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Profile of Beck Dawson, Chief Resilience Officer for Sydney

8 months ago
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Described as the person ‘paid to worry for Sydney’, Beck Dawson is creating the city’s first Resilience Strategy – the document that Sydney’s major decision makers will turn to as our Plan B.

Sydney is regularly described as one of the world’s most liveable cities, but it faces major challenges as its population grows and ages at unprecedented rates. The city is also facing the impacts of rapid changes in technology and climate - becoming a more digitally reliant and hot, stormy city.

Beck is Sydney’s Chief Resilience Officer, bringing more than 20 years’ experience and a reputation as a leading sustainability expert to the role. Beck has worked for big businesses, community groups and public institutions in Sydney and London.

Sydney’s governance is complex with the NSW Government, Greater Sydney Commission, numerous state government agencies and more than 30 local councils all playing their part. Beck’s role is to encourage all the major players and decision makers around the table to work collaboratively for the city’s long-term future, especially in terms of potential disasters.

Beck describes Sydney’s diversity as one of its greatest strengths, but acknowledges that geographic tribalism is one of the city’s potential weaknesses.

The thing Beck misses most about Sydney while on holiday is, “…the excitement and buzz, especially in the growing western parts of Sydney. When you travel around metropolitan Sydney you can visit the world with great food, festivals and people yet you are never far away from amazing natural beauty in our parklands and waterways.”