Geographies of belonging

Kathy Mee, Sarah Wright, Lesley Instone

Belonging involves humans and non-humans being perceived as occupying their 'rightful place'. Belonging is an active practice as human and non-humans make a place in the world. It is something that people strive for (reflecting the "longing" in belonging) and can be unstable and shifting. This research brings together researchers exploring ideas of belonging in a range of contexts. Case studies in the research include:

  • belonging and borders, exploring belonging of human and non-humans in Northern Australia through a case study of practices of quarantine
  • political belonging, exploring the relationship between shifting international borders, regulatory agreements and belonging
  • belonging, risk and pool fencing which explores the pool fence debate in the Northern Territory and links this to ideas of belonging in a frontier landscape
  • belonging and home which examines the active practices of belonging that help create homes in public housing



Instone L (2010) Walking towards Woomera: touring the boundaries of 'unAustralian geographies', Cultural Geographies 17(3) 359-378

Mee K (2010) "Any place to raise children is a good place": Children, housing and neighbourhoods in inner Newcastle, Australia, Children's Geographies 8(2) 193-211

Instone L (2009) Northern belongings: frontiers, fences and identities in Australia's urban north, Environment and Planning A, 41(4) 827-841.

Mee KJ (2009) A space to care, a space of care: public housing, belonging and care in inner Newcastle, Australia. Environment and Planning A, 41(4) 842-858

Mee KJ and Wright S (2009) Geographies of belonging. Why belonging? Why geography? Environment and Planning A, 41(4) 772-779

Instone L (2006) Eating the country, Journal of Australian Studies 86 135-141.

Presentations Include

Instone L (2006) Walking towards Woomera: touring the boundaries of unAustralian geographies, 'UnAustralia' Conference, Cultural Studies Association of Australasia, Canberra, December

Instone L (2006) Northern Belongings, Geographic Union Conference, Brisbane, July

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.