Lianne Dalziel

Christchurch Mayor

Lianne Dalziel is serving her third term as Mayor after serving for 23 years in the New Zealand Parliament, the last four terms as the Member of Parliament for Christchurch East. Lianne served for two and a half terms as a Cabinet Minister in the fifth Labour Government (1999 to 2008) under the leadership of Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Helen Clark.

During that time Lianne held a number of portfolios, including immigration, commerce, food safety, women’s affairs and senior citizens and associate roles in education and justice. She chaired the Commerce Select Committee as an opposition MP from 2008 to 2011.

The earthquakes that struck Greater Christchurch in 2010 and 2011 have had a severe impact on the Christchurch East electorate. Lianne researched as much information as she could to ensure that she could inform her constituents about what was happening and also to help her understand what lay ahead in terms of recovery.

At the time she was elected as Mayor in 2013, she said: “Because I wanted to understand how other places had recovered from disasters, I read everything I could lay my hands on and attended every conference that was going. Some amazing international speakers have come to Christchurch starting with the locally organized TEDx and the International Speaker Series, which was part of the Share an Idea campaign. They opened my eyes to the possibility of what we can learn from each other and that we here in Christchurch did not have to reinvent the wheel. The offers to help us on our journey were heartfelt, which shows just how much understanding there is between places that have been struck by disaster. What I learned is that it’s not a paint by numbers exercise and that even with all of the offers of help, the future of Christchurch is one we must create for ourselves.”

Lianne was invited to join the UNISDR’s Parliamentary Advisory Group on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2012. With this background, Lianne has become a champion of resilience, with Christchurch selected as one of the first tranche of cities to participate in the 100 Resilient Cities Network pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013.

Lianne says that resilience is a journey, not a destination. “My aspiration for resilience is based on the belief that governments – central or local – cannot do as well as can properly resourced and supported communities do for themselves in determining their own future. It is about being well-informed, adaptive and able to work collaboratively to co-create that future.”

The introduction of Te Hononga Council – Papatipu Rūnanga Standing Committee, co-chaired by herself and Te Maire Tau, Upoko, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, which brings the chairs of the local rūnanga together with the chairs of the Council committees is a recognition of the value placed on the relationship with mana whenua. Weaving the two strands of our history – pre and post European settlement – has created a real opportunity for us all.

“Ōtautahi Christchurch is a city of opportunity – we are open to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things – a place where anything is possible.”

Karin Bryan

Director, Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato

Karin Bryan is professor in physical oceanography at the University of Waikato, specialising in coastal dynamics and sediment transport. Since arriving at the University in 2002, she has completed a wide range of research projects, covering mangroves, wave climatology, rip currents, estuarine tidal dynamics and sediment stability, graduating 23 PhD and 29 MSc students and writing 140+ peer-reviewed papers to support this work.

She believes strongly in making physical oceanography useful and accessible to the people who need knowledge to make difficult decisions. With climate change, the timescales of traditional scientific discovery may too slow to be useful. We need to think of innovative ways to make decisions on incomplete research. For example, using short cuts and optimisation to provide workable solutions, making existing data more easily available for exploration, and to understand better the level of complexity needed for an effective solution. We no longer have the luxury of a purely academic approach.

Her latest work is on the TAIAO Environmental Data Platform, where she is working on combining dynamical modelling and remote sensing to optimize predictability in the coastal environment.

Marika Calfas

Chief Executive Officer, NSW Ports

Marika Calfas is the Chief Executive Officer of NSW Ports, the organisation responsible for managing Port Botany, Port Kembla and the intermodal terminals at Cooks River and Enfield in NSW, Australia.

Marika has almost 20 years’ experience in the port sector including in port planning and development.

With a strong belief that ports are crucial to our wellbeing and essential for the Nation’s economy Marika is passionate about driving improvements and efficiencies across port supply chains, informing the wider community and decision makers of the importance and value of ports and identifying new opportunities.

Marika was appointed by the Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure & Transport to the Expert Panel advising the Australian Government Inquiry into the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Priorities in 2017.

Marika is a board member of Infrastructure NSW and the Australian Logistics Council, Deputy Chair of Ports Australia, Member of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia National Advisory Board and University of Wollongong SMART Advisory Board as well as Australia’s representative to PIANC’s International Environmental Commission. 

Prior to working in ports, Marika worked in water resources with Sinclair Knight Merz. 

Marika holds an Engineering Degree (Environmental), Masters of Engineering Management and Masters of Environmental Law. 

Mitchell Harley

Scientia Senior Lecturer
Water Research Laboratory (WRL), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney

Mitchell Harley is a Scientia Senior Lecturer at the Water Research Laboratory (WRL), of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW Sydney. Mitchell specialises in coastal morphodynamics and hazards research, with a particular focus on coastal remote sensing, wave climatology and hazards forecasting. He completed his PhD at UNSW in 2009 and subsequently spent 5 years in Italy developing operational Early Warning Systems for coastal erosion and flooding as part of several major European Union research projects (MICORE and RISC-KIT).

Since returning to Australia in 2015, Mitchell has been leading the historic Narrabeen-Collaroy beach monitoring program, which celebrated 45 years of continuous beach monitoring in April 2021. As part of this program, Mitchell and his WRL research group have been advancing coastal monitoring technology across a number of scales and platforms, including Lidar, UAVs, satellites, trailcams and smartphones.

With the volume of coastal data growing at a rapid pace, Mitchell believes in maintaining the focus on “smart data” – data that directly assists with answering the key challenges facing coastal societies both now and into the future. This involves a combination of traditional coastal surveying and advanced remote sensing, but also more inclusive data collection involving communities.

Based on this, Mitchell (and colleagues at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) founded the CoastSnap community-based monitoring program in 2017. This innovative program comprises a network of smartphone cradles, whereby community members take regular snaps of the beach and upload it to a centralised network. These photos are then processed to calculate shoreline change rates due to extreme storms, human activities and longer-term processes. In four years, this network has grown to over 110 stations in 16 countries, making it the largest integrated coastal monitoring network worldwide.

Manea Sweeney

Pou Ārahi: Director, Engagement and Environments
Tonkin + Taylor Ltd

Manea Sweeney is a Director of Tonkin + Taylor, specialising in the fields of coastal policy planning, engagement and mana whenua partnerships. With a background in policy and planning, she has been part of the leadership of many of New Zealand’s large coastal infrastructural projects, including leading the environmental and relationships portfolio for the Kaikoura Earthquake recovery as part of the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery $1.3B works.

With a strong focus on uplifting mana Māori throughout her work, Manea is passionate about the value that Te Ao Maori can bring to understanding complex challenges such as climate change and disaster recovery. She was appointed as an iwi advisor as part of the team to deliver the National Climate Change Risk Assessment, is participating in the United Nations Data integration for climate & disaster risk reduction, and is currently working with mana whenua on an indigenous integrated framework for climate risk. Her work during COVID L4 Lockdown as part of the the All of Government response focussed on building the National Welfare Plan, drawing on her expertise and knowledge on the challenges that exist for vulnerable communities, from inequalities in access to resources, and infrastructure.

WICGE Function Panelists

Career reflections: Career journeys and how do we work for inclusion?

Katrina Dodd

Technical Director
Royal HaskoningDHV

Katrina Dodd is a Technical Director for Royal HaskoningDHV in their Sydney office. As a Structural Engineer and Project Manager, Katrina has over 20 years international experience in Ports and Terminal Design. She is a Chartered Professional Engineer with Engineers Australia (NER). Originally from the UK, Katrina obtained her Engineering Degree and Masters from The University of Oxford. Following a few years working in the UK, Katrina has enjoyed a globe-trotting career working in Africa, South, Central and North America and now Australia. Throughout history Port Infrastructure has formed the nucleus of our communities. We have a great responsibility to continue to nurture and develop a sustainable industry, for the economy, for livelihoods and for the environment. Katrina believes that the application of science through successful project execution is the foundation of sustainable development. Katrina is the Treasurer of the PIANC ANZ Board, and corresponding member of NCCOE. She is a graduate of the AICD.

A/Prof Kelly Dombroski

Geographer and Community Development Scholar
School of Earth and Environment of Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
University of Canterbury, Te Kura Aronukurangi

Assoc Prof Kelly Dombroski is a feminist geographer and community development scholar based in Te Kura Aronukurangi | School of Earth and Environment of Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha |University of Canterbury. Her work focuses on care labour, diverse economies, and action research with communities in South East Asia, China, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. With JK Gibson-Graham, she recently co-edited The Handbook of Diverse Economies, an ‘organic garden of ideas to nourish the project of “doing economy” differently’ which reviewers thought will eventually ‘alter the institutional structures we inhabit’. Kelly is a member of the Community Economies Institute, a fellow of the New Zealand Geographical Society (NZGS), and a lead investigator in the Huritanga Systems Change for Urban Wellbeing programme funded by Building Better Homes Towns and Cities National Science Challenge. In 2017, she won early career researcher awards from NZGS and UC Science. In 2020, she won a UC Teaching Award, recognising her work in online teaching and her postgraduate supervision of international students. Originally from the Wairarapa, she lives in Christchurch with her husband and four children, aged between 2 and 15 years. Kelly enjoys learning languages (mainly Mandarin and te reo Māori), group fitness classes, and reading feminist science fiction. She does not enjoy renovating, house work or gardening, but nevertheless spends a lot of ‘free’ time on these activities. Her blog for early career academics is

Dr Amanda Thran

Postdoctoral Researcher
Water Research Laboratory, University of New South Wales School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mandi is a numerical modeller of ocean and sedimentary processes, and she works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Water Research Laboratory at the University of New South Wales School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Currently, she is developing a prototype early warning system for coastal marine flooding and beach erosion hazards along Australia’s east and west coasts. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science at the University of Sydney, Mandi continued her postgraduate studies there, receiving her PhD in Marine Geology in October 2020. During her PhD, she primarily studied deep sea oceanographic and sedimentary processes through the use of numerical simulations. Her PhD also focused on modelling of tsunami hazards and long-term (10,000’s to 100,000’s years) continental margin and coastal dynamics. Mandi values interdisciplinary work very highly, and she enjoys collaborating with researchers with a diversity of skillsets and knowledge. She is a passionate university-level instructor who strives for equity and inclusivity of all backgrounds and abilities in her teaching style.


Derek Todd

Principal Coastal and Hazards Scientist

Derek is a coastal geomorphologist with over thirty five years’ experience in managing coastal resources, monitoring and investigating coastal processes & hazards. Derek worked in Australia and New Zealand, in local and regional government, and consultancy. He was Principal Coastal Scientist for the Queensland Government Department of Environment & Resource Management (2011-2016). Derek returned to Christchurch in 2016, took up his role with Jacobs in leading coastal hazard and management projects throughout New Zealand. Derek has extensive knowledge of the RMA, is a Certified Resource Management Consent Hearings Commissioner and for 10 years facilitated and delivered a practical post graduate course in resource management for the Geography Department of the University of Canterbury. Within Jacobs, Derek works with a number of women in management and senior technical roles, and mentors two female graduates in coastal service. Away from work, Derek has a history in fostering and developing Women’s rugby, being one of the foundation coaches in starting the club competition in Christchurch in the early 1980’s and in Timaru in the early 1990’s. He is a past president of Canterbury Women Rugby, and has been an assistant coach of the Canterbury Women’s representative team in the national championship.


Key Dates

Call for Abstracts Open

9 September 2020

Call for Abstracts Close

26 February 2021

Registration Open

19 April 2021

Accepted Abstracts Notified

19 April 2021

Full Paper Submission Deadline

11 June 2021

Early Bird Registration Close

9 August 2021

DN Foster Award Nominations Close

13 August 2021

Final Paper Submission Deadline

20 August 2021

Extended Abstract Submission Deadline

20 August 2021

Speaker Registration Deadline

23 August 2021