Mr Jai Cooper

Mr Jai Cooper

Casual Academic

School of Humanities and Social Science

Career Summary


There are many ways in which we can understand the natural world. 

After decades in a career working with young people, landowners, Aboriginal communities, international tourists, government, community groups and corporations, it's been a privilege to encounter the many ways in which people understand, appreciate and utilise the environment. My work builds upon this career in community natural resource management and youth outdoor and environmental programs throughout New South Wales so it could be said (somewhat problematically) that it's been 'natural' to evolve' into an environmental sociologist with the University of Newcastle. 

Currently, my role in academia is increasing and involves a doctoral research project into what I've coined the 'Anthropocene Bargain': the negotiated experiences of workers as the whole of human society itself negotiates ecological limits. This involves qualitative research applying a Bourdieusian theoretical perspective with former participants in Australia's unique history (mid 1990s - 2018) of 'Green New Deal'ism': a series of national youth environmental workfare programs known as the Green Army, National Green Jobs Corps, Green Corps and LEAP (Landcare Environmental Action Program). As part of the growing field of research into the just transition to sustainability, I hope this work can contribute to our understanding of how the calls for, and introduction of, radical responses to climate change will be experienced by young workers and those around them. With some politicians now calling for conscription to deal with climate change, this is an increasingly contentious field. Hopefully, we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and intercept any new and emerging problems. 

Since 2008, I have taught on a sessional basis into various sociology programs at the University of Newcastle campuses (Port Macquarie, Callaghan and online). My research background also includes the sociology of health and mobilities. Like many others who use a range of mobility devices to compensate for physical impairments, I often use a bicycle with cleats or a walking cane for assistance. In 2013-2015, I completed a research project 'Cycletopia in the Sticks' exploring the practice of bicycle advocacy in regional/rural communities of New South Wales with findings published in the journal Mobilities in 2017.


  • Master of Environmental Education, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Victoria University - Australia
  • Diploma of Conservation & Land Management, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Plenty Training - RTO
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Honours), University of Newcastle


  • environment
  • mobilities
  • sociology


  • Tok Pisin (Neomelanesian) (Working)

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Lecturer University of Newcastle
Learning and Teaching


Code Course Role Duration
SOCA6590 Environmental Issues and Their Social Context
The University of Newcastle, NSW
Lecturer / Tutor 1/7/2017 - 31/12/2018
SOCA2065 Society and Environment
University of Newcastle - School of Humanities and Social Science
Co-ordinator / Lecturer / Tutor 1/1/2017 - 31/12/2020
SOCA3230 Culture and Identity
University of Newcastle
Tutor 1/1/2009 - 31/12/2010
EPHUMA254 Sociological Insights
University of Newcastle
Course Co-ordinator / Lecturer / Tutor 1/7/2017 - 31/12/2020
EPHUMA137 Australian Culture and Society
The University of Newcastle
Teacher 1/1/2019 - 30/6/2020
EPHUMA154 The Sociological Gaze
The University of Newcastle
Tutor/lecturer 1/1/2017 - 30/6/2020
SOCA3060 Society and Environment
University of Newcastle
Lecturer 1/1/2008 - 31/12/2010
NURS1102 Primary Health Care
University of Newcastle - School of Humanities and Social Science
Casual Lecturer / Tutor 1/1/2013 - 30/6/2019
SOCA1010 Society and Culture: A Sociological Introduction
University of Newcastle
Tutor / Lecturer 1/1/2018 - 30/6/2020


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

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Cooper J, Leahy T, 'Cycletopia in the sticks: bicycle advocacy beyond the city limits', Mobilities, 12 611-627 (2017) [C1]

This paper explores the experiences and perspectives of bicycle advocates in regional areas of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Globally, cycling presents opportunities for affor... [more]

This paper explores the experiences and perspectives of bicycle advocates in regional areas of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Globally, cycling presents opportunities for affordable and sustainable transport and healthy lifestyles. Developing a global cycling system depends upon deliberative visions of a better future. Yet, urban cycling advocacy is engaged in a ¿permanent provocation¿ with motoring. Regional/rural advocacy contrasts against urban advocacy. Research, based on data collected in 2013¿2014, explored the practice of cycling advocacy in regional areas, the formation of regional advocate identities and advocates¿ visions for the future. Alternative geographic imaginaries for cycling are presented. Radical societal change is not expected by regional bicycle advocates but an embodied sensibility presents ¿re-wilding¿ as an emerging post-colonial discursive position to embrace.

DOI 10.1080/17450101.2016.1254898
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Terry Leahy

Mr Jai Cooper


Casual Academic
School of Humanities and Social Science
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Lecturer
Learning and Teaching
Academic Division

Casual Teacher
Learning and Teaching
Academic Division

Contact Details



Room W325b Behavioural Sciences Building
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