Research Staff - Climate Futures

Research Staff - Climate Futures



Chris Collett is the Assistant Secretary of the Emergency Management Policy Branch, within the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.  The Branch provides policy advice to the Attorney-General on emergency management and disaster resilience matters and is responsible for a wide range of related functions.  This includes policy development responsibility for risk assessment and management, hazard mapping, communications and warnings, recovery and mitigation.  The Branch provides national coordination and oversight on the implementation of the COAG National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, and secretariat and policy support for the Standing Council of Police and Emergency Management and the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee.

Chris has previously held a range of senior policy and management positions across the Attorney-General’s Department in social inclusion, native title, classification, international family law, and Cabinet and Ministerial coordination.  Prior to joining the Department, Chris worked in state government and community sector organisations.  He holds a Masters in development studies and a Bachelors degree and post-graduate diploma in psychology.

Wendy Graham is currently the Director of Resilience and Planning with the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services.  In this position she is responsibile for providing strategic leadership and policy develpment on a wide range of preparedness issues, including community engagement and risk management.  Wendy also has oversight of the NSW Emergency Management Training and Exercise Program and  the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Program.

Wendy has extensive experience in response and recovery through her previous position as the NSW Director Disaster Welfare Services.  In this senior leadership role Wendy was responsibile for coordinating welfare and recovery assistance in response to numberous emergencies and disasters in NSW including significant events such as  the 2007 Hunter/Central Coast Storms and 2010 Far Western NSW Flooding.  Wendy was also deployed to Victoria during the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires to provide strategic advice and support on welfare and recovery issues. Wendy also asssisted in emergency management planning for significant events held in NSW such as the 2007 APEC Leaders Week and 2008 World Youth Day.

In 2011 Wendy was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship and travelled to the UK, US, Canada and New Zealand to study disaster assistance programs and community resilience. 

Mary Farrow, chair of Emerald Community House, has set the centre's focus on increasing community capacity and strength with an agenda. Building community resilience underpins all of the  centre's activities from childcare programs to arts festivals in a community that sits in one of the highest bushfire risk areas in the Australia. The Go List, an online leave early resource created by ECH, signalled their entry into the emergency management sector.


Jelenko Dragisic has extensive experience in management and administration with over 15 years experience in private, public and not for profit sectors.  In his previous role he was responsible for supporting and developing research and community/corporate initiatives, and developing and managing industry and community partnerships through the Collaborative Alliance Model a strategy he developed for use in cross sector partnerships at Griffith University.

Jelenko also worked with Australian Red Cross, as Regional Manager, South-East Queensland where he dedicated considerable time on projects assisting refugees in resettlement, improving services to the elderly living in isolation and youth and children in need.

Most recently Jelenko designed Step Up Program, Australia’s largest disaster resilience program run by a community organisation which has been currently implemented with the support of Federal Government, Queensland Government and a range of partners such as Westpac Bank and University of Queensland.

Jelenko also volunteers as an advisor to Green Cross Australia and a member of Inclusive Brisbane Board. 
Murray Kear is the Commissioner of the New South Wales State Emergency Service. As Commissioner, Murray is responsible for all services and functions of the SES, including leading the State’s approach and response to floods, storms and tsunamis. He has a Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Management and is a Graduate of the Institute of Fire Engineers.

Since his appointment Murray has led and implemented enormous change, including leading the SES through its busiest operational period in its history.  Other significant changes he has led within the SES include increased capacity and capability in Incident Management, Flood Rescue, Corporate Planning and Performance Management, as well as unprecedented and significant growth in the Agency’s resources and budget.

Prior to his appointment he served for 28 years with Fire Rescue NSW, the last six as Assistant Commissioner.  In that role Murray was responsible for leading and establishing agency excellence in the areas of Community Engagement, Fire Prevention and Operational Performance.  As a result of his contribution and leadership in Fire Rescue NSW, he was awarded the highest honour a fire fighter in Australia can receive on Australia Day 2006 with the awarding of the Australian Fire Service Medal.

He is a member of the NSW State Emergency Management Committee, the NSW State Rescue Board, The Australasian Fire & Emergency Services Council and the Chair of the Australian Council of State & Territory Emergency Services.
  Jeremy Mansfield, Head of Development and Corporate Volunteer for Green Cross Australia and the Sustainability Manager in QLD/NT for Lend Lease’s Project management & Construction business.
In his role at Green Cross, Jeremy has been focused on implementation on programs such as HardenUp, Build It Back Green QLD, and Green Lane Diary, to advance sustainable development of Australia’s built environment and promote natural disaster resilience through a shift in values that empower people to respond to environmental challenges addressing sustainability and community resilience. Jeremy works closely with the CEO, assisting in developing working relationships with partners and identifying opportunities to collaborate convene and catalyse the growth and development of the organisation purpose through project development.
  Lew Short is an experienced leader in the government and emergency sector. His experience has been gained across a broad spectrum within state and local government including natural resource management, project management, land management, emergency management, risk management and planning and development. He is Group Manager Community Resilience with NSW Rural Fire Service and has led NSW and many national approaches to building community resilience during crisis including the provision of information so that the community can make informed decisions. He will shortly take up a new position with Eco Logical Australia as Principal, Emergency Management and Community Resilience.

Tom Davis is a founding director of Edge Environment, is a member of the advisory council for NCCARF’s settlements and infrastructure node (ACCARNSI), is a board member for the Energy and Water Ombudsman for NSW, and is Chair of the Environments Institutes Climate Change Special Interest Section. Tom is committed to progressing sustainable development and is focussing on the need to adapt our societies to the unavoidable consequences of climate change. In this respect Tom has dedicated a significant portion of his time to progressing the adaptation agenda, both on practical projects and developing professional competencies across the profession through roles with the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. Tom's most recent work includes working with the Insurance Industry to establish the Australian Resilience Taskforce.

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