Centre for Australian Studies

Program on Australasian Research 
Room 280 
C.K. Choi Building 
1855 West Mall 
Vancouver, B.C. 
Canada V6T 1Z2 
Tel: (604) 822-4688 
Fax: (604) 822-5207 
E-mail: sentaoz@interchange.ubc.ca

Program on Australasian Research

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The Program on Australasian Research, the first in Canada, was established at the University of British Columbia on November 26, 1997 in collaboration with post-secondary institutions in Australia and with the support of the private sector. The new Program is a key component of an expanded program of Canada-Asia Pacific research initiative at the Institute of Asian Research and builds on the network of academic relationships between UBC and Australian academic institutions.

The Program has identified ten main research areas in comparative studies of Canada and Australia in which there is a well-developed faculty expertise and graduate research programs:

Program Activities

In the first two and a half years of its establishment, the Program on Australasian Research focused on five main sets of activities: 1) UBC Faculty and student seminars; 2) Quarterly seminars with visiting Australian scholars; 3) Conferences and workshops to further the Programs research agenda; 4)Hosting visiting student and faculty scholars; and 5) Developing research and funding proposals.

1.     UBC Faculty and Student Seminars

A monthly seminar which focuses on current research presentations by UBC faculty and graduate students currently carrying out research on Australia. The 1999-2000 academic year included the following speakers and talks:

Mr. Ravi de Costa Swinburne University of Technology, Rethinking the Colonial Relationship in Australia, September 1999

Dr. Wes Pue Law for the Beaver, Law for the Kangaroo, February, 2000

Dr. Kevin Dunn University of New South Wales, The Development of Multicultural Policy in Australia, October 1999

Dr. David Edgington A Comparative Study of Local Governments and Multiculturalism in Sydney and Vancouver, February 2000
Dr. Tom Hutton The Transforming Service Industry of Australia and Canada,January 2000 Dr. David Elkins Faculty of Political Science, University of British Columbia, March 2000.

2.     Quarterly Seminars with Visiting Australian Scholars

The Program, in collaboration with the Australian Embassy in Washington D. C., through the Australian Education Office (AEO) also hosts a Visiting Australian Scholar Speakers series. The seminars are geared towards a wide campus audience, and each event is well attended with usually 15-25 UBC faculty and students from a variety of academic disciplines.

2000-2001 Quarterly Seminars with Visiting Australian Scholars

 á       Dr. Wardlow Freisen, University of Auckland "Auckland By the Sea: Urban Spectacle and Polarisation", April 12, 2000 In collaboration with RIIM

á        Dr. Steve Webb, Bond University "Who were the First Australians, and When did They Arrive?", October 18, 2000

á        Dr. Cassandra Pybus, La Trobe University "African Diaspora in Early Colonial Australia and its Implications for Contemporary Issues of Aboriginality", October 31, 2000

á        Dr. Peter Drysdale, Australian National University "New Regionalism in East Asia", November 13, 2000

á        Dr. Andrew Buck, Macquarie University "The Politics of Reconciliation: Dispossession and Constitutionalism in Australia", February 14, 2001 In collaboration with the Green College Law and Society Lecture Series

á        Dr. Robert Foster, University of Adelaide "Imperial Cultures: The Frontier Myth in Australia", February 20, 2001 In collaboration with the Green College Law and Society Lecture Series.

3.     Conferences and Workshops

The Program has also been active in hosting and playing key leadership roles in a variety of conference and workshops over the part two years. (Please see the 1999-2000 report for a detailed description of these activities.) Most recently, the Program took part in the June 2000 workshop entitled, Multicultural Sites/Sights, sponsored in part by the Vancouver Centre of Excellence: Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. The three day workshop examined recent research on immigration and its influence in both Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Program is currently in the process of negotiating the opportunity to sponsor the annual Australian Studies Association of North America conference which will take place in February 2002. The conference is an annual event and includes renowned scholars of Australian Studies throughout North America.

4.     Hosting Visiting Student and Faculty Scholars

The Program also hosts visiting Australian student and faculty scholars whose research focuses on comparative issues between Australia and Canada. The Program had the opportunity to host Mr. Ravi de Costa from Swinburne University for a second year, this past August and September. Mr. de Costa is a PhD student whose interests lie in comparing citizenship, identity and indigenous rights between Australia and Canada. While Mr. de Costa was with the Program, his research activities focused on interviewing tribal leaders throughout BC on treaty negotiations and possible implications for tribal communities.

Steering Committee

Terry McGee (IAR, Interim Chair of the Steering Committee)
Kathrine Richardson, Assistant Coordinator (Geography)
Richard Barichello (Agricultural Economics)
Ken Carty (Political Science)
Tony Dorcey (School of Community and Regional Planning)
David Edgington (Geography)
Brian Elliott (Anthropology and Sociology)
Sneja Gunew (English/Women's Studies)
Thomas Hutton (Centre for Human Settlements)
George Kennedy (Agricultural Economics)
Wes Pue (Law)

Other Centres for Australia Research and Studies

Australian Studies Network
Journal of Australian Studies
Australian Studies Conference Listing


ASANA/Virtual WWW Library for Australia

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