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
Panel: Tayanah O'Donnell, Mark Baker-Jones, Sarah Barker


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.

Panel members:

Chair: Cara Beal Griffith University

  • Robyn Grey-Gardner NT Government
  • Eileen Deemal-Hall Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Council (CEO)
  • John Rainbird TSRA
  • Hilda Mosby Torres Strait islander (TBC)


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
Panel: Doug Parsons, Karl Braganza and Merryn McKinnon


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
Panel: Sharanjit Paddam, Kate Simmonds, Joel Pridmore and Gabby Fennessy


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.


  • Jon Doole Kingborough Council
  • Marisa O’Halloran Goulbourn Greenhouse Gas Alliance
  • Travis Sydes FNQROC
  • 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.

Sponsor: ANU Climate Change Institute

Chair: Professor Kate Auty, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability (TBC)

Panel members:

  • Professor Kate Auty, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability

  • Professor Mark Howden, ANU Climate Change Institute

  • Mark Crosweller, Director General Emergency Management Australia

  • Judy Lawrence, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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

More information to come...

More information to come...