“Principles of gender justice and feminist leadership offer new possibilities for responding to the climate crisis. This ground breaking meeting will help us to develop meaningful strategies to heal systemic injustices while promoting equity and sustainability.” 

Lori Peek, Director of the Natural Hazards Center and Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder




The long-awaited follow up to Diversity in Disaster!

The ‘Gender Justice in Disaster: Inspiring Action conference will bring a gender lens to critical issues of contemporary emergency. It will inspire action at the intersect of gender and sustainable Aboriginal land management, climate change activism, discrimination against LGBTIQA+ people, the representation of women in leadership, violence against women, and more.

This international conference is located in Australia, a country known as the climate change canary. Building on the successful National Conference ‘Diversity in Disaster’ held in Melbourne in April 2018, this conference presents international experts and promises unique insights from gender and emergency management in Australia that are applicable to emergency management in other countries. This virtual event offers registration to delegates from across the globe.

The conference:

  • Asks contemporary and compelling questions of decision-makers and people affected by emergencies
  • Places gender justice at the centre of emergency management’s response to the most pressing current and emerging environmental and social challenges
  • Provokes, challenge and stimulate individuals, communities, and organisations to change and incorporate gender justice in their emergency planning and response
  • Gives voice to the lived experience of disasters
  • Connects with others’ work in both gender and disaster/emergency management, in Australia and overseas
  • Promotes the GAD Pod’s resources as tools to progress gender justice in emergency and disaster management
  • Delivers legacy documents as a valuable resource for future actions.
  1. Lead-in sessions – Thursdays in April

    Thirty-minute lead-in sessions with Australian and international experts, enriched by those with lived experience,  will be held every Thursday in April, with recordings shared to delegates on social media.

  2. Conference launch – ‘Women at the Edge: Disaster and Beyond’ - Tuesday, May 4th, 6:30 to 7:30pm

    An in-person official launch at The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, will set the scene for the rich, diverse, and provoking conversations to come. This event, ‘Women at the Edge: Disaster and Beyond’ asks Dr Niki Vincent (Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector), Dr Meagan Tyler (Centre for People, Organisation and Work) and others how we take action on gender justice in disaster and why we need to.

    The in-person and live-streamed event from  6.30pm to 7.30pm on Tuesday May 4 will be moderated by Commander Donna Wheatley (Fire Rescue Victoria), and presented by the Wheeler Centre, Women’s Health Goulburn North East and the Gender and Disaster Pod. Conference delegates will have priority for half the available seats. Book early!

  3. The conference – 6th May to 27th May, 2021

    The extensive and exciting conference will be held on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings in 90 minute sessions via zoom. Further details below, and full session descriptions are available in the Conference Program.

  4. Awards for expressive contributions - Two Judges’ choice and two People’s Choice:

    This conference will take advantage of the creative options provided by the on-line environment and expand the traditional concept of posters. Delegates and presenters are invited to submit artwork, poetry, musical interpretation, storytelling, etc. as a means of progressing our understanding of gender, gender justice and disaster. Submissions will be via a dedicated Conference YouTube page and prizes will be given as part of the Judges’ and People’s Choice awards.


Participants will hear from more than 30 researchers, policy makers and people with lived experience from across Australia, New Zealand, and a number of other countries. The eight-days of conference programming include keynote speakers, The Wheeler Centre Launch, and the ‘Lead-in’ sessions in April:

  • Victor Steffenson, Indigenous Writer, Researcher and Activist
  • Emerita Professor Raewyn Connell, one of Australia’s most highly respected and published sociologists
  • Alex Johnson, Chief Fire Officer, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue UK, named “Most Influential Woman in Fire” in 2019
  • Professor Maureen Fordham, Director Centre for Gender and Disaster, University College of London
  • Professor Bob Pease, internationally renowned scholar on gender
  • Professor Dale Dominey-Howes, leading LGBTIQ+ researcher
  • Dr Niki Vincent, Victorian Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector
  • Commissioner Andrew Crisp, Emergency Management Victoria
  • Jefa Greenaway, Co-founder of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria
  • Trevor Owen, Deputy Chief Officer – Regional Director, South East Region, Country Fire Authority
  • Professor Susan Harris-Rimmer, Griffiths University
  • Community members and recovery workers from Black Saturday and Black Summer, including Daryl Taylor, Jodie Thorneycroft,  Eva Grunden
  • Tracey Gaudry, CEO, Respect Victoria
  • AND MORE. Please see conference program for the full complement

Emcees for the conference are Gender and Disaster Pod’s Associates: Liam Leonard, Steve O’Malley, Commander Donna Wheatley, Susan Davie, Helen Riseborough and Amanda Kelly.

Registration fees:

Standard - $175 (incl. GST)

Not for Profit/Full-time Students - $125 (incl. GST)

20% Discount for 10 or more tickets