3R Consulting Pty Ltd and Allan Sicard were provided with the opportunity and privilege to prepare and facilitate the Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks 23/24 Risk Exercise with the Premiers Department New South Wales.

There were a multitude of stakeholders involved and they included.

ACESGroup Metro Trains Sydney Premier’s Department
Botanic Gardens of Sydney North Sydney Council St John Ambulance
CATO Location Services NSW Ambulance Sydney Opera House
Cedar Mill Events NSW Health Sydney Trains
City of Sydney NSW Police Force Transport for NSW – Customer Journey Planning / Maritime
Emergency Information Coordination Unit Place Management NSW Transdev Sydney Ferries
Fire and Rescue NSW Port Authority of NSW Transdev Sydney Light Rail

The objectives of the exercise were to:

  • To create awareness across landowners and agencies of their role and responsibilities in key decision making during the event.
  • To rehearse behaviours, such as cross-agency interactions, information sharing, communications protocols and public communications.
  • Understand how we can help each other, and to build trust, understanding, capability and adaptability amongst agencies.
  • Identify any gaps or changes in plans that need to be considered ahead of the event

with the main purpose being to help each other.

The format of the day was with each scenario, the people who could work together to address the issue went to the 12 chairs in a semi circle at the front of the room, where there were 4 microphones.  Then with prompting questions some amazing things happened and people shared their skills and expertise with the rest of the audience invited to share their expertise or suggestions, again with the aid of microphones.

We were hosted by the City of Sydney in a large meeting room in the Sydney Town Hall.  Over 3.5 hours we went through a number of scenarios that could happen on the night and day leading into New Years Eve and observed, with admiration, how all the stakeholders could help each other with each issue that was tested.  The knowledge and support in the room was amazing to see, and we all walked out of there with a sense of appreciation for the talent and skills in the events group that work together across government and private event companies to make the event that is Sydney New Years Eve.

Some of the feedback showed what participants got out this different style of risk exercise format

” I like the way it was set up and how every stakeholder was able to assist others.”

“Round table discussions, Groups on stage, Use of the microphone, Shared knowledge/resources/ideas”

“The collaborative response of multiple stakeholders to respond to incidents.”

“There was a range of scenarios that allowed all participants to be involved.”

“Very collaborative, love hearing from everyones different working environments.”

“Engaging and presented a diverse range of scenarios. It was worthwhile selecting representatives from each agency to respond to a scenario.”

“Well done – my biggest takeaway was the importance of all agencies being across the plans eg:ICMP, IEP, PMF, to ensure a successful coordinated approach.”

If you are interested in this style of risk exercise, it is adaptable to any work environment.

After my experiences as the Police Commander for the Mosman Collar Bomb, and the Forward Commander for the LIndt Cafe Siege for the first two hours, I saw the importance of having an image or a plan in our heads prior to responding to the next big thing that may happen in our workplace or our city.  So with that in mind I create, plan and facilitate, with you, a risk exercise that emulates your worst day at work. The concept is simple, imagine your worst day at work and train for it building trust, understanding and capability so you take away from that training a collaborative team that has enhanced capacity to take on what ever you throw at them.

I have used this format for a murder in an Emergency Ward in a major hospital and the flow on from that (200 stakeholders in the room), a lockdown of a large city school (100+ stakeholders), an incident in a correctional facility, an incident in a youth hostel, and incident in the centre of Sydney and an evolving incident in major city Court Complex and now this week (5/12/23) tested our readiness for one of the best Firework Shows in the world, our Sydney New Years Eve.

Chapter 22 – Preparation meets Opportunity in my Leadership Memoir, The Courage to Lead – Resilience and Compassion in Police Command highlights when your staff have the benefit of this type of training has been implemented and the next challenge occurs.

I am available to discuss whatever your next big thing scenario may be and can be contacted via my website  allansicard.com