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Best wishes,



Welcome to another edition of the AECURN newsletter.

We hope the first half of 2015 has been productive and successful for you all. It has certainly been a busy time for our Network, with a range of activities across Australia and New Zealand. Our Board has been working to run networking events, reach out to other urban and early career research organisations, establish new sub-groups based on research interests, and prepare for the December State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference in the Gold Coast.
The SOAC Conference will be a pivotal event for AECURN, as this is where we will officially launch our Network and hold our first AGM. As you may know, we are also co-organising the SOAC PhD Symposium and ECR Workshop (further details are provided below). A huge thank you to our Board and especially the Queensland Branch for their leadership in organising these two events. If you are attending the SOAC Conference, we hope you can join us for these great networking opportunities. Otherwise, keep in touch and we hope to see you at an AECURN event in your home state soon!

Best wishes,

Crystal Legacy, Rachael Cole-Hawthorne and Melanie Lowe (AECURN’s National Chairs)

AECURN'S Official Launch

AECURN will be officially launched on the first day (December 9th 2015) of the State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference in the Gold Coast. We hope to see all of you there for the celebration! 

Annual General Meeting

We will also hold our very first AGM at the SOAC Conference (date/time to be confirmed). This will be an excellent opportunity to plan the future of AECURN, reflect on its beginnings, and discuss future management. The new Board for 2016-17 will be elected at this meeting, with nominations for Board positions being called for soon. Being a Board Member is good for developing skills and building your network, and is also a great service to our discipline and the future of urban research. Please start thinking about whether you would like to contribute to the network as a Board member.

SOAC Early Career Researcher Workshop

Are you ready to take the next step in your academic career?

An ECR Workshop is being held prior to the main SOAC Conference, to engage ECRs and final year PhD students in a discussion about the kinds of professional skills and experiences required for a successful career in academia and professional practice.

The early years of academia are crucial. During this time, early career researchers are faced with the challenges of publishing high quality research, securing competitive grants, developing networks and increase their independence as a professional. This event offers an opportunity to discuss how to manage these challenges with some of our most experienced and prestigious urban researchers.

Workshops will be conducted on the following themes:
  1. An overview on the main challenges and opportunities facing ECRs
  2. Building links with industry partners and increasing funding opportunities
  3. Establishing a research strategy
  4. Establishing a teaching strategy
  5. Strategies for managing your career
Please join us!

WHO: All ECR and final year PhD students are welcome
WHEN: Tuesday 8th December 2015 1:00-4:00pm

HOW TO REGISTER: You can register online for the ECR workshop through the SOAC 2015 conference registration portal at  or email directly.

HOSTED BY: AECURN and SOAC 2015 Conference Committee


SOAC PhD Symposium
Co-organisation of the SOAC PhD Symposium with the SOAC Local Conference Committee is in full stride. This year’s symposium builds on the tremendous success of the 2013 SOAC PhD symposium with a similar format of both senior and ECR mentors assigned to small groups of 6-8 students, each who will give a short presentation on their PhD research with a chance for discussion and feedback. Volunteers and mentor help is crucial for the success of this event and AECURN would like to take this opportunity to thank the generous support that has been provided so far by our volunteers.

This event has attracted a lot of interest from PhD students, and is currently fully-subscribed. 

AECURN Australian Planner Special Issue (Forthcoming)
We are excited to announce that AECURN will be editing a special issue of Australian Planner titled ‘(Re)constituting Urban Research in a Neo-liberal Planning Climate’.  We received 42 abstracts from ECRs and PhD candidates from across Australia and New Zealand for consideration for the issue and we were heartened and overwhelmed by the high quality of the abstracts submitted – a testament of the great work being undertaken by ECRs and PhDs!  Nine abstracts were selected for the special issue (we would like to have accepted more).  The special issue will likely be out in late 2016, so watch this space.

AECURN WA has been cementing its presence in Perth.
In March the Planning and Transportation Reseach Centre (PATREC sponsored a seminar and networking sundowner.  Professor Sharon Bierman introduced the centre and outlined some research opportunities open to our members. 

Sun Yuchao presented fascinating research findings of his use of biology and computer science to solve planning problems and Steve Fargo presented his research proposal on the location of employment centres in future development.  The event was well attended by ECRs and industry representatives. 

AECURN Transport Subgroup

Are you an urban transport researcher at AECURN? 
Are you interested in joining a transport subgroup?


If yes, please fill in this short survey to let us know who you are and what you would like to do.

Also, there is an opportunity for us to meet in Sydney in late September during the Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) conference

Please contact Wendy Wang (UTS) for more information about this meeting, or if you have any questions about the transport subgroup.

Upcoming Events



The NSW branch is currently in the process of planning a Speed Networking Event at UWS, with details to be confirmed shortly.


The Victorian branch of AECURN is planning an 'Urban Research Career Pathways' event at the University of Melbourne on Thursday August 6th 4-5pm, followed by drinks. This will be an opportunity to learn from and network with experienced academics from a range of urban research disciplines. More details about the presenters and location will be sent to Victorian members soon!

Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) Event - The academic urban consolidation debate: an analysis of the conflicting views, values and ideologies

MSSI invites you to a seminar by Dr Wouter Bervoets, an academic visitor from the Department of Architecture of the University of Leuven travelling on an EU AUSMIP+ Post-Doc Mobility Scholarship.
The emergence of urban consolidation policies in the 1970’s was accompanied by a fierce academic debate about the perils and merits. This academic debate seems to be not merely a disagreement over data and applied research methodologies, but also resulting from opposing personal views. Noteworthy and in contrast with other Western countries, in Australia the strongest defenders of the low density suburban housing model can also be found on the left side of the political spectrum. Based on an extensive discourse analysis of academic publications and 15 in-depth interviews with leading academics, the research explored and mapped the academic debate focusing on the personal values and ideologies of the involved academics.

The presentation of the preliminary research findings will focus on the following research questions:

  • In what way do personal views, values and ideologies influence the academic debate on urban consolidation and how does the academic world deal with these less tangible elements?
  • The traditional left-right ideological opposition seems inappropriate to understand the Australian urban consolidation debate. What are the alternative ideological fault lines that define the debate?
  • How could more openness about the role of personal views, values and ideologies in urban research contribute to the search for more sustainable cities?

When:  1-2pm Thursday 18 June 2015
Where: Room 448, Level 4, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne





Our next events are:
  • A seminar by Professor David Gordon on how to do research on a shoestring budget, and how to promote it within the media.  This is an excellent opportunity to pick up some tips, share ideas and make new contacts.  This event will be held at the Gentilli Lecture Theatre at UWA on the 19th June from 4:00pm. RSVP:
  • A mid-year research presentation seminar at Curtin University on Wednesday 24 June at 4pm in 322 Lecture Theatre - This is a wonderful opportunity to test-run presentations in a supportive environment.  Send your abstracts to Rebecca ASAP.

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AECURN · Australia · Melbourne, Vic 3000 · Australia

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