20 October 2010
Handmer wins CRC award
Professor John Handmer receives his award from Gary Morgan, CEO of the Bushfire CRC.
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Professor John Handmer has been presented with the Bushfire CRC Special Recognition Award for his work following last year's Black Saturday fires.
He received the award at the Bushfire CRC's annual conference in Darwin.
Professor Handmer is a Principal Scientific Adviser at the Bushfire CRC and has been the Program Leader of the Safe Prevention, Preparation and Suppression program since 2003. He is also the Director of Centre for Risk and Community Safety at RMIT University.
Professor Handmer was a leading researcher and adviser to the Bushfire CRC Research Taskforce immediately after the Black Saturday fires.
He led the social science component of the taskforce, which looked into the human behaviour of the community - how people prepared, how they reacted, and how they were dealing with the recovery.
More than 600 residents were surveyed face to face; a further 1,100 completed written surveys.
During the subsequent Royal Commission, Professor Handmer was an expert witness and was requested by the Royal Commission to conduct several in-depth analyses that directly contributed to the final deliberations.
Professor Handmer said he was honoured to accept the award on behalf of all those researchers and fire-agency staff who had worked on the post-fire human behaviour project.
"The project started within two days of the 7 February, 2009, fires and has just been completed.
"Many people helped ensure the project's success, in particular, Dr Whittaker of RMIT, Damien Killalea of the Tasmania Fire Service, and the research leaders at the Bushfire CRC.
"The project was a major team effort which it was a privilege to help lead," Professor Handmer said.