SPECIAL PRE-CONFERENCE EDITION
Well, well, well, the FMA Conference is nearly upon us. In only 5 days no less! It will be the first time most of us have seen each other face-to-face in quite some time, and we at FMA can’t wait. It will be brilliant to not only share the week with you discussing the latest innovations in the industry and
celebrating professional excellence, but to catch up on what your lives have been like over the past two years.
As is now (believe it or not) custom, the FMA time machine is booting back up again, and I will be taking you into the future of FMA Conference Week. This year we are setting off for Toowoomba, Queensland (yes, Council did
win the 2018 FMA NRMA Insurance Project Excellence Award), between the dates of 17 May and 20 May 2022.
Buckle yourself up, grab a jumper for the crisp evenings and your tablet for taking notes (or handy FMA notepad and pen) and let’s get going.
On Tuesday, as you already registered, you’re attending the Pre-Conference Workshop ‘Australian
Rainfall and Runoff – Where to Now?’ from 10.30am. You’re excited to hear how the Workshop covers learnings from the recent flood events, maximising use of historical data and covers industry need and expectations going forward.
Then finally, you get to check into your hotel – so... where are you staying? Is it nice? Are you an unpack straight away person or a leave it for later person? This place is your second home for the next few days, and thankfully it’s
comfortable and close enough to the Empire Theatre that you can make the most of your time at the Conference.
Speaking of the Empire Theatre, this heritage-listed venue, familiar for its prominent palm trees and art deco style, will be where you spend most of your time this week and harkens back to the days of Old Hollywood.
And tonight, it is alive with bubbles and canapes for the Conference Welcome Reception from 5-7pm.
Don’t get too dressed up tonight though, it’s just a nice, simple catch up with colleagues and connections from years gone by. However, if by 7pm you’re still looking for something fun to do, the Young Floodplain Managers network is hosting drinks at the Rock Pub. All are welcome – but don’t stay out too late, it’s a big day
Wednesday morning signals the official start of the FMA Conference for 2022, and there is a tingle of excitement in the air as this is the first real in-person Conference FMA has held in years. As you settle your Conference registration with the ladies at East Coast Conferences (from 7.30am), you realise how much you’ve missed their smiling faces *sigh*.
As you head through to the Empire Theatre Auditorium for the beginning of the day, you rifle through your Conference satchel poking at all the goodies inside, while propping your Conference bucket hat on your head and nestling
your piping hot coffee (or tea) from the Aquamonix coffee cart, you find your seat and breathe an exhale of relief. You are finally here!
During the opening session, you hear from FMA, Toowoomba Council, IAG and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Most thrillingly, you will be hearing the dulcet tones of MC Gerry Gannon who has become somewhat of a
staple at FMA Conferences. You best be on your toes because Gerry misses nothing (especially the opportunity to make you laugh, snicker and blush…sometimes all at the same time).
Once you are suitably awake (thanks to that coffee), Major General Jake Ellwood, the Queensland State Recovery Coordinator for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority will take to the stage for his keynote… the rest of the day is left for plenaries, posters and picking up promotional material from the trade
In the afternoon, if you were lucky enough to secure a space, the field trips depart and take you on your choice of the following tours: Toowoomba Never Floods Presentation (an incredible exhibition at the historic Cobb + Co. Museum), Mitigating Floods within a Built City (visiting flood mitigation projects through the
area) or Grantham Township (a long duration coach tour addressing the flooding issues faced in Grantham and Lockyer Valley).
Have you ever been to Picnic Point before? You’re heading there for the casual dinner this evening. I’ve heard it’s really, very lovely, and it’s the perfect opportunity for you to hobnob with old (and new) friends and chat
about how much you’re enjoying the Conference so far.
If you are a Councillor, you won’t be able to sleep in this morning as there is a Councillor’s Choice Breakfast Session being held at 7.30am just for you. If you’re not, you can hit snooze a few times and we will see you in the coffee cart line at 8.30am before the plenary sessions begin for Day Two.
Furiously taking notes and collecting business cards left, right and centre, you adjust your FMA bucket hat and think to yourself – yes, they weren’t lying, this IS their best Conference
After a delicious morning tea, you choose to take a comfortable seat in the Theatre for the State and Territory Presentations as well as the informative 2022 East Coast Flood Events Panel
Discussion. You’ll be hearing contributions from representatives from Lismore City Council, NSW SES, QRA, Red Cross, ICA and Tweed Shire Council.
During lunch, (if you haven’t already) you head to the FMA Booth to pick up your Business Papers and Voting Card for the Annual General Meeting that is being held this afternoon at the Empire Church. You race
your colleagues there to see who can get the Voting Card first. It’s you, of course. It’s always you.
While you are there, you grab a booklet on the 2022 FMA Excellence Awards – the Gala Dinner (sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV) is tonight and the winners will be announced! How
After heading back to your hotel room for refreshments and change of clothes (into your fancy clothes), you step into the Empire Theatre and see that it has been transformed by East Coast Conferences into a glamourous Gala Dinner venue.
Throughout the evening, while dining on delicious food and wine (or not), you celebrate the support of ICA and IAG, and the incredible work of your colleagues through the FMA Excellence Awards. Will you enter the Awards next
Sure, you stayed up way too late last night due to Excellence Awards revelry, but let’s be honest, so did everyone else. And it was for an excellent (get the pun?) cause – the work that your peers have done over the past twelve months was more than impressive and deserving of the attention. That brim on your trusty FMA bucket hat kept that glaring sun out of your eyes on the way over this morning, thank
The final day feels different, it’s more relaxed and there’s a lot more familiar faces around (thanks to the new connections you’ve made). The first session of the day begins with the keynote address
‘Infrastructure Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction’ by Professor Cheryl Desha from Griffith University.
The plenary sessions for the rest of Friday cover a wide range of topics including
Hawkesbury-Nepean FRM, Infrastructure Projects and Asset Management, Modelling and New Technology and Research. There is something there for everyone, and you have circled what tickles your fancy (and highlighted backup options). Are you interested in the YFM? Their documentary ‘Flooding and the Maiwar (Brisbane River)’ will be screened today.
During the wrap up afternoon tea, you are reminded that some questions will be left unanswered;
Who will win the coveted Harold Sternbeck Medal? Who will be the Outstanding YFM Presenter this year? Don’t worry - these great mysteries will be announced at the FMA August Chapter Meetings, so make sure you are signed up to the FMA Flyer to stay in the loop.
As the final day of the Conference comes to a close, you realise just how glad you were to be
able to make it to Toowoomba this year.
And so am I.
Can’t wait to see you next week,
Project and Services Manager
Haven't registered yet? There's still time! Head to the Conference website now, and remember that FMA Members get a discounted registration rate.