Working Partnerships: Collaborative Research in Rural and Remote Cultures

Rural Cultural Research Project

6-7 September 2007

State Library of Queensland

A report of this event is available

A Workshop Organised by Professor David Carter, University of Queensland, and the Rural Cultural Research Program, directed by Professor Kate Darian-Smith (University of Melbourne) and Dr Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong), part of the ARC-Funded Cultural Research Network.

All sessions will be held in the Fox Family White Gloves Room, State Library of Queensland, Level 4.


Thursday 6 September

10.00am Arrive — coffee and tea
Opening Remarks: Professor Graeme Turner, Director of the Cultural Research Network, University of Queensland

10.30am–12.30pm — Show and Tell: Current and Future Projects
This session is designed to showcase current and planned collaborative projects between university researchers and cultural/government institutions, especially where these involve a rural, regional or remote focus. No doubt it will begin to highlight some of advantages and some of the potential difficulties in such research.

Chris Gibson ( University of Wollongong)
Kate Darian-Smith ( University of Melbourne)
Peter Spearritt ( University of Queensland)
Bec Carland (Museum Victoria)
Tim Fisher (The Arts Centre, Victoria)

12.30pm–1.30pm Lunch

1.30pm–3.00pm   Great Expectations: Managing and Maximising Collaborations
This session will focus on the issue of managing the different expectations, time-lines and constraints that come together in cross-institutional and institutional-community collaborations. What might be the potential sources of misunderstanding or conflict? How best to address these and to maximise the benefits of collaboration for all partners? What differences are there between small and large-scale collaborations? What do the universities have to offer non-academic institutions — and vice versa?

Geoff Lawrence ( University of Queensland)
Sean Ulm ( University of Queensland)
Judith Powell  ( Queensland Museum)
Susan Luckman ( University of South Australia)

3.00pm–3.30pm Afternoon tea

3.30pm–5.00pmManaging the PhD (student) in Cross-Institutional Projects
One of the areas that can mark the success or failure of an ARC collaborative project is the role of Research Higher Degree students. What are the formulas for likely success or failure for partners and students in these relationships?

Deb Anderson (University of Melbourne/Museum Victoria)
Rob Edwards (University of Queensland/ Queensland Museum & State Library)
Shawn Rowlands (UNE and Queensland Museum)
Luke Keogh (University of Queensland & Queensland Museum)

Informal dinner at nearby restaurant for those available.

Friday 7 September

10.00am Arrive — coffee and tea

10.30am–12.30pm    Working the Partnerships
This session will continue the discussion of collaborative research projects. What makes collaborations work? How might ARC-funded research differ from other kinds of research (eg short-term consultancy work)? How does this all look from the industry perspective? Why work with Humanities researchers? What is ‘cultural research’? How might projects function across very different policy environments?

Jenni Metcalf  (Director, Econnect Communications)
Francesca Baas Becking ( Charles Darwin University)
Geoff Ginn (University of Queensland)
Brian Crozier  (Queensland Museum)
Tess Lea (Charles Darwin University)

12.30pm–1.30pm Lunch

1.30pm–3.00pm   New Agendas for Rural Cultural Research
This session will look to the possibilities for building a new agenda for rural/regional/remote cultural research in Australia. What are the issues emerging from university researchers, from cultural/government institutions, from rural and remote communities themselves? How might new research be planned — and funded?

Kate Bowles ( University of Wollongong)
Kate Darian-Smith ( University of Melbourne)
Chris Gibson ( University of Wollongong)
Justin Vaughan (Tourism NT)/Liam Carroll ( Darwin City Council)
Judith Powell ( Queensland Museum)



The symposium brought together academic and industry/institutional partners involved in collaborative research projects, in order to share experiences regarding the potentialities and problems of developing ‘working partnerships’.

A series of presentations and seminars were programmed over two days at the State Library of Queensland. A range of topics and issues were discussed including: ‘Current and Future Projects’; ‘Managing and Maximising Collaborations’; ‘Managing the PhD Student in Cross-Institutional Projects’; a comparison of ARC-funded and other kinds of collaborative projects from the perspective of the industry/institutional partners; and finally ‘New Agendas for Rural Cultural Research’ were considered.

Approximately 30 researchers attended the event, coming from Darwin, Adelaide, Wollongong, Melbourne and Brisbane.