Webinar: The latest in wildfire management and research

  • -
  • Online via Zoom - Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)
  • Contact Detailsalumni@uow.edu.au


The 2023 wildfire season has been brutal in Canada and Hawaii and it's far from over. The story is the same right across the world. Right now, Australia is burning and it's not even our summer yet. The danger periods for wildfire are lengthening and the fires themselves are becoming far more frequent and far more catastrophic. 

It is vital that you understand the environment around you and how it relates to your fire risk. Our expert panel will discuss the latest in firefighting technologies and wildfire management techniques plus provide tips on how to keep your home and your loved ones safe from wildfire.

Event details


  • Tuesday, 14 November, 2023, 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm PST
  • Tuesday, 14 November, 2023, 6.00 pm - 7.00 pm EST
  • Wednesday, 15 November, 2023, 10.00 am - 11.00 am AEST.

Venue: Online via Zoom. Link will be provided after registration.

Our expert panel

Headshots of Own Price, Dr Heather Simpson, Jesse Thrush and Andrew McCullough

Owen Price
Associate Professor and Director in Bushfire Risk Management 

Owen’s background is as an ecologist. He graduated from the University of York (UK) in 1985 with a BSc in Biology, then did an MSc in Information Technology before getting a three year job as a research assistant on deer and sheep behavioural ecology projects at the University of Cambridge. Then in 1991 he married an Australian, and moved to Darwin where he worked for 13 years in Wildlife Research for the NT government.

He has since worked at the University of Wollongong for the past 18 years, where he specialises in all matters relating to empirical evidence of bushfire impact and the effectiveness of risk mitigation measures, such as the examination of how prescribed burning affects various aspects of subsequent bushfires (fire spread, area, severity and building impact), the effects of fire on plants and animals, and smoke dynamics. Dr Price has published 133 peer reviewed articles and 50 reports. In 2020, he took on the directorship of the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, at UOW, and in 2021 his team was awarded the national Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Science. 

Dr Heather Simpson
Fire Science Manager, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre

Heather's journey spans continents. Born and raised in Canada, she embarked on a decade-long adventure in Australia, earning her Ph.D. from the University of Wollongong. Today, she's back in Canada with her husband and young son. As the Fire Science Manager at the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, she bridges the gap between scientific research and practical fire and emergency management. With over ten years of firefighting experience and extensive leadership roles, Dr Simpson brings a unique blend of academic expertise and hands-on knowledge to solve complex challenges. Beyond her professional life, she enjoys outdoor adventures like camping, canoeing, rock climbing, and skiing.

Jesse Thrush
Director of Business Development, Overwatch Imaging

With an impressive 30-year background in law enforcement, firefighting, and rotor wing aviation, Jesse has amassed unrivaled expertise in first responder roles and aviation operations management. Throughout his career, he has spearheaded groundbreaking advancements, introducing innovative aircraft, cutting-edge technologies, and unmatched levels of aviation operations, particularly in the utility market and aerial firefighting sectors. Jesse is renowned for his exceptional leadership, vast experience, and profound aviation knowledge, and is currently serving as a Business Development Executive at Overwatch Imaging. 

Andrew Mccullough (Host)
Disaster Professional, Strategist and Thought Leader.

Andrew found his passion for emergency management while studying civil engineering at the University of Wollongong. The concept of designing buildings and structures, resistant to the impact of earthquakes, cyclones and floods inspired Andrew to join the NSW SES. He has since held various roles at the NSW SES, worked for the National Emergency Management Agency in Canberra. He is currently an Associate Director at the NSW Premier’s Department, leading a review of emergency volunteering in NSW and was recently awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the mobilisation of communities in response to major disasters. Andrew is the co-host of Australia’s leading disaster management podcast Me, Myself & Disaster and co-founder of Australian Young Professionals in Disaster. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Certificate in Disaster Risk Reduction and a Masters in Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction. 



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Terms & conditions

  • Event cancellation policy
  • All presenters and event attendees acknowledge that they may be photographed or featured in audio-visual content while at this event and that those photos or audio-visual content may be used in the future by the University for marketing and promotional purposes.