Dr. Burns is a General Practitioner in Sydney. Her involvement in disasters has been through personal experience, as well as professional involvement through all stages of preparedness, response, and recovery. Disasters have included the 2000 Cerro Grande and 2011 Chamisa wildfires, the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the 2013 NSW Blue Mountains bushfires, the 2014 Sydney Lindt Café Siege, the 2019 Australian Bushfires, and the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.
Dr. Burns has a number of disaster-related roles including as the Chair of NSW & ACT General Practice Disaster Management Committee, Deputy Chair Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Disaster Management SIG, on the Expert Reference Group Australian Partnership (for) Preparedness Research on InfectiouS (disease) Emergencies and the Scientific Advisory Committee National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, and as a MIMMS and EMERGO instructor. Her PhD thesis at the Australian National University is investigating the role of General Practitioners in disaster systems and examining the health consequences of disasters from a primary care perspective. She is interested in improving health outcomes from disasters and is keen to see primary health care become an integral part of disaster healthcare systems.