Steven Curnin

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Steven Curnin

Steven Curnin

Lecturer, Police Studies and Emergency Management
School of Social Sciences

Room 536, Social Sciences Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 7158 (phone)

Steven has extensive experience in disaster resilience initiatives spanning research, policy and operational roles. He has worked in emergency and crisis management arrangements in the public service for state and federal government agencies, not-for-profit organisations, multinational corporations, academic institutions and the military. He is committed to solving real world problems using and developing best international evidence based practice to enhance societal resilience.

Steven is located in the Politics and International Relations discipline of the School of Social Sciences in the College of Arts, Law and Education, where he teaches existing units and assists in the development of new undergraduate and postgraduate units in Emergency Management that are provided on the Police Studies program.

Career summary


DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDSpanning boundaries to support effective multi-agency coordination in emergency managementUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2015
MEmergMgtUsing large civilian jet aircraft as an aeromedical platform in disastersCharles Sturt UniversityAustralia2011
BMedSci (Hons)The role of the nurse in pre-hospital careSheffield UniversityUnited Kingdom2003

View more on Dr Steven Curnin in WARP

Research Themes

Steven is also a researcher in the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES) working within a team on a Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre project. This research is investigating strategic decision-making during disasters and is developing practical cognitive tools that can aid decision makers involved in emergency and crisis management arrangements.

As a member of the Resilient Expert Advisory Group that is managed by the Attorney-General's Department, he is also involved in a research project that is seeking to extend the decision making indicator of the HealthCheck in the Organisational Resilience Good Business Guide.

Fields of Research

  • Public Administration (160509)
  • Policy and Administration (160599)
  • Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
  • Studies in Human Society (169999)
  • Medical and Health Sciences (119999)
  • Organisational Behaviour (150311)
  • Education (139999)

Research Objectives

  • Information and Communication Services (899999)
  • Law, Politics and Community Services (949999)
  • Community Service (excl. Work) (940199)
  • Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis (940204)
  • Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society (970116)
  • Health (929999)
  • Education and Training (939999)
  • Administration and Business Support Services (900201)


Total publications


Journal Article

(13 outputs)
2018Brooks BP, Curnin SW, Bearman C, Owen C, 'Human error during the multilevel responses to three Australian bushfire disasters', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management pp. 1-13. ISSN 0966-0879 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-5973.12221 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks BP; Owen C


2018Owen C, Brooks B, Curnin S, Bearman C, 'Enhancing learning in emergency services organisational work', Australian Journal of Public Administration pp. 1-14. ISSN 0313-6647 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12309 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C; Brooks B


2017Bearman C, Rainbird S, Brooks B, Owen C, Curnin S, 'Tools for monitoring teams in emergency management: EMBAM and TBM', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 32, (1) pp. 40-43. ISSN 1324-1540 (2017) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C


2017Bosomworth K, Owen C, Curnin S, 'Addressing challenges for future strategic level emergency management: reframing, networking, and capacity-building', Disasters, 41, (2) pp. 306-323. ISSN 0361-3666 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/disa.12196 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C


2016Brooks B, Curnin S, Bearman C, Owen C, Rainbird S, 'An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 31, (4) pp. 38-43. ISSN 1324-1540 (2016) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C


2016Curnin S, Heumuller E, 'Evaluating emergency management capability of a water utility: A pilot study using exercise metrics', Utilities Policy, 39 pp. 36-40. ISSN 0957-1787 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2016.01.003 [eCite] [Details]


2016Owen C, Brooks B, Bearman C, Curnin S, 'Values and complexities in assessing strategic-level emergency management effectiveness', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 24, (3) pp. 181-190. ISSN 0966-0879 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-5973.12115 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Owen C


2015Curnin S, Owen C, Paton D, Trist C, Parsons D, 'Role Clarity, Swift Trust and Multi-Agency Coordination', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 23, (1) pp. 29-35. ISSN 0966-0879 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-5973.12072 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 9

Co-authors: Owen C; Paton D


2015Curnin SW, Owen C, Paton D, Brooks BP, 'A theoretical framework for negotiating the path of emergency management multi-agency coordination', Applied Ergonomics: Human Factors in Technology and Society, 47 pp. 300-307. ISSN 0003-6870 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2014.10.014 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Owen C; Paton D; Brooks BP


2014Curnin S, Owen C, Trist C, 'Managing the constraints of boundary spanning in emergency management', Cognition, Technology and Work, 16, (4) pp. 549-563. ISSN 1435-5566 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10111-014-0285-z [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Owen C


2014Curnin SW, Owen C, 'Spanning organizational boundaries in emergency management', International Journal of Public Administration, 37, (5) pp. 259-270. ISSN 1532-4265 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2013.830625 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6

Co-authors: Owen C


2013Curnin S, Owen C, 'Obtaining information in emergency management: a case study from an Australian emergency operations centre', International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2, (2-3) pp. 131-158. ISSN 2045-7812 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2013.057614 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C


2012Curnin S, 'Large civilian air medical jets: Implications for Australian disaster health', Air Medical Journal, 31, (6) pp. 284-288. ISSN 1067-991X (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.amj.2012.04.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2


Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
2014Owen C, Bosomworth K, Curnin S, 'The challenges of change in future emergency management: Conclusions and future developments', Human Factors Challenges in Emergency Management: Enhancing Individual and Team Performance in Fire and Emergency Services, Ashgate, C Owen (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 219-230. ISBN 9781409453055 (2014) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C


Conference Publication

(1 outputs)
2016Curnin SW, Brooks B, 'Decision making as an enabler of organisational resilience', Programme for the 2016 Annual DMDU Workshop, 15-17 November 2016, Washington DC, USA, pp. 1. (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B


(1 outputs)
2016Curnin SW, 'Organizational Boundary Spanning', Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, Farazmand, A (ed), Switzerland (2016) [Entry]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_2476-1 [eCite] [Details]


Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Decision making, team monitoring and organisational learning (2017 - 2020)$690,000
The goal of this project is to provide outputs that facilitate enhanced decision making and team monitoring at strategic levels of emergency management. As part of this project we will examine how organisations currently learn from evidence and implement changes in practice to inform the testing and evaluation phases. Part of this work will be identifying opportunities and barriers to adoption of these tools and providing strategies that agencies can use to overcome these barriers. In this way we will contribute to enhancing the capability of agencies to effectively respond to emergencies now and into the future.
Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC ($690,000)
Administered By
Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC
Research Team
Brooks BP; Owen C; Curnin SW
2017 - 2020