Leadership in times of Crisis

Leadership in times of Crisis

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Scott Theatre

Kintore Avenue

Adelaide, SA 5005


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Come and join us for an inspiring and reflective free community event.

About this event


Leadership in Times of a Crisis – a conversation with Australians of the Year Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AO, AFSM, Dr Richard Harris SC, OAM and Professor Helen Marshall AM, FAHMS with MC by Ms Jess Adamson.

Hear their extraordinary stories of courage and resilience as they faced bushfires, floods, pandemics and international humanitarian rescue missions.

This unique opportunity highlights what it takes to lead and unite communities during incredibly challenging times. These Australians of the Year will inspire you with their insights and share learnings that can assist everyone from volunteering in the community, to navigating the workplace and your studies, to supporting the most vulnerable.

We are proud to align with support partners Entrée Recruitment, University of Adelaide, Haigh's Chocolate and Terry White Chemmart.

We also acknowledge the invaluable support from our funding partners the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council and supported by the Government of South Australia and strategic partner City of Adelaide.

NSW State Recipient, Australian of the Year 2021 - Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AO AFSM

In the terrifying 2019/20 bushfire season, Australians were reassured by the exemplary leadership and empathetic presence of then NSW Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

Shane began as a volunteer with NSW RFS in 1985, in the footsteps of his father George – a full-time firefighter who was tragically killed in an out-of-control hazard reduction burn in 2000.

In 1994, Shane joined the NSW RFS full-time, working in a range of leadership positions before being endorsed as the organisation’s commissioner in 2007 – a role he held for 12 years.

In 2019/20, Shane guided a state-wide response including a 74,000-strong crew of mostly volunteers through one of Australia’s worst fire seasons. Working long hours, he informed and calmed the public in daily press conferences, liaised with government leaders and provided comfort to colleagues and family members of firefighters who lost their lives in service to others.

In April 2020, Shane was appointed leader of the new disaster management and recovery agency, Resilience NSW

Australian of the Year 2019 - Dr. Richard Harris SC, OAM

In July 2018, anaesthetist Dr Richard Harris and retired vet Dr Craig Challen made worldwide headlines when they joined an international team to rescue a group of boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Richard is a diver wither 40 years’ experience. He has previously participated in complex diving recoveries, appeared in National Geographic documentaries and, in 2015, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to cave exploration. In 2017 he was awarded The Australasian Technical Diver of the Year.

Four years after the rescue ‘Harry’ is a successful author, speaker and a passionate volunteer at several charities supporting kids and youth in Australia. His medical career is winding up, as he pursues his long time passion to build a new career in documentary film making.

SA State Recipient, Australian of the Year 2021 - Professor Helen Marshall AM, FAHMA

Professor Helen Marshall is one of Australia’s most celebrated and recognised vaccination researchers. Specialising in vaccinology, public health and infectious diseases at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, Helen has been involved in game-changing studies that have had a global impact.

A key focus is the fight to stop meningococcal B. Helen is a lead investigator for the ‘B Part of It’ study, which assessed the effectiveness of meningococcal B vaccines on invasive meningococcal disease in Australian teens and young adults. The study is the largest of its kind globally and investigates the herd immunity impact of the meningococcal B vaccine.

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