Storm Proof: How do you build resilient coastal communities to weather a changing climate?

EXECUTIVE FORUM  |  Melbourne Cricket Ground  |  Wednesday 31 August 2016

As part of the national Coast to Coast 2016 conference, you are invited to an exclusive one day intensive session for Senior Executives to get the latest thinking from three world leading coastal thinkers. Network with other leaders from across Australia and discuss solutions to the critical issues facing our coastal communities.

  • Do you want a deeper understanding of the challenges of coastal communities?
  • Do you want clarity around who wears the financial responsibility, and who is ultimately liable when things go wrong?
  • Are you seeking guidance on how to manage the balance between competing needs?
  • What are the critical knowledge gaps that could have disastrous consequences to your coastal community if they are left unanswered?

Join Professor Tim Flannery, Professor Edward Blakely, Ms Kate Vinot, and  Environment Portfolio Leaders, Adam Fennessy (Secretary, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) and Dr Gillian Sparkes (Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria) at an interactive one-day Executive program on 31 August 2016. 


CEOs, Executive Directors and senior managers from all levels of government (Federal, state and local), research organisations, universities and business that:

  • Are responsible for environmental planning, management and sustainability
  • Want to deepen their knowledge on successful management of coastal communities
  • Would like the tools to make a positive impact on resilient planning and management outcomes for coastal communities

Resilient coastal communities require appropriate planning initiatives, regulatory frameworks, clear accountability, sustainable funding, and must manage a range of competing stakeholder needs and expectations. Climate change adds additional complexity to these issues and many mitigation and adaptation approaches are constrained by knowledge gaps, lack of precedent and untested legal liability issues that hamper effective implementation and community engagement.

EXPERT Speakers

Prof. Tim Flannery

Flannery Tim

  • Witness how you engage the general public in climate change adaptation planning and managing the impacts of population growth
  • Learn from his experience on the Climate Council, and working across all levels of government and across jurisdictional boundaries and gain practical advice that you can implement in your organisation. 

Prof. Edward Blakely

Edward Blakely

  • Gain insight into his experience in advising the City of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What were the challenges? What worked and what didn't work?
  • Learn the lessons for executive level decision makers facing similar emergency management responses.

Kate Vinot

Kate Vinot

  • Understand the implications of adopting a resilient approach for organisations with responsibilities for coastal planning and management.
  • What are the key external influencing factors that promote or inhibit the successful adoption of a resilient approach?
  • Learn how you can manage these influences to create positive resilience outcomes

Environment Portfolio Leaders


Adam Fennessy

Adam Fennessy

  • Secretary, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Chair,  Session 1: Responding to Emergencies and Building Resilient Communities

Full bio here

Dr Gillian Sparkes

Dr Gillian Sparkes

  • Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (Victoria)
  • Chair, Session 2: Strengthening Understanding and Managing Risk

Full bio here

Other invited experts who will be participating in the discussion on the day:

  • Geoff Withycombe, Executive Officer, Sydney Coastal Councils
  • Professor Jan McDonald, Professor of Environmental Law, University of Tasmania
  • Karl Sullivan, General Manager Policy Risk & Disaster, Insurance Council of Australia


Wednesday 31 August 2016

Jim Stynes Room

09:45 - 10:00

Opening & Welcome & Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Tribe
Ms Cathy Whelan, Chair, Victorian Coastal Council

Facilitator: Andrew Rixon PhD, Director, Babel Fish Group

10:00 - 11:15

Session 1: Responding to Emergencies and Building Resilient Communities

Session Chair: Adam Fennessy, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Professor Edward J Blakely, Professor Urban Policy, United States Study Centre, University of Sydney
Kate Vinot, Director, City Strategy and Place, City of Melbourne
Geoff Withycombe, Executive Officer, Sydney Coastal Councils


Interactive Open Space Fishbowl Discussion

11.45 - 13:00

Session 2: Strengthening Understanding and Managing Risk

Session Chair: Dr Gillian Sparkes, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victoria

Karl Sullivan, General Manager Risk and Disaster, Insurance Council of Australia
Professor Jan McDonald,
Professor Environmental Law, University of Tasmania
Barnaby McIlwrath, Special Counsel, Planning and Environment Group, Maddocks


Interactive Open Space Fishbowl Discussion

14:00 - 15.15

Session 3: Networking Activity - Engaging the Community and Enabling Positive Change

Session Host: Professor Tim Flannery

15:15 - 15:30

Closing Remarks


Executive Forum Close

One Day Executive Forum – Wednesday 31 August 2016: $650.00


  • Registration for Executive Forum sessions on Wednesday
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Access to the Conference App