A NSW Government website

Climate change, health and our communities

AdaptNSW webinar series 2020

26 Nov 2020

The AdaptNSW 2020 webinar series is presented by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment and our partners, to showcase the leading work on climate change adaptation being delivered across New South Wales.

The COVID-19 restrictions led to us running the AdaptNSW Forum as an online webinar series in 2020. This allowed us to continue to bring together like-minded people from across NSW to share and discuss the practical actions being taken to build resilience to climate change in NSW.

Access the webinar resources to learn how Aboriginal cultural practices are teaching us about caring for country under climate change, how complementary net zero emissions and climate adaptation action can benefit communities, industry and government, motivators for addressing climate risk in the board room, how climate challenges are affecting our health and wellbeing, and approaches to managing climate impacts to our natural ecosystems.

Webinar 4 - Climate change, health and our communities

Hear research outcomes from the Human Health and Social Impacts Node at the University of Sydney, a collaborative partnership with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). This webinar will highlight how our research is dedicated to understanding the impacts of climate change on human health and social wellbeing. With an improved understanding of communities exposed to climate-related risks, our research aims to better support adaptation programs that seek to protect and promote health in NSW, in the face of a changing climate.

Webinar resources

Webinar Slides (PDF)

Watch webinar recording


2.00 pm Welcome: Matthew Riley - Chairperson, Director of Climate and Atmospheric Science Branch, Science, Economics and Insights Division, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

2.05 pm Opening Address: The Hon. Matt Kean, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment

2.10 pm Overview of NSW Government Action & Acknowledgement to Country: Matthew Riley

2.15 pm Presentation 1 - The mental health impacts of climate change, and building resilience in rural communities: Dr Jo Longman, Research Fellow, University Centre for Rural Health

2.35 pm Presentation 2 - Environmental and social indicators for health impact assessment of climate risks and human adaptations: Dr Ivan Hannigan, Environmental Epidemiologist, The University of Sydney and the Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR)

2.55 pm Presentation 3 - Reducing air conditioner use during hot weather without sacrificing thermal comfort: Associate Professor Ollie Jay
Director of the Thermal Ergonomics Lab, University of Sydney

3.15 pm Q&A: Audience Q&A

3.25 pm Close and thank you: Matthew Riley - Chairperson


The Hon. Matt Kean - NSW Minister for Energy and Environment

Matt Kean is the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, a portfolio that was first combined after the Berejiklian Government’s re-election in March 2019.

Minister Kean was elected as the member for Hornsby in 2011 at the age of 29. Prior to entering politics, the Minister, a chartered accountant, worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers. In January 2017, Mr Kean was elevated to cabinet as the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, where he led the nation on consumer protection reforms.

In his role as Energy and Environment Minister, Mr Kean released the State’s first electricity strategy to improve the reliability, affordability and sustainability of the State’s electricity system. He also negotiated an energy and emissions deal between NSW and the Commonwealth which is the largest single financial commitment to state-based emissions reduction in Australia’s history.

The Minister is a strong advocate for a science and economics led approach to climate change. Mr Kean has called out the link between climate change and this summer’s unprecedented bushfire season. He sees reducing our emissions as not only necessary to protect our environment but key to our future prosperity.

Matthew Riley - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Matthew Riley is an experienced Science Director with a proven track record of delivering high impact environmental research and services that deliver significant public good. His work for the New South Wales Government delivering multi-million dollar programs in climate change impacts and adaptation, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and energy and energy efficiency programs has led to significant benefits for the people and businesses of NSW.

He leads a team of skilled climate and atmospheric researchers, technicians, software engineers and data analysts that study and observe our climate, urban air quality and meteorology, greenhouse gas emissions and energy systems. His team provides high quality policy advice for Government, and provides data and information that: protects public health through improved air quality and air pollution alerts; and supports communities and businesses to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Dr Jo Longman - University Centre for Rural Health

Website: http://ucrh.edu.au

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 02 6629 4226

Facebook: UCRHNorthernRivers

Twitter: @UCRH_NCT @jolongman2

The mental health impacts of climate change, and building resilience in rural communities.

Dr Jo Longman is a social science Research Fellow at the University Centre for Rural Health.  She works across a diverse range of rurally-focused qualitative and mixed methods research and evaluation projects.  In 2017-19 she worked intensively on the Community Recovery After Flood study exploring the experience of flooding and measuring the mental health of the community following catastrophic flooding in the Northern Rivers in 2017.

Dr Ivan Hannigan - The University of Sydney and the Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR)

Website: https://www.car-cre.org.au/

Email address: [email protected]

Environmental and social indicators for health impact assessment of climate risks and human adaptations

Dr Ivan Hannigan is multidisciplinary data scientist and environmental epidemiologist. Ivan’s current research focuses on the health impacts of air pollution and extreme weather events (e.g. drought, heatwaves and bushfires). In 2016 he completed a PhD at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. From 2001 until 2013 he worked closely with Tony McMichael's Climate Change and Health program at ANU. In 2014/15 he led the development of the data portal for the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN).

Associate Professor Ollie Jay - University of Sydney

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @thermalerglab​ @ollie_jay13 

Website: https://www.sydney.edu.au/medicine-health/our-research/research-centres/thermal-ergonomics-laboratory.html

Reducing air conditioner use during hot weather without sacrificing thermal comfort.

Ollie Jay is an Associate Professor in Thermoregulatory Physiology, and Director of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory and the Sydney Heat and Health Research Platform in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at The University of Sydney, Australia (2014-Present). Originally from the UK, he obtained his PhD in Thermal Physiology from Loughborough University in 2002, which was then followed by 10 years of international research experience at Simon Fraser University (2003-05) and the University of Ottawa (2005-13).  

Ollie’s research activities primarily focus on developing a better understanding of the physiological and physical factors that determine human heat strain and the associated risk of heat-related health problems during work and/or sport, as well as among vulnerable people during heat waves. 

To date, he has a total of 140+ peer-reviewed research publications in international journals (95+ as senior author) including Annals of Internal Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He has received funding from organisations such as National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Wellcome Trust (UK), MS Research Australia, and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and has recently led extreme heat policy development for Tennis Australia (including the Australian Open), Cricket Australia, and the National Rugby League (including the 2017 Rugby League World Cup).