CHASS Newsletter #29

From CHASS President Linda Rosenman

The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences is preparing for a major year of change in education, research and the creative arts.

CHASS’s new Board met last week to look at a draft strategic plan for 2009 and beyond and will be asking for member feedback on priorities and goals over the next few days. It is based on a clear commitment to promote the humanities, the arts and the social sciences, and support their contribution to a prosperous, innovative, creative and inclusive Australia

CHASS will post the draft plan on the web site next week for members, and asks you to direct any feedback or suggestions to director [at] The Board drew on member discussion at the HASS in the Capital event in September to formulate the plan and the paper summarising the discussion is available in the members’ section of the CHASS web page.

Coordination of information and research

With major debate on Higher Education (The Bradley Review) starting soon and new policy settings in innovation and research due to be announced in the New Year, CHASS is looking to coordinate and communicate information and analysis with its members so that HASS issues are prominent for policy makers and in industry.

The Board will establish a series of working groups to quickly canvass views and information on issues and projects that are likely 2009 priorities. These will be led by a Board member but draw on the rich and varied communities of interest within the membership. As the groups evolve CHASS will brief members on their focus and progress. The first working groups will be:

Media lists and industry contacts – Catharine Lumby and Stuart Cunningham

Preventative Health Task force – A number of CHASS members are preparing submissions to the Prime Minister’s task force. The CHASS working group will ask them to share their submissions, so that we can strengthen the case for the role of the humanities arts and social sciences in managing and solving problems involving human behaviour. Ross Homel and Catharine Lumby will be the leaders.

Design and creative industries issues – The Group will coordinate views and research to follow up CHASS work including its call for a national Design Council, and to seek Government response to the Creative Australia ideas put forward at the 2020 conference. Catrina Vignando of Craft Australia and Astrid Wootton are the initial members.

Education Learning and Training – The Board is keen to build a rapid response to the Bradley Review recommendations. The Executive Director and Research and Policy Officer will coordinate advice to the Board.

Effective Organisation: CHASS Constitutional Change and Membership Structure – Meredith Edwards will be looking at a review for decision by the next Annual General Meeting.

Development of Strategic Plan – Linda Rosenman and the Executive Director.

New and upcoming events

The Board will invite local member organisations at each of the four Board meetings of 2009 to join them for informal talks and drinks. The 2009 meetings begin in Sydney (February 23 for members event) and there will also be meetings in Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.

CHASS plans a workshop for members to prepare for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative in the first half of the New Year.

CHASS will launch its latest Occasional Paper 7 “The Place of the Arts in Australia’s National Innovation System” by Professor Brad Haseman and Dr Luke Jaaniste in January.

The author of CHASS Occasional Paper 6 “The demographic outlook for Australian universities’ academic staff” Professor Graeme Hugo, Professor of Geography University of Adelaide is speaking at the conference on Higher Education Recruitment and Retention at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Sydney February 25. Executive Director Helen O’Neil will also be speaking at this conference.

CHASS members are eligible for a 10 per cent discount for this conference and booking details will be available on the CHASS website soon.

ABC SBS Review

On 16 October 2008, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the release of a discussion paper aimed at stimulating ideas and comments about the future roles of Australia’s two national broadcasters, the ABS and SBS. The discussion paper ABC and SBS: Towards a Digital Future is available. This public submissions process will inform the Australian Government’s future policy and funding decisions in relation to the two broadcasters. Submissions are due Friday 12 December 2008.

CHASS members are urged to respond to this review to ensure that the Government knows the value of the public broadcasters in providing a forum for debate, and a bridge between researchers and the broader community. The ABC has also asked for submissions on its legislative charter responsibilities in the arts.

Preventative Health Taskforce

The Preventative Health Taskforce released a discussion paper, Australia: the healthiest country by 2020, on 10 October 2008. It is available here. The Taskforce is calling for submissions on this discussion paper, which focuses on obesity, tobacco and alcohol. The closing date is 2 January 2009.

CHASS members are welcomed to copy their submissions to the CHASS Office director by Friday 12 December. CHASS will make a submission drawing on member responses about the value of social science research and expertise in changing human behavior.

For more information, please contact:
Fenja Theden-Ringl
Research and Policy Officer
Council of the Humanties, Arts and Social Sciences
Phone: +61 2 6201 5996