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Reports

2020

Thinking About Treaty Spatially

June 2020

Exploring Implications for the Land and Geospatial Profession for Building a Shared Future

Serene Ho, Prashanti Mayfield, Mariana Dias Baptista, Maria Vasardani, Libby Porter, Ani Landau-Ward, Matt Duckham, Mark McMillan

Summary

In 2018, the Victorian government passed Australia’s first-ever treaty law (State Government of Victoria, 2018) but the new treaty legislation is startingly silent on any direction on spatiality. This reflects a wider silence in both Victorian and federal legislative frameworks which ignore the spatial dimension of treaty negotiations. It leads to the questions: to what places does a negotiated treaty apply, and how should/​will treaty affect the use, management, access and ownership of Country, embodying land, water, air, flora, fauna and mineral resources?

Many land and geospatial professionals will find themselves playing a role in helping to address these questions, whether as researchers, consultants, or public servants. The use of spatial data and geographic information systems (GIS) have become mainstreamed as a policy tool, but there are recognised difficulties in applying western-oriented GIS to Indigenous knowledge. Therefore, the central question addressed in this Concept Paper is: What might the spatial implications of treaty be for land and geospatial professionals?

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Citation
Ho, S., Mayfield, P., Dias Baptista, M., Vasardani, M., Porter, L., Landau-Ward, A., Duckham, M. and McMillan, M. (2020). Thinking About Treaty Spatially: Exploring Implications for the Land and Geospatial Profession for Building a Shared Future. RMIT Enabling Capability Platform Concept Paper Series 2019 (CP 1904). Melbourne: RMIT University.

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COVIDSafe: Perceptions and Practices

4 October 2020

Summary Report

Larissa Hjorth, Ingrid Richardson, Mark Andrejevic, Ruth De Souza, Hugh Davies

Recognising the social, civil and governance impact of the COVID-19 crisis, COVIDSafe: Perceptions and Practices has sought to discover how Australians are understanding and responding to these changes at a community and personal level.

Beginning in June 2020, the project initially aimed to understand people’s experiences and practices of the COVIDSafe App in Australia, both in terms of use and non-use. We distributed a 25 question Qualtrics survey via social media to explore what people thought about the app, relating to privacy concerns, efficacy, clarity of government information and processes. In addition, we asked them if they had downloaded the app (or not) and the range of reasons for doing so or not (e.g. concerns about the health of oneself and others, concerns about privacy of information and tracking apps, etc.) 

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People


Larissa Hjorth
Distinguished Professor and Director, Design and Creative Practice
School: Enabling Capability Platforms

RMIT staff profile
larissa.hjorth@rmit.edu.au

Larissa Hjorth is a digital ethnographer, artist, Distinguished Professor and director of the Design & Creative Practice ECP platform at RMIT University. With Professor Heather Horst, she co-founded the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC). Previously, Hjorth was Deputy Dean, Research & Innovation, in the School of Media & Communication (2013−2016). Hjorth served on the inaugural Australian Research Council (ARC) Engagement & Impact Pilot study assessment panel for humanities and creative practice.

Hjorth studies the socio-cultural dimensions of mobile media and play practices in the Asia-Pacific region with an emphasis on interdisciplinary, collaborative and cross-cultural approaches. She has published a dozen co-authored books, edited over a dozen Handbooks/​Companions and has over 40 journal articles. 

More recently, Hjorth’s work has become concerned with how we can bring creative, social and design solutions to the growing ageing populations and, in turn, how we might consider scenarios of what it means to die well. She is also studying how our more-than-human” companions can teach us about new media in everyday life. Hjorth’s last book, Haunting Hands (Oxford Uni Press) looked at how mobile media is being deployed in situations of grief and trauma, her previous book explored how art practice can teach us new acumen into the climate change debate.

Hjorth’s books include Haunting Hands (with Cumiskey 2017), Screen Ecologies (with Pink, Sharp & Williams 2016), Digital Ethnography (Pink et al. 2016) Mobile Media in the Asia-Pacific (2009), Games & Gaming (2010), Online@AsiaPacific (with Arnold 2013), Understanding Social Media (with Hinton 2013), and Gaming in Locative, Social and Mobile Media (with Richardson 2014).


Hugh Davies
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School: Games

Personal website
hugh.davies@rmit.edu.au

Hugh Davies is an artist, curator and researcher of games and play. His practice explores histories of media devices and cultures of games in the Asia Pacific Region. Awarded a PhD in Art, Design and Architecture from Monash University in 2014, Hugh’s studies in game cultures have been supported with fellowships from Tokyo Art and Space, M+ Museum of Visual Culture and the Hong Kong Design Trust. Hugh is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia.


Ingrid Richardson
Professor
School: Media and Communication

RMIT staff profile
ingrid.richardson@rmit.edu.au

Professor Ingrid Richardson has been teaching, supervising and researching in the fields of digital media, mobile media and games for over twenty years. She has a broad interest in the human-technology relation and has published widely on the phenomenology of games and mobile media, digital ethnography and innovative research methods, the relation between technology use and wellbeing, and the cultural effects of urban screens, wearable technologies, virtual and augmented reality, remix culture and web-based content creation and distribution. Ingrid has led or co-led 14 funded research projects, the most recent being an ARC DP [Games of Being Mobile] with Larissa Hjorth. She is contributing co-editor of Studying Mobile Media (Routledge, 2011) and co-author of Gaming in Social, Locative and Mobile Media (Palgrave, 2014), Ambient Play (MIT, 2020), Understanding Games and Game Cultures (Sage, 2020), Exploring Minecraft: Ethnographies of Play and Creativity (Palgrave, forthcoming), and Mobile Media and the Urban Night (Palgrave, forthcoming). Ingrid brings ten years’ experience in university-level HDR management and during this time has actively championed and supported creative methods and practice-led postgraduate research. Over the past five years she has also developed a passion for teaching critical web literacy skills to undergraduate students across all disciplines.


Ruth De Souza
VC Research Fellow
School: School of Art

Personal website
ruth.de.souza@rmit.edu.au

Dr Ruth De Souza (FACN) is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at RMIT, based in the School of Art and DCP Research Platform. She is a nurse, academic and a community-engaged researcher in gender, race, health and digital technologies. Ruth’s Fellowship will engage health professionals in finding new ways to understand, co-design and implement sustainable cultural safety initiatives in a range of health contexts in response to health inequities.

Prior to moving to Australia in 2013, Ruth worked at AUT University where she taught in the School of Nursing, led the Bachelor of Health Promotion, and was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Asian and Migrant Health Research. Since her arrival in Australia, Ruth has undertaken a wide range of roles, including leading an undergraduate nursing program at Monash University’s Berwick campus; spearheading a unique community-engaged joint research appointment with North Richmond Community Health exploring how wearables and other digital technologies are perceived by people from culturally and linguistically different backgrounds and co-ordinating an interdisciplinary Data Systems and Society Research Network across the University of Melbourne. Ruth has also investigated the applicability of cultural safety in Australia, working closely with The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), presenting at their National Professional Development Conferences and delivering training on cultural safety. She has also undertaken a two-year cultural safety project with cohealth (a not-for-profit community health organisation) and Our Watch who work for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children.

In a time of uncertainty: supporting belonging and well being of HDR students

May 2020

DeSouza, R., Hendry, N., Stevens, R., Gomes, C., Harris, A., Hjorth, L., Richardson, I., & Kokanovic, R.

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption, stress and uncertainty for Australian Higher Degree Research (HDR) students (Kariotis, 2020) — exacerbating the demands of an already challenging journey towards completion (Batty et al., 2019; Creely & Laletas, 2020).

HDR students constitute society’s future knowledge workers (Mackie & Bates, 2019) and the repercussions of COVID-19 represent a significant loss of potential for students, with implications for their research aspirations and current and future employment. As Universities grapple with how to best support HDR students through this crisis, we offer a contribution to the understanding that acknowledges the complexity of journey as an intellectual development that has emotional and affective components (Owens et al., 2020).

Becoming a graduate researcher is a transformative identity journey involving becoming an expert in a particular field and becoming a scholar or researcher (Barnacle & Mewburn, 2010). We take a social ecological approach to the challenges that COVID-19 presents to acknowledge that there are multiple factors in both the University environment and the student’s social world that exert a cumulative and combined influence on wellbeing”’ (Mackie & Bates, 2019).

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Suggested Citation
DeSouza, R., Hendry, N., Stevens, R., Gomes, C., Harris, A., Hjorth, L., Richardson, I., & Kokanovic, R. (2020). In a time of uncertainty: supporting belonging and wellbeing for HDR students. Melbourne: RMIT University.

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HDR Belonging: Practices and Perceptions during COVID-19

August 2020

Ingrid Richardson, Natalie Hendry, Catherine Gomes, Gretchen Coombs, Larissa Hjorth, Ruth DeSouza and Anne Harris

Summary

In this report we have outlined some of the key themes, issues, practices and perceptions experienced by HDR candidates relating to:
• Belonging and Communities of Practice
• Working from Home
• Uncertain Futures and Precarious Work
• International Candidates’ Experience
RMIT Systems and Services
• Ethics of Care

COVID-19 has recalibrated everything — work, life and study — as many of these activities become compressed in the home. Digital amplification can be felt palpably on all areas — in good and less positive ways. For HDRs, this recalibration has added another layer of complexity and instability in an already undulating journey that is both intellectual and psychological. Work futures have rapidly come under revision — compounding the feelings of uncertainty, loss and change.

By listening to the lived experience of HDRs we can work collaboratively to develop nuanced systems and processes that nurture growth during these uncertain times. While digital engagement can help, digital pivots can only provide a certain amount of connection. Connection doesn’t always translate to belonging. Understanding and addressing belonging during the pandemic means developing more agile co-designed methods for engagement and communities of practice to foster a collaborative and sustainable future — both as part of the HDR journey and beyond.

This report has sought to give a voice to the diverse and divergent lived experiences of current HDRs, across different fields of research and stages of the research.

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Get involved

If you would like to get involved with this project, fill out the form below or reach out to project leaders via the contact info provided alongside each bio.

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