NCC 2021 Bushfire Conference

Event description

You are invited to attend the Nature Conservation Council of NSW's 2021 Bushfire Conference.

Over three days, this year's theme "Cool, Warm, Hot: the burning questions" will explore how different fire intensities can influence ecosystems and communities in a changing climate.

Hear from leading academics, practitioners, Traditional Owners, and decision-makers including Former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW Greg Mullins, Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean, Emeritus Professor and author Bill Gammage, Professor David Lindenmayer, Dr. Mark Ooi, and many more.

The program will examine how to incorporate cool, warm, and hot fires for optimal fire regimes to meet multiple objectives for biodiversity and cultural values, risk management, and community resilience.

This virtual conference will be held online using the Zoom Video Webinar platform. 

Join us for a face-to-face conference field day to learn more about cool, warm, and hot fire, at North Head on Friday 4th June. Come for a walk to see what has changed after recent fire events, hear about threatened species recovery and regeneration, and discuss lessons learned and new approaches in fire, environmental, and heritage management from experts and land managers. Transport to the location will be provided from Manly Wharf, along with morning tea and lunch, the day will go from 9 am - 3 pm. Tickets are limited so get in quick.


There will be one morning and one-afternoon session each day. 

Cool - Tuesday 4th May

Morning session 9:30 - 11:30 am

Afternoon session 2 - 4 pm

Day one will investigate our understanding of low-intensity fire (e.g., cultural burns, lower-intensity hazard reduction burning, or patches within a bushfire) and their effects and interactions on our subthemes: climate change; fire ecology; ferals, weeds, and restoration; and community resilience. The benefits and challenges of cool fire will be considered, how this has changed over time if it will be different in the future, and how to best use low and moderate-intensity burns to achieve multiple objectives within an optimal fire regime.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Peter McKechnie
  • Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean
  • Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Trish Doyle
  • Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage, Kate Washington
  • Dr. Mark Ooi, (UNSW)
  • Emeritus Professor and author, Bill Gammage (ANU)
  • Dr. Philip Zylstra (Curtin Uni.)
  • Dr. Scott Mooney (UNSW)
  • Professor Alan York (University of Melbourne)
  • More to be announced…

Warm - Wednesday 5th May

Morning session 9:30 - 11:30 am

Afternoon session 2 - 4 pm

Day two will examine medium intensity fire (e.g., hazard reduction burning). We will consider the effects of a warm fire on ecosystems and communities, what are the overall fire management aims of their implementation, and how multiple objectives (e.g., hazard reduction, biodiversity conservation, and ecological restoration, and community values) can best be achieved both currently and into a climate-change future.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • NPWS Executive Director Park Programs, Robert Quirk
  • Professor Philip Gibbons (ANU)
  • Professor David Lindenmayer (ANU)
  • Dr. Grahame Douglas (Western Sydney University)
  • More to be announced

Hot - Thursday 6th May

Morning session 9:30 - 11:30 am

Afternoon session 2 - 4:30 pm

Day three will be dedicated to exploring the impacts of high-intensity fire (e.g., bushfires, prescribed burning for a specific objective). It will include discussing how bushfires affect biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as human assets and communities. Can higher-intensity burns be used for good ecological outcomes, and how can hot burns be used to advantage in fire management? We will seek solutions on ways to enhance ecosystem and community resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW Greg Mullins (Climate Council)
  • Professor Lesley Hughes (Macquarie Uni. and Climate Council)
  • Professor Andrew Bennett (La Trobe Uni.)
  • Dr. Tein McDonald (Australian Association of Bush Regenerators) 
  • Conservationist Dailan Pugh OAM 
  • More to be announced…

Field Day 4th of June, 9 am - 3 pm

Ticket Details


Please purchase either a 3 Day Bundle Deal OR individual day tickets. *Field day tickets are limited.

For more information head to or contact us at [email protected]

Event Organiser: 
Nature Conservation Council
Event Date: 
Tuesday, 4 May, 2021 to Thursday, 6 May, 2021
ALL Australia
Multiple locations