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Dr Steven Threadgold

Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities and Social Science (Sociology and Anthropology)

Looking beyond the moral panics about youth

Drugs, violence and laziness – if you believe everything you hear in the media, young people have a lot to answer for. However, sociologist and Newcastle Youth Studies Group co-convenor, Dr Steven Threadgold, is ardent about uncovering the entire picture and contributing to a better understanding of the next generation.

Newcastle Youth Studies GroupNewcastle Youth Studies Group from left: Dr David Farrugia, Dr Hedda Askland, Dr Steven Threadgold, Professor Andy Furlong, Professor Pam Nilan, Dr Julia Coffey


"Newcastle Youth Studies group has come together to do research with and about young people – and the 'with' part is really important. So they're not treated as objects, they're actually participants," said Dr Threadgold.

Through his work, Dr Threadgold aims to inform government, youth workers and educators with a more nuanced picture of the social forces that are producing issues, such as unemployment and underemployment, for young people.

"A lot of the ways that young people are spoken about and treated, particularly in media representations of them, are really just stereotypes. They are often scapegoated for a whole lot of social problems that they have absolutely no control over and often those social problems are pathologised as individual issues."

"Take the youth labour market as an example – it's around 15 per cent unemployment and it's massively casualised. However, if you're a young person who doesn't have a job it's your fault, you're lazy and you don't have the right qualifications – which is a distortion of reality."

Dr Threadgold's particular area of interest is youth inequality and class. "My previous research has been about how inequality affects young people's life chances and their attitudes to the future."

He is currently working on two interrelated projects. The first, Do it Yourself Careers, looks at young people involved in DIY cultures around music – particularly punk and noise styles.

"There are three outcomes – they end up being hobbyists, or they earn a little bit of money on the side of their real job or they make it into their real job," he said, referring to the young musicians. "I'm doing work around the blurriness of those categories, how these people think of themselves and what kind of strategies they put in place to try and get some kind of income."

"Connected to this is who's in and who's out. So my second project is a media analysis of the notions of Hipster and Bogan and the way these are class categories without talking about class."

His book on these issues: Youth, Culture and Class, which will be published by Routledge, is due to be released in 2016.

Dr Threadgold hopes his work will inform more realistic policy, rather than policy that doesn't deal with the reality young people face in an ever increasing precarious labour market.

Most people are still working on the assumption that you go to school, you go through some sort of tertiary education and then you get a job and that's the end of the transition

"Most people are still working on the assumption that you go to school, you go through some sort of tertiary education and then you get a job and that's the end of the transition," said Dr Threadgold.

 "I would like to create a package of information for educationalists and youth workers – so they can get a proper grasp of how the labour market really works today."

After starting at the University of Newcastle in 2010, Dr Threadgold began to gain international interest for his work in youth sociology. Along with fellow Newcastle researcher and renowned youth sociologist, Professor Pam Nilan, Dr Threadgold was invited to present his findings at a number of conferences and symposiums.

On the back of this activity, Dr Threadgold and Professor Nilan brought together colleagues Dr David Farrugia; Dr Julia Coffey; Dr Hedda Askland; Dr Lena Rodriguez; and Conjoint Professor Andy Furlong, from the University of Glasgow, to form Newcastle Youth Studies Group.

"We all complement each other in the theoretical stuff that we do and in our methodologies, but there is also quite a variety in there as well so we work really well as a team," said Dr Threadgold.

Through collaborative work, Newcastle Youth Studies Group has established research expertise in issues, such as: young people and social change; identity and belonging; health and wellbeing; geographical and spatial inequalities; intergenerational issues; displacement and movement; and, education and work.

 


Dr Steven Threadgold with Newcastle Youth Studies Group

Looking beyond the moral panics about youth

Sociologist and Newcastle Youth Studies Group co-convenor, Dr Steven Threadgold, is ardent about uncovering the entire picture

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Career Summary

Biography

Steven Threadgold is Head of Discipline, Sociology and Anthropology, in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at University of Newcastle. He was convenor of the TASA Sociology of Youth thematic group from 2011 to 2013 and Academic Editor of Youth Studies Australia in 2011-12. Steve’s research interests focus on inequality and youth, especially the interplay between class, risks and governmental discourses. He is especially interested in new forms of cultural and symbolic capitals that shape inequalities both within nation states and between them. Recent research projects have investigated the recruitment and experiences of young Balinese in the global cruise ship industry; the emergence of DIY subcultural careers; and a longitudinal study that is investigating whether the ambitions some young Australians nominated in high school have come to fruition, whether the obstacles they identified have blocked their progress towards life goals and the unforeseen ‘game changing moments’ in their lives. His latest work analyses the ways floating signifiers such as ‘hipster’ and ‘bogan’ elicit the formations of class distinctions in youth cultures whilst eschewing the very notion of class.

Research Expertise
Sociology of youth; socio-economic inequality; social and cultural theories of class; risk, individualisation and reflexivity; consumerism; popular music and popular culture; media; sport; environmental issues; social theory, in particular the works of Pierre Bourdieu.


Qualifications

  • PhD (Sociology/Anthropology), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Bourdieu
  • Class
  • Consumerism
  • Inequality
  • Introductory Sociology
  • Popular Culture
  • Social Theory
  • Social theory
  • Society and Culture
  • Sociology
  • Youth
  • Youth Culture
  • Youth Sociology
  • Youth Transitions

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
160899Sociology not elsewhere classified100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2015 - Senior LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
13/07/2009 - 9/12/2009LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
23/02/2009 - 10/07/2009Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
18/07/2008 - 18/07/2008Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
Australia
7/07/2008 - 12/12/2008LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/07/2007 - 15/12/2007Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
19/02/2007 - 13/07/2007Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Economics Politics and Tourism
Australia
19/07/2004 - 31/12/2004LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Economics Politics and Tourism
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2013 - Editorial Board - Journal of Youth StudiesJournal of Youth Studies
Australia
1/01/2011 - Editorial Board - Youth Studies AustraliaYouth Studies Australia
Australia
1/01/2010 - LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/01/2008 - Editorial Board - The Australian Sociological AssociationThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
Australia

Awards

Recognition

YearAward
2012Well Regarded Lecturer Award
University of Newcastle
2011Well Regarded Lecturer Award
University of Newcastle
2009Research Higher Degree Publications Award
University of Newcastle
2009Excellence Award for Teaching
University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
2008Student Forum Nomination for 'Lecturers of High Regard'
University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
2003Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
University of Newcastle
2003University Medal
University of Newcastle
2001 Summer Vacation Undergraduate Honours Scholarship
University of Newcastle
2001Pro-Vice Chancellor's Award
University of Newcastle
2001John Docker Prize for Cultural Studies
University of Newcastle
2000Dean's Award
University of Newcastle
1999Dean's Commendation List
University of Newcastle

Invitations

Participant

YearTitle / Rationale
2009Stumbling towards Collapse: Health Implications
Organisation: TASA Conference Health Day Description: Leahy, T. Threadgold, S. and Bowden, V. (2009) 'Stumbling towards Collapse: Health Implications'. Presented on TASA Conference Health Day, December 2009, Australian National University, Canberra.
2009Should I pitch my tent in the middle ground?" A Reflexive Response to Woodman's Middling Tendency in Youth Sociology
Organisation: he Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Description: Threadgold, S. (2009) '"Should I pitch my tent in the middle ground?" A Reflexive Response to Woodman's Middling Tendency in Youth Sociology'. The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) December 2009, Australian National University, Canberra.
2008Youth, Habitus and Perceptions of Risk
Organisation: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Description: Threadgold, S. (2008) 'Youth, Habitus and Perceptions of Risk'. The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference December 2008, University of Melbourne, Melbourne.
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (5 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2015Threadgold SR, Nilan P, 'The moral economy of the mosh pit: straight edge, reflexivity and classification struggles', Youth Cultures and Subcultures: Australian Perspectives, Ashgate, UK 77-88 (2015)
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2015Threadgold SR, '(Sub)cultural capital, DIY careers and transferability: towards maintaining ¿reproduction¿ when using Bourdieu in youth culture research', Youth Cultures and Subcultures: Australian Perspectives, Ashgate, UK 53-64 (2015)
2015Threadgold SR, Nilan PM, 'Applying Theoretical Paradigms to Indonesian Youth in Reflexive Modernity', Youth Cultures, Transitions, and Generations: Bridging the Gap in Youth Research, Palgrave Macmllan, Houndsmill 157-170 (2015)
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2015Threadgold SR, Nilan P, Putu LP, 'Contemporary Balinese Cruise Ship Workers, Passengers and Employers: Colonial Patterns of Domesic Service', Colonization and Domestic Service Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Routledge, New York 309-327 (2015)
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2014Woodman D, Threadgold S, 'Critical youth studies in an individualised and globalised world: Making the most of bourdieu and beck', A Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century, Brill 552-566 (2014)
DOI10.1163/9789004284036_038
Show 2 more chapters

Journal article (8 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Threadgold SR, ''I reckon my life will be easy, but my kids will be buggered': Ambivalence in young people's positive perceptions of individual futures and their visions of environmental collapse', Journal of Youth Studies, 15 17-32 (2012) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 7Web of Science - 4
2011Artini LP, Nilan PM, Threadgold SR, 'Young Indonesian cruise workers, symbolic violence and international class relations', Asian Social Science, 7 3-14 (2011) [C1]
DOI10.5539/ass.v7n6p3
CitationsScopus - 2
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2011Woodman D, Threadgold SR, 'The future of the sociology of youth: Institutional, theoretical and methodological challenges', Youth Studies Australia, 30 8-12 (2011) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 2
2011Threadgold SR, 'Guest Editor: Special Issue', Youth Studies Australia, 30 (2011) [C6]
2011Threadgold SR, 'Should I pitch my tent in the middle ground? On 'middling tendency', Beck and inequality in youth sociology', Journal of Youth Studies, 14 381-393 (2011) [C1]
DOI10.1080/13676261.2010.538042
CitationsScopus - 21Web of Science - 13
2010Leahy TS, Bowden VM, Threadgold SR, 'Stumbling towards collapse: Coming to terms with the climate crisis', Environmental Politics, 19 851-868 (2010) [C1]
DOI10.1080/09644016.2010.518676
CitationsScopus - 12Web of Science - 9
Co-authorsTerry Leahy
2009Threadgold SR, Nilan PM, 'Reflexivity of contemporary youth, risk and cultural capital', Current Sociology, 57 47-68 (2009) [C1]
DOI10.1177/0011392108097452
CitationsScopus - 32Web of Science - 20
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2004Nilan PM, Threadgold SR, 'Young People, Habitus and Opinions about Politics', Melbourne Journal of Politics, 29 96-1113 (2004) [C1]
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
Show 5 more journal articles

Review (4 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Threadgold S, 'The making of a generation: The children of the 1970s in adulthood', Youth Studies Australia (2013) [C3]
Author URL
2010Threadgold S, Leahy T, ''The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Realpolitik and Climate Change' (2010) [C2]
2006Threadgold S, 'Review of S. Taylor (2006) False Prophet: Field Notes from the Punk Underground', Perfect Beat: the Pacific journal of research into contemporary music and popular culture (2006) [C3]
2004Threadgold S, 'Review of J. DeRogatis 'Milk It! Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90s'', Perfect Beat: the Pacific journal of research into contemporary music and popular culture (2004) [C3]
Show 1 more review

Conference (22 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2015Threadgold SR, 'Class Figures and a Sense of One¿s Place', Conteporary Youth, Contempory Risk, Copenhagen (2015)
2014Threadgold SR, 'Global Reflexive Hipsters vs. Local Abject Bogans: Towards understanding Affective Inequalities in Youth Cultures', Theme I.3 Towards a Comparative Sociology of Youth: Alternative Frameworks and Empirical Advances, Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan (2014) [E3]
2014Threadgold SR, 'Figurative Methods: Towards ¿Bridging the Gap¿ between ¿Transition¿ and ¿Cultures¿ Research', Theme VI.1 The Youth Research Journey and How to Address It: Method and Ethics, Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan (2014) [E3]
2014Threadgold SR, 'Social Gravity: Situating notions of risk, reflexivity, choice and becoming in Youth Studies', 2014 TASA Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide (2014) [E3]
2014Threadgold SR, 'Dolewave: The Politics and Distinction of a (Non)Genre', Interactive Futures: Young People¿s Mediated Lives in the Asia Pacific and Beyond, Monash University, Caulfield Campus Melbourne (2014) [E3]
2013Threadgold SR, 'Parody and Satire as Sites of Affective Inequalities: The Figures of Hipster and Bogan', Emerging Priorities in the Sociology of Youth, TASA Youth Thematic Group Symposium, University of Melbourne (2013) [E3]
2013Threadgold SR, 'Figurative Methods and Affective Inequalities: Reflexive 'Hipsters' and Abject 'Bogans'', TASA Conference 2013, Monash University (2013) [E3]
2013Threadgold SR, 'Hipsters vs. Bogans: Classification Struggles in the Field of Representation', Youth: Culture, Identity, Education & Lifestyle: A Symposium. Griffith University, Southbank Campus, Brisbane., Griffith University (2013) [E3]
2012Threadgold SR, 'Expectations and reality of young people's ambitions: Preliminary observations', TASA 2012 Conference: Emerging and Enduring Inequalities Abstracts, Brisbane (2012) [E3]
2012Threadgold SR, 'Ambivalence and distinction in young people's perceptions of risk', The Second ISA Forum of Sociology: Social Justice & Democratization Book of Abstracts, Buenos Aires (2012) [E3]
2012Threadgold SR, 'Cosmopolitan class? Cruise ship training and employment in South East Asia and transnational class inequality', The Second ISA Forum of Sociology: Social Justice & Democratization Book of Abstracts, Buenos Aires (2012) [E3]
2012Threadgold SR, '(Sub)cultural capital, DIY careers and transferability: Towards maintaining 'reproduction' in the use of Bourdieu', Youth Cultures & Subcultures: Australian Perspectives Symposium, Brisbane (2012) [E3]
2012Nilan PM, Threadgold SR, 'The moral economy of the mosh pit: Straight edge, reflexivity and classification struggles', Youth Cultures & Subcultures: Australian Perspectives Symposium, Brisbane (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2012Threadgold SR, 'Using Bourdieu in reflexive modernity: Scattered remarks', Youth Cultures, Transitions, Belongings: Bridging the Gap in Youth Research, Brisbane (2012) [E3]
2012Threadgold SR, 'Independent music scenes, DIY careers and forms of capital in Newcastle', Youth Cultures, Transitions, Belongings: Bridging the Gap in Youth Research, Brisbane (2012) [E3]
2011Nilan PM, Threadgold SR, 'Cruising into adulthood: Theorising young Indonesians and tourist liner service work', Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference: Local Lives/Global Networks, Newcastle, NSW (2011) [E3]
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2011Threadgld S, Kirby E, Germov J, 'Local Lives/Global Networks. Edited Volume of Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association Conference. The University of Newcastle: Australia. ISBN: 978-0-646-56779-', Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association Conference. The University of Newcastle: Australia, The University of Newcastle: Australia (2011) [E3]
2010Threadgold SR, 'Disjuncture as governmentality: Two track thinking in young people's visions of the future', 2010 TASA Conference. List of Abstracts, Sydney, NSW (2010) [E3]
2007Threadgold SR, 'Youth, habitus and attitudes towards class', TASA & SAANZ Joint Conference Proceedings, Auckland, New Zealand (2007) [E1]
2006Threadgold S, ''Habitus, Governmentality and Young People's Engagement with September 11'', Australasian Political Studies Association Conference: YOUTH & POLITICS Stream, University of Newcastle (2006) [E1]
2004Nilan PM, Threadgold SR, 'How do young people define the good life? Comparing data from Australia, Fiji and Indonesia', TASA 2004 Conference Proceedings, La Trobe University (2004) [E1]
Co-authorsPamela Nilan
2003Threadgold S, Nilan P, 'Using Bourdieu to look at Young People and Politics'' (2003) [E1]
Show 19 more conferences

Report (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Threadgold SR, '"Hard Work is my Friend": The Personal and Social Benefits of Building Green Central', Youth Connections: Department of Human Services, 24 (2013) [R1]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants8
Total funding$122,659

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20152 grants / $64,923

Intergenerational attitudes of changing land use$49,923

Funding body: NSW Department of Primary Industries

Funding bodyNSW Department of Primary Industries
Project TeamDoctor Hedda Askland, Doctor David Farrugia, Doctor Meg Sherval, Doctor Julia Coffey, Doctor Steven Threadgold, Doctor Michael Askew
SchemeResearch Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2015
Funding Finish2015
GNoG1401491
Type Of FundingOther Public Sector - State
Category2OPS
UONY

Newcastle Youth Studies Group - Theoretical Innovations and Challenges in Youth Sociology: One day symposium$15,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project TeamDoctor Steven Threadgold, Professor Pamela Nilan, Doctor Julia Coffey, Doctor David Farrugia, Doctor Hedda Askland
SchemeStrategic Networks Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2015
Funding Finish2015
GNoG1500904
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20143 grants / $32,500

FEDUA ECR Fellowships $16,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team
SchemeEarly Career Researcher Fellowship
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNo
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

Network for Youth Research Outside the Northern Metropole$15,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project TeamProfessor Pamela Nilan, Doctor Steven Threadgold, Conjoint Professor Andy Furlong, Doctor David Farrugia, Doctor Julia Coffey, Doctor Hedda Askland, Doctor Lena Rodriguez
SchemeStrategic Networks Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1400957
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA), University of South Australia, Adelaide, 24 - 27 November 2014$1,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project TeamDoctor Steven Threadgold
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1401251
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20131 grants / $8,827

From Subculture to Career? DIY Economies and Network Capital$8,827

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Steven Threadgold
SchemeEarly Career Researcher Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2013
Funding Finish2013
GNoG1301142
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20121 grants / $12,598

Where are they now/Youth Connections (funded by Enterprise Connect)$12,598

Funding body: Newcastle Innovation

Funding bodyNewcastle Innovation
Project TeamDoctor Steven Threadgold
SchemeAdministered Research
RoleLead
Funding Start2012
Funding Finish2012
GNoG1300624
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20111 grants / $3,811

Expectations and reality of Young People's Ambitions: A longitudinal Study Based in Newcastle$3,811

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Steven Threadgold
SchemeNew Staff Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2011
Funding Finish2011
GNoG1000972
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015Employment Activation in Australia: The Experience of Labour Activation by Green Corps Job Seekers.
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2014An Exploration of Creative Self-Making Practices and Identity Construction Among Young, Queer Women in Australian and UK Punk Spaces
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2014The Australian Correctional Officer: Emotion and Humour in Prison Work
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2014Considering Child Protection in Australia Beyond the Neo-Liberal Frame
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2014Moral Panics and Intergenerational Conflict
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2013Living on Welfare: An Experiential Exploration of Families Who Live on Welfare
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2013Creative Musicians in Three Indonesian Cities: Making Transition to Adulthood through Entrepreneurial Activities and Mobility
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2011In the Echoes of Mountains: Embodying Climbing Practice
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2010Risking it for Coal : Hunter Business Leaders Response to Climate Change
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

YearResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014Governing the Facebook Self: Social Network Sites and Neoliberal Subjects
Political Science, Faculty of Business and Law
Co-Supervisor
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News

Symposium highlights key concerns for youth

Symposium to highlight concerns for youth

July 7, 2014

The Youth Outside the Northern Metropole symposium will bring together international researchers in the area of youth studies to articulate the key concerns for urban, regional and rural young people in Australia and the Pacific region.

Dr Steven Threadgold

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Details

Emailsteven.threadgold@newcastle.edu.au
Phone(02) 4921 5919

Office

RoomW317
BuildingBehavioural Science
LocationCallaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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