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President's welcome to 2024

As we arrive at the end of April, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all our members for 2024 (April already?!?!).

We find ourselves in a time of technological challenges that have attracted a variety of regulatory responses – some socially and culturally appropriate, others not so much. Globally, we observe a world that is increasingly tail-spinning with uncertainty and a moment in which we are confronted with multiple conflicts and geopolitical challenges. Sydney and the South Coast of NSW have been in a state of alarm after recently recovering from widespread floods, only to be faced with horrific two major crimes of hate. If there is a time when we need to come together as humans more than ever, it is right now.

In that vein, we are moving in a positive direction as an Association and I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly update you all on the operations of AANZCA and the multiple projects we have underway for 2024.

Before I do, the Executive would like to hear from you. We have identified several strategic projects that require our attention, and these are underway, but this may not represent our membership entirely. We’d like you to take this very brief survey to let us know what you would like us to focus on for the next 12 months:

Association Name Change

As you may have noticed, we are using the acronym AANZCA, which was unanimously supported at our AGM in 2023 to continue our decolonisation efforts by changing our name to – the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Communication Association (AANZCA). We have split this transition into two key aspects: technical and cultural. The technical is almost complete with the branding, URL redirection, legal and financial items underway for the name change. Our next phase is undertaking the cultural change in AANZCA, and our working group is preparing for this task. We will officially launch AANZCA in June this year.

Regional Grants

Given the positive financial position of AANZCA in recent years, we are extending our budget for regional events to $1000AUD for each region for 2024 (to be reviewed each year after). Your Regional Reps are on standby to discuss and potentially undertake an AANZCA-branded event in your area. Past events have included lectures, training events, seminars, and social catch-ups with a view to bringing our members together and promoting AANZCA beyond our members. Please be in contact with your Regional Representative if you have an idea for one of these grants.

IAMCR 2024 Travel grants

As you are aware we have the two major media and communication conferences in our region this year. David Nolan has curated an exceptional AANZCA panel for the International Communication Association (ICA) on the Gold Coast and Mia Lindgren has done the same for the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in Christchurch. To help support our members’ travel to Christchurch, we have 4 X $1000AUD travel grants. These bursaries are designed to help those members in precarious labour arrangements, higher degree researchers and early career researchers, and those members from institutions that are not providing support. If you qualify for these grants, please send through your EOI to James Meese by April 30 addressing the following:

  1. Financial member (Y/N)
  2. Your Institution
  3. Your employment status/stage of PhD
  4. Title of paper accepted to the 2024 IAMCR conference
  5. How your work contributes to the broader efforts of AANZCA

Platform Journal

This month, we welcome Platform Journal to AANZCA! As Australia’s premier publishing outlet for our media and communication HDR and ECR community, we are proud to support Platform in the suite of journals within AANZCA. We are in the early stages of collaboration but stay tuned for opportunities that may emerge in the coming months – including opportunities to publish out of our conference in Melbourne.

AANZCA Conference 2024

Speaking of conferences, don’t forget to block out November 25 – 28 November for our 2024 AANZCA conference, this year in Melbourne. You will find the call for papers on our new conference site. We look forward to seeing you all there. For our JEERA colleagues, we look forward to sharing the same location and week for both our conferences with you this year. 

Finally, please be in touch if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for AANZCA. I’m especially interested in hearing from colleagues who are keen to take on leadership roles for AANZCA in the coming years and providing pathways to ensure our next generation of leaders are well-supported as they take up the reins for our disciplines in the region.

See you in Melbourne (if not before),

Jonathon Hutchinson, AANZCA President

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