UON Communication to host international conference

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The University of Newcastle’s Communication discipline is hosting an international conference on the Callaghan campus from 6-8 July.

The Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) is the professional association for Australian and New Zealand communication academics and practitioners. And holds a conference in July each year in either Australia or New Zealand. UON is the host university in 2016.

More than 160 delegates are coming to Newcastle from around Australia as well as New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Korea, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK and the USA and will be presenting around the conference theme of ‘Creating Space in the Fifth Estate’.

Keynote speakers are from the USA and Macau as well as Australia, including Dr Joanne McCarthy, who won a Gold Walkley Award in 2013 for outstanding journalism. Other keynotes are Professor Stephen J. A. Ward, media ethicist, Professor Amanda D. Lotz, audience research, television and gender, Professor Tony Schirato, sports, gender theory , technology and cultural politics, and Phillipa McGuinness, a publisher who has written about copyright in the digital age.

Co-convenors Associate Professor Phillip McIntyre (ANZCA Vice President) and Dr Janet Fulton (ANZCA Executive NSW Rep) are organising the conference, along with committee members Dr Susan Kerrigan and Dr Michael Meany, and say it is an event that has been three years in the making.

“Phillip and I started talking in 2013 about Newcastle hosting the conference,” Janet said.

“It hasn’t been held here and we thought it would be a great idea to bring our colleagues to the University to show them what we do.

“We have both been attending ANZCA conferences since 2009 and have always found them to be a particularly collegial gathering of scholars who are researching in very diverse areas of Communication Studies."

ANZCA is involved in scholarship and teaching in such diverse areas as journalism, public relations, law and ethics, creativity and communication, citizenship, new media, mobile, digital and social media, pedagogy, organisational and interpersonal communication, Internet studies, advertising, environmental and science communication, radio, television and film production, and media studies.

With the support of the conference convenors, UON PhD students Caitlin McGregor and Liz Goode have organised a pre-conference symposium for post-graduates and early career researchers on Tuesday 5th July with events such as academic speed dating, a panel discussing post-PhD opportunities and keynotes, including Associate Professor Inger Mewburn, better known as The Thesis Whisperer.

“The Association is very supportive of post-grads and ECRs and it’s a good conference for post-grads because of that supportive, encouraging atmosphere,” Janet said.

Communication undergraduate students will act as volunteers at the conference, giving them valuable experience in event management and media production, but will also provide them with the opportunity to engage in an academic event and meet, listen and exchange ideas with academics whose disciplinary work they’ve read, researched and learnt from.

Phillip and Janet are using the conference to launch their book 'The Creative System in Action: Understanding Cultural Production and Practice’, co-edited with Dr Elizabeth Paton.

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