamic approach. At each stage workshop participants will be led through activities or discussions that draw out how they would apply such an approach to their areas and assets.


Application of Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR2016) in Urban Areas Workshop

This afternoon workshop will be presented by the editors and authors of Book 9 of Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) and will cover the philosophy and application of ARR in Urban catchments. The workshop will provide an overview of ARR and its application in urban areas. This workshop will include practical application via examples, open discussion and answers to questions. Importantly, this workshop is an opportunity for practitioners and ARR editors to discuss the objectives, the application and challenges of the new ARR Urban Book as part of completing the Book.

This is an optional pre-conference workshop as part of the Climate Adaptation Conference. If you are attending the Climate Adaptation Conference as a delegate the cost is $200.

You can register for this side event here:

IPCC AR6 Briefing on Australasia Chapter 11 process and timelines 

Wednesday 9 May 12.15-1.15 Room P1&2

A lunch-time meeting for the IPCC AR6 Australasia chapter lead authors to meet and discuss the chapter development process. Open to all, it is also an opportunity for prospective authors of peer reviewed papers to learn how they can contribute

Facilitators: Judy Lawrence (CLA New Zealand); Brendan Mackey (CLA Australasia) and Mark Howden (WG2 Bureau member) 

The Victorian Government, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is hosting the Adaptation Sector Summit 2018

Crown Melbourne, 7 May 2018


For more information click here

Day Zero:   Monday 7 May


Climate Adaptation 2018 Welcome Reception - Promenade Conference Foyer (Level 1)


Day One:   Tuesday 8 May

5.00 – 6.30pm

AdaptFest Opening Night – Film festival - Promenade 1& 2

6.30 – 7.30pm

Poster session and drinks - Promenade Conference Foyer (Level 1)


Day Two:   Wednesday 9 May


Poster session and drinks - Promenade Conference Foyer (Level 1)


Conference dinner - Aerial, South Wharf

Day 1 Tuesday 8 May

Sponsor: The Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub

Climate change science and services: informing adaptation policy
Tuesday 8 May (1.00 – 2.30pm) - Room: M5&6

In this session, climate change researchers and policy representatives from all levels of government will discuss:

  • the value of using climate change science and services to inform adaptation policy
  • challenges faced by policy makers accessing and using climate change science
  • challenges faced by researchers in packaging climate change science for policymakers
  • perspectives on how climate change science and services can be used more effectively to inform adaptation policy.

Chair: Prof David Karoly (ESCC Hub)

Panel: Helen Wilson (Department of the Environment and Energy), Geoff Steendam (Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning), Katrina Graham (Hobart City Council), Dr Pep Canadell (Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub/CSIRO) and Michael Grose (Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub/CSIRO).


Climate change science and services: informing adaptation decisions
Tuesday 8 May (3.00 – 5.00pm) - Room: M5&6

Producers and users of climate change science and services will discuss the different ways climate change science is used to inform adaptation decisions as well as the challenges faced in both preparing and applying the information. Panellists will provide specific examples from different sectors, as well as perspectives on how climate change science and services can be used to greater effect.

Chair: David Karoly (ESCC Hub)

Panel: Pandora Hope (BoM), Nick Wood (Climate Policy Research), Larissa Baldwin (SEED Indigenous Youth Climate Network), Shiroma Maheepala (DELWP) and Jean Plautikof (NCCARF)

Day 2 Wednesday 9 May

Sponsor: Climate KIC

Developing the adaptation innovation community
Wednesday 9 May (10.30 – 12.00pm) - Room: M5&6

This session will showcase a range of examples of innovation and entrepreneurship that are contributing to climate change adaptation in Australia. Through presentations and facilitated discussions the panel and audience will explore how organisations, communities and individuals can harness innovation to support their adaptation approach and how Climate-KIC Australia is working to support the development of an adaptation innovation community and ecosystem.

Chair: Katie Vines (Climate KIC Australia)

Panel: Jon Barnett (University of Melbourne), Lars Coenen (Chair in Resilient Cities), Rebecca Cunningham (UTS), Karl Mallon (XDI) and Chris Lee (Climate KIC Australia)


Can financial innovation help boost adaptation?
Wednesday 9 May (1.30 – 3.00pm) - Room: M5&6

The past decade has seen a great deal of innovation in financing methods for climate change mitigation. However, global investment in climate resilience and adaptation has changed little, despite total financial flows into adaptation being inadequate in much of the world. This session will explore the issues and opportunities for adaptation finance in Australia. Speakers from a range of perspectives will discuss the motivations and challenges for them to engage with adaptation finance.

Chair: Kate Mackenzie (Climate KIC Australia)

Panel: Jeremy Burke (CDP), Alison George (Regnan), Rosemary Bissett (NAB) and Sarah Barker (MinterEllison)


Climate KIC/ESCC Hub joint presentation: Adaptation finance hypothetical/game – “Catch a CAB: Designing climate adaptation bonds”
Wednesday 9 May (3.30 – 5.30pm) - Room: M5&6

Take part in a strategy game style workshop.
Use climate science and financial data to design bonds.
Issue the bond in the market  then watch what happens.
Try not to bankrupt the company!

Chair: Nick Wood (ESCC Hub)

Invited participants: Experts from government, universities, NGOs, and a range of industries. All conference delegates are welcome to participate.

Day 3 Thursday 10 May

Sponsor: Emergency Management Victoria

Climate change adaptation – A mini hack event Part 1
Thursday 10 May (11.00 – 12.30pm) - Room: M5&6

A time-bounded collaborative event to generate ideas and possible solutions to shift community culture to be more resilient and capable of adapting in the face of increasing societal shocks and stresses. Participants will be asked to help generate and think through ideas that will support the societal challenges facing communities in Victoria – shifting culture to be better prepared and resilient in the face of major disruptive events.

Facilitators: Fiona Ingram (The Catalyst Network) and Brett Ellis (EMV)

(continues…) Climate change adaptation – A mini hack event

Thursday 10 May (1.30pm – 3.00pm) - Room: M5&6


Building a partnership network
Thursday 10 May (3.15pm – 4.30pm) - Room: M5&6

A 'sprint' session where participants will be encouraged to help design and test different partnership models that can be used to achieve shared outcomes across the climate change and emergency management sectors. Partnerships will explore the benefits of innovative and formal partnerships, and contribute to articulating and understanding our shared outcomes.

Facilitators: Fyowna Norton (EMV) and Andrew De Mesa (EMV)