- An emotional geography of HIV/AIDS development work in PNG (Jack Aisbett)
- Making policy mobile: global engagements in Australian urban policy-making (Thomas Baker)
- Food Sovereignty: Lineaments of Post-Capitalist Economies (Rhyall Gordon)
- Legacy in applied theatre: our co-workers, our audience, or ours to strip-mine and leave deflowered (Brian Joyce)
- Publicness, urban citizenship and contemporary urban space (Adam Tyndall)
- Practicing participation: gardening as tenant participation in public housing (Nicola Vaughan)
- Do the ties really bind? Understanding social networks of Sudanese refugees in regional Australia (Lisa Webber)
- Revealing everyday practices of care and justice in inner-city community organisations (Miriam Williams)
This project investigates the emotionality of development work by examining how emotions shape the perceptions and actions of western HIV and AIDS development workers. The research is situated in Papua New Guinea and through a Postcolonial lens. The project employs a mixed methodological approach through critical discourse analysis of HIV and AIDS research and policy, to examine the emotionality of PNG HIV and AIDS texts. In particular it investigates the ability of these texts to orientate how western development workers act and feel towards PNG people and place. In-depth semi structured interviews and journal writing are analysed to assess the plethora of emotions felt by development workers. These emotions are explored to explain how and where the western development worker chooses to connect with PNG people and place. Drawing on this sense of connection and disconnection felt by development workers, the project investigates how emotions can be a trigger for, or a resistance to orientalist thinking in the development context.
Making policy mobile: global engagements in Australian urban policy-making (Thomas Baker)
The politics of urban policy-making have long been punctuated by engagements extending beyond the boundaries of the city. Such engagements often reflect the wide reach of policy problems or ambitions, the travels of credentialed experts who communicate their experiences, and the searches of those seeking to learn from other places. Urban policy-making is therefore a product of both the local context and interactions with ‘elsewhere’ brought together through comparison and communication. At times, particular policies become mobilised – disembedded from a place of origin and moved – to be adapted and re-embedded in a different context. My research focuses on globalising processes of urban policy-making through an investigation of policy mobility. Using a case study of urban homelessness policy it follows the way that recent Australian policy changes reflect circumstances and interactions both within and beyond the Australian urban context. In doing so, the research details the micro-practices and politics surrounding local-global policy-making.
Food Sovereignty: Lineaments of Post-Capitalist Economies (Rhyall Gordon)
We are witnessing a new era of food economies that are spatially disparate, ethically diverse and employ practices that go beyond purely economic determinants. This era is being supplemented by an approach known as food sovereignty that is at once social movement, academic theory and community practice.
Food sovereignty situates itself in the politics of oppose and propose. It opposes the hegemony and dominance of the neoliberal corporate food regime whilst proposing, fostering, championing and living forms of post-capitalist economies. The food sovereignty narrative seeks to create local food economies that are respectful of producers, consumers and the environment. It proposes a food economy that is directly linked to democracy and justice. It attempts to achieve this by (initially) putting the control of production, distribution and consumption directly in the hands of those that are interdependent, involved in and affected by the processes.
Gibson-Graham argue that for an economy to take on a counter-hegemonic project the sociality and interdependence of the different people involved must be made explicit. It is the decision making process around surplus that has a social potentiating force and will determine the ethical character of the economy. How surplus is negotiated (or not) can repoliticise and resocialise a community and its economy (Gibson-Graham 2006).
This research considers how the diverse economic practices of food sovereignty offer opportunities to repoliticise and resocialise economies through new ways of negotiating surplus.
Legacy in applied theatre: our co-workers, our audience, or ours to strip-mine and leave deflowered (Brian Joyce)
This PhD research has two components; a reflective analysis of Community Cultural Development (CCD) practice and practice-based research through two existing community projects. Firstly, the research seeks to develop the currently limited body of literature on CCD practice. Much of the literature in this subject area is focused on individual project reports and acquittals. In examining the more long-term impacts of CCD practice, the research draws on literature concerning models for health education and international development programs, particularly those targeting community capacity building and value change, and existing literature on the role of art and cultural practice in community development. This research also involves a detailed analysis of the existing documentation of CCD funding agencies and relevant project reports, and interviews with community and CCD artists/participants. Secondly, the study includes practice-based research undertaken through two current CCD projects operating in the Hunter Region NSW, both of which utilise cultural/art projects as a means for community renewal and engagement. This aspect of the research addresses contemporary debates around evaluation, community engagement and sustainability within CCD projects, addressing questions including: how the need for community-based projects to prove their efficacy to stakeholders impacts on their everyday operations; how CCD projects are influenced by a growing community awareness about such work and demands for a more involved and influential role for communities; and how an approach such as CCD, with a long history of shifting stakeholder responsibility and management, can be made more resilient and sustainable.
Publicness, urban citizenship and contemporary urban space (Adam Tyndall)
Public space is thought to be an integral part of fully functioning liberal democracy. Yet much research argues that traditional public space is in decline due to regimes of neo-liberal governance paralleled with a growth in pseudo-public spaces such as shopping malls. It is argued that commercialised, sanitised and ultimately exclusionary public forms are replacing more democratic and egalitarian urban spaces. This thesis considers the relationship between space and publicness and, more particularly, how the practice of ‘being public’ emerges and is enacted in place(s). This is being undertaken via a case study approach focusing on three urban spaces; a suburban shopping mall (Westfield Liverpool), a religious space open to the public (Auburn Gallipoli Mosque) and a ‘traditional’ public space (Martin Place, Sydney). The rationale is that these case studies will provide unique insights into the diverse ways that publicness emerges and is enacted in place(s). The overarching aim of the research is to determine the implications these findings have for notions such as publicness, urban citizenship and democratic practice in the city.
Practicing participation: gardening as tenant participation in public housing (Nicola Vaughan)
Recent policy developments in public housing have emphasised the importance of tenant participation in public housing, especially through formal participative structures such as tenants’ councils. Most research on tenant participation has focused on such formal structures, particularly at a state wide scale. However, fostering participation also involves encouraging a range of neighbourhood and home based activities, such as gardening, which occur informally as well as through formal participative structures. Utilising gardening as an entry-point, this research explores the interplay between the formal and informal aspects of tenant participation in two case study public housing estates in NSW. Gardens are important in a public housing context because they open up ways of thinking about everyday participatory practices that involve, but also exceed, notions of social regulation. The focus of the research is on tenants’ experiences of gardening as a practice, the role of gardening in fostering participation in neighbourhood and home-making activities, and how gardeners use different types of gardens (e.g. community gardens, suburban yards and balcony gardens) to participate in home and neighbourhood. By drawing on a range of methods, such as participant diaries (written and photographic), interviews, and participant observation, the project seeks to gain in-depth insight into the experiences of gardens and gardening programs as part of the everyday practice of tenant participation.
Do the ties really bind? Understanding social networks of Sudanese refugees in regional Australia (Lisa Webber)
A social network immediately conjures up ideas of people and relationships, however there are many other factors at play that act to create and influence how these networks are performed. One such influencing factor is place. Be they locally performed or at a distance, the place in which social networks are performed and negotiated plays a crucial role in the negotiation of these relationships.
This thesis aims to produce a nuanced picture of the social networks of Sudanese refugees in a regional town, Colac, Victoria. It will look at the important role that Colac plays in the creation and negotiation of social networks on various levels and scales for the Sudanese people who call the town home. Colac firstly provides a space in which relationships are enacted and negotiated. This thesis will look at the space of Colac as both a place in which social networks are performed for the Sudanese research participants (with a focus on the unique layers of social networks that the regional place encourages) and the role that Colac itself plays as an actor in these social networks.
Revealing everyday practices of care and justice in inner-city community organisations (Miriam Williams)
Cities have been interpreted as paradoxical spaces of injustice and inequity whilst at the same time spaces of hope, care and emancipation. The capacity of cities to be sites of emancipation arises from many practices, including; encounter, taking care of, recognition, caring about, redistribution and diversity which, through a multiplicity of spaces, enable justice and care to be proliferated. The ethics of care and justice are foundation ethics in philosophy and human geography. Shaped by a politics of possibility, this PhD research seeks to uncover sites where the ethics of justice and care may be revealed in ordinary places in the inner city. The research provides an understanding of practices of care and justice undertaken within three diverse community-based organisations in the neighbourhoods of Newtown and Enmore in Sydney, Australia. Influenced by feminist philosophy, a performative ontological politics and theories of situated knowledges, I focus on everyday practice through participant observation via researcher volunteering and semi-structured interviews in order to uncover and participate in different ways of doing/being and thinking cities. My emphasis on everyday practice uncovers how ordinary mundane practices are made extra-ordinary through their continued repetition and constitution in place. The research posits that sharing the hopeful and grounded everyday stories of inner-city spaces and practices encourages, and perhaps enables, the emergence of more caring and just possibilities for inner city communities.