14th ICA CCR Asia-Pacific Research Conference

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Co-operation among co-operatives and mutuals in the Asia-Pacific region –  working together to achieve a flourishing and sustainable future

We are pleased to announce that the Newcastle Business School, at the University of Newcastle, Australia will host the International Co-operative Alliance Asia-Pacific Research Conference (ICA-CCR-AP-2019) from 12th to 14th December, 2019. The conference will be held at our new educational precinct, NewSpace in Newcastle, Australia, a thriving regional city, located on the Pacific coast, two hours north of Sydney and a one hour drive from the Hunter Valley wine region.

Those wishing to attend please note that registrations for the conference are open until 8 November.

This will be the first time the ICA-CCR-AP-2019 conference has been held in Australia. Newcastle has a deep history as an early home to the Australian consumer co-operative movement and is a significant centre of Australian mutuals. The Newcastle Business School currently offers Australia’s only post-graduate degree in Co-operative Management and Organisation.

The central theme for the 14th ICA CCR Asia-Pacific Research Conference is the contribution that co-operation and knowledge sharing among co-operatives and mutuals in the Asia-Pacific region can make towards a flourishing and sustainable future.

Download the conference flyer

Melina Morrison, CEO, Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, Australia

Keynote Address title: Opportunities for advancing the co-operative sector through collaboration among co-operatives

Co-operatives are founded on the values of solidarity and equality, and the seven internationally sanctioned Principles of Co-operation. Of these, the 7th principle – Co-operation amongst co-operatives – arguably receives the least attention in the strategic plan of many co-operatives, yet it is one of the most powerful ways to achieve competitive benefit. Melina Morrison, CEO of one of the world’s newest co-operative advocacy apex bodies, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, reflects on the opportunities for advancing the co-operative sector through collaboration among co-operatives.

More about Melina

Greg Patmore, Emeritus Professor of Business and Labour History, University of Sydney

Keynote Address: The Past, Present and Future of Co-operatives: Visual Atlas of Australian Co-operative History

This address explores the value of co-operative historical research in challenging organisational amnesia and examining the successes and failures of the co-operative movement as a future guide for strategy and policy. While narrative co-operative history helps build co-operative memory and reinforces co-operative culture, co-operative history driven by policy questions allows the sector to examine questions such as demutualisation and the collective ownership of the internet over a long-time period. The address will draw upon the Visual Atlas of Australian Co-operative History, which is tracking the history of Australian co-operatives from the 1820s to the present, to illustrate these issues.

More about Greg

The central theme for the ICA-CCR-AP-2019 is the contribution that co-operation and knowledge sharing among co-operatives and mutuals in the Asia-Pacific region can make towards a flourishing and sustainable future. Co-operation among co-operatives within national boundaries usually occurs through initiatives organised by second and third tier co-operative federations and associations, but there are new opportunities to build and strengthen the regional Asia-Pacific co-operative movement. These new opportunities include:

  • co-operation among co-operatives in international supply chains;
  • the networking of agricultural co-operatives;
  • the development and sharing of digital co-operative platforms;
  • multi-stakeholder co-operatives;
  • the potential for data–co-operatives to protect Indigenous and farmer knowledge from exploitation; and new methods of fund raising for co-operative development consistent with co-operative principles.

This conference will bring together researchers who are interested in the role that co-operatives and mutuals can play in securing a flourishing sustainable future for our communities. Under this overarching theme, potential topics for research papers include (but are not limited to):

  1. Innovative models for the promotion of co-operation amongst co-operatives
  2. Co-operatives and the empowerment of women
  3. Co-operatives as an engine of economic growth
  4. Legal and institutional parameters and development of co-operatives and mutuals
  5. Education and training for co-operatives in the Asian Pacific
  6. The role of mutuals and multi stakeholder co-operatives in the delivery of health and public services
  7. Credit unions, building societies and mutual banks and co-operative capital
  8. Co-operative solutions to the provision of renewable energy
  9. Co-operative solutions to the provision of affordable housing
  10. Platform co-operativism and open source organisational development
  11. Co-operative solutions to data exploitation and redefining intellectual property.
  12. Co-operatives and block chain solutions to supply chain problems
  13. Indigenous co-operatives supporting indigenous communities
  14. Worker co-operatives and the protection of decent work
  15. Theories underlying co-operative success
  16. When and why have co-operatives fail—is this inevitable?

We hope that you will join us to showcase the rich diversity of co-operative research in the Asian Pacific region and help us to facilitate the cross-fertilisation of ideas, surprises and new networks and connections for a flourishing and sustainable co-operative future.

Please go to the submissions page for further instructions

Day 1: Thursday 12th December - Free Young Scholars/ECR workshop

12 - 1pm - Young scholar/ECR Networking lunch

1 - 3pm - Session 1: Coop research and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

3pm - Coffee break

3:30 - 5:30pm - Session 2: Developing a support network among young coop scholars

5:30 - 7:30pm - Conference meet and greet for all conference participants

8pm - ECR/Young Scholar casual dinner

Day 2: Friday 13th December - Research Conference

8 - 9am - Conference Registrations

9 – 9:30am - Opening ceremony, acknowledgement of country and welcome

9:30 – 10am - Plenary Keynote by Melina Morrison, CEO of the BCCM Australia.

10 – 11am - Plenary Industry Panel - “HunterNet Co-operative – supporting the regional economy”

11 - 11:30am - Coffee Break

11:30 - 1pm - Parallel research sessions – Cooperatives as engine for growth and finance

1 - 2pm - Lunch

2 – 3:30pmParallel research sessions - Quality education & reduced inequalities

3:30 - 4pm Afternoon tea

4 - 5:30pm - Plenary Industry Panel “Coop innovation for sustainability and equity”.

7- 10pm - Conference dinner and Newcastle Harbour cruise

Day 3: Saturday 14th December - Research Conference

9 - 9:30am Plenary Keynoteby Prof. Greg Patmore Emeritus Professor at University of Sydney.

9:30 - 11am - Plenary industry panel:  Food security and sustainable agriculture

11 – 1:30pm - Coffee Break

11:30am - 1pm - Parallel research sessions: Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals

1 - 2pm - Lunch

2 - 3pm - Closing Plenary

The conference venue New Space is located in Newcastle CBD, so there is ample choice of a range of accommodation types, from backpacker to luxury hotels within reasonable walking distance and/or public transport. Newcastle has recently launched a tramline

Below are sample of hotels in different price ranges in the vicinity of the conference venue. Price samples have been taken from the hotel’s websites and may be subject to change depending on availability. In order to secure your accommodation the participant will need to do their own bookings either directly with the hotel, or alternatively use search engines like Expedia.com, Booking.com or similar.

When you use search engines be careful to enter Newcastle, Australia - otherwise you will likely get Newcastle in the UK. Hotels/accommodation in the 2300 post code area – within suburbs such as Newcastle East, Newcastle, Honeysuckle, The Hill and Cooks Hill - are closest to the conference venue.

Examples of Hotels – high end

Newcastle offers a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from 4.5 star self-contained hotel options to budget rooms in backpacker hostels or pubs.

Below is a list of recommended accommodation options located within close proximity to NeW Space City Precinct Campus.

Rydges Newcastle

Located directly on the historic Newcastle harbour front, Rydges (formerly Crowne Plaza) Newcastle boasts a range of well-appointed guest rooms with spectacular views.  It is within easy access to beaches, parks, Honeysuckle restaurants and is a 5 minute walk to the conference at NeW Space.

Website: https://www.rydges.com/accommodation/regional-nsw/newcastle/

Noahs on the Beach

Overlooking Newcastle Beach, this relaxed hotel is a 6-minute walk from Fort Scratchley museum and a 20-minute walk NeW Space.

Website: http://www.noahsonthebeach.com.au/

Novotel Newcastle

Located alongside one of Australia’s best surfing beaches Novotel Newcastle Beach offers a spa pool, a steam room, a fully equipped gymnasium and secure covered parking. Guests also enjoy an onsite bar and restaurant. Alternatively, you can visit local restaurants, bars and cafes, within 10 minutes' walk away. The Novotel is located 15-20 minute walk from the conference location, NeW Space.

$199 per room per night – standard king room
$15 discounted parking rate
$20 discounted breakfast rate

Website: http://www.novotelnewcastlebeach.com.au/

Quest Newcastle

Quest Newcastle is just 300 metres from the Waterfront and provides self-contained apartments with laundry facilities and a full kitchen and a private balcony. Quest Newcastle Apartments are an 8-minute walk from the conference.

Website: http://www.questapartments.com.au/properties/nsw/newcastle/quest-newcastle/overview

Hotel - Medium price range

The Lucky Hotel

This recently renovated heritage pub is one light rail stop from New Space in the heart of the King Street retail and foodie precinct. 5 minute walk to New Space.

Website: https://theluckyhotel.com.au/

Clarendon Pub Hotel

Renovated pub hotel 3 minute walk to New Space. Note that this hotel has a pub and restaurant on the ground floor and may be noisy.

Website: https://clarendonhotel.com.au/

Holiday Inn Express

The Faculty has arranged a special rate for attendees wishing to stay at The Holiday Inn Express from Thursday 12 December to Saturday 14 December. Follow this link, then click on Check Availability and enter the dates. The group rate will be the first one to pop up.

Travelodge Newcastle

Very convenient location around 10 minutes walk from New Space. Or alternatively take the tram a few stops.

Website: https://www.travelodge.com.au/hotel/newcastle/

Hotels - Lower price range

Hotel Ibis Newcastle

$119 per room per night – standard queen room
$10 discounted parking rate
$15 discounted breakfast rate

Phone: 02 4925 2266
Email: H3236@accor.com
Mention name: ICA Asia Pacific Research Conference

Website: https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-3236-ibis-newcastle/index.shtml

The Oriental Hotel

Website: https://oriental-hotel.business.site/

Backpackers and youth hostels

YHA – Newcastle Beach

Website: https://www.yha.com.au/hostels/nsw/newcastle-surrounds/newcastle-beach/

Backpackers Newcastle

Website: http://www.backpackersnewcastle.com.au/

Private rentals and Airbnb

For private apartment rentals, see the Homeaway.com.au website.

Or search private rentals through AirBnB

For both note that properties in the 2300 post code area - Newcastle East, Newcastle, Honeysuckle, The Hill and Cooks Hill - are closest to the conference venue and within reasonable walking distance.

Newcastle is located on the east coast of NSW, Australia a short two-hour drive north of Sydney.


If you are arriving from overseas to Sydney Kingsford Airport, we recommend that you take the airport train to Sydney Central and then jump on a train from Sydney Central to Newcastle Interchange. Trains are reasonably priced. There are shuttle bus transfers from Sydney Airport to Newcastle that can be booked through: www.Premiumbuses.com.au or www.newcastleconnections.com.au. There are also limousine and taxi services available.

Newcastle’s Williamstown airport, operates direct daily flights to and from major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, The Gold Coast, Canberra,Dubbo and Ballina. There are several buses offering services from Newcastle airport. The Newcastle Airport Information Services Desk can arrange door-to-door transfers. Please phone 02 4928 9822, or email nais@newcastleairport.com.au.


Trains depart virtually every hour from Sydney Central Station to Newcastle Interchange. For more info visit www.transportnsw.infoand www.sydneytrains.info. From the Newcastle Interchange station you are now able to take the Lightrail along the main streets to Newcastle beach. Most hotels that we have recommended are located along or close to the Lightrail stops. For more info visit www.newcastletransport.info. It is also possible to arrive by train from Brisbane through TrainLink's inter-city services which will stop at Broadmeadow station in Newcastle before continuing to Sydney.

If travelling by train, lightrail, tram, local bus, or ferry you will need to purchase an OPAL card. You can purchase OPAL cards at the airport, train stations and in news agents.


Newcastle is a two-hour drive north of Sydney. Need wheels? Find car rental companies at the airport and throughout the city. Some of the options include EuropcarHertzBudget Car and Truck Rental or Newcastle Car or Truck Rental.


Head to Newcastle on a long-distance bus - Greyhound services leave from Sydney's Central Station, Brisbane's Coach Terminal and Melbourne's Travel Centre. For more information visit www.newcastlebuses.info.

The coastal city of Newcastle is the heart of Australia’s famous Hunter Region. Newcastle is Australia’s seventh largest and second oldest city. Newcastle was recently identified by National Geographic Traveller Magazine as an emerging global smart city excelling in the challenges of the twenty first century. Newcastle has been recognised by Tourism Australia as Australia’s Coolest Coastal Town and by Lonely Planet as a Top Ten Global City. Newcastle has been four times named a world-class festival and events city by the International Festivals and Events Association.

Newcastle is surrounded by eight spectacular beaches and is home to a vibrant university culture, thriving arts scene and an emerging innovation ecosystem. Located only 160 kilometres north of Sydney, Newcastle is easily accessible by car or train from Sydney, or through direct flights to Newcastle Airport from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. For more information check out Visit Newcastle.

Conference delegates and their guests are advised to contact the Australian Embassy or Australian Consulate closest to their home town to inquire what the visa requirements are for their country.

A list of these can be found at: https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-locations/missions/pages/our-embassies-and-consulates-overseas.aspx

The organisers can provide conference participants with a letter of invitation to the conference to assist with visa application. Please email your request for letter of invitation directly to: conferencefbl@newcastle.edu.au.

Please also make sure you inquire about the visa process early, as visa applications may take considerable time (months) in some countries. You can visit the below link to get a tentative overview of how much time visa applications may take from your country and also what is required in terms of supporting documents for your visa application to be successful. You should enter attending a conference as the purpose of visa application.


Please also make sure you inquire about visa process early, as visa applications may take considerable time (months) in some countries.