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Emergency Response and Innovation Centre (ERIC) Director appointed

Published:04 February 2021

L-R: Professor Pierre Viljoen, Professor Michelle Bellingan and Associate Professor Steve Glassey

The future of CQUniversity’s new Emergency Response and Innovation Centre (ERIC) is in the hands of Associate Professor Steve Glassey who has this week taken on the role of Director of the centre, located at the Townsville campus.

The new role was established to oversee and strengthen collaboration between emergency services, councils, defence force, industry and the University.

Originally from New Zealand, Assoc Prof. Glassey brings over 25 years’ experience in disaster management, including in public safety, to the role.

Assoc Prof. Glassey has practised emergency management at the strategic and operational levels during crises from tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, floods, storms and pandemics.

In his new role, Assoc Prof. Glassey will develop and implement a strategic direction for ERIC and will provide leadership when it comes to research, stakeholder management and network building, project management, and course delivery.

Dean of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences (HMAS) Professor Michelle Bellingan said she was thrilled to appoint Assoc Prof. Glassey to the role of ERIC Director.

“Steve has exceptional knowledge and experience in the area of crisis and emergency management and is a great fit for ERIC,” Professor Bellingan said.

“The appointment of Associate Professor Glassey to this role means we will benefit from his two decades of experience in emergency response management. As Director he will be completely focused on delivering strategy and outcomes to benefit ERIC and the University, our students and our valued industry partners.

“Importantly, he will also be responsible for engaging with governments at all levels, and in particular he will work closely with the Townsville and North Queensland community to find ways the University can assist in creating greater resilience through technological innovations and professional development opportunities.”

In Australia, the frequency of extreme weather events is accelerating rather than diminishing.

Queensland has been impacted by more than 50 significant natural disaster events in the last 10 years, resulting in more than $14.4 billion of damage to public infrastructure, not to mention the loss of life and untold social costs.

In Central Queensland, as with other resource rich regions in Australia, there is also a high risk of industrial emergencies, such as the spillage of toxic substances.

CQUniversity’s ERIC will focus on harnessing the diverse expertise across the university to provide solutions for the emergency management sector, with particular attention to flood resilience and supporting diploma and graduate emergency programmes.

Associate Vice President (North Queensland and Hinterland) Professor Pierre Viljoen added his support to the ERIC.

“I am excited at the appointment of Associate Professor Glassey and going forward we would welcome the opportunity to engage with government - both State and Federal - to develop local solutions to improve community resilience,” Prof. Viljoen said.

Assoc Prof. Glassey said he looked forward to being a part of CQUniversity’s vision to make ERIC a world-leading centre for emergency management and disaster resilience.

“ERIC is about developing resilience solutions for North Queensland, that have wider national and global application. With the real-life experiences that Townsville has endured, especially from floods, it is the perfect location to generate real solutions that make a difference in the lives of Queenslanders.”

With over 600,000 cattle lost during the 2019 flood event, Assoc Prof. Glassey’s interest in animal disaster management will be of interest to many within the community. CQUniversity is hosting the world’s largest online animal disaster management conference next week and this free conference is intended for emergency service workers, farmers, veterinarians, disaster planners and the public.

Visit www.gadmc.org for further details.