CHASS Newsletter #30

ABC and SBS: Towards a digital future

CHASS will make a short submission to the review of the role of the national broadcasters underway at the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy. These broadcasters are crucial for promoting and communicating the work of the researchers, educators and professionals in the humanities, arts and social sciences. The Australian Government should have a clear understanding of their role in knowledge transfer and public debate – and ensure they are resourced so they carry out the role effectively.

The key issues for CHASS are:

  1. The urgent need to reform the ABC Charter to reflect the diffuse and rapidly changing media landscape of new distribution and communication platforms – and to provide sufficient resources to enable Broadcasters to change in response to new opportunities to reach and develop new audiences.
  2. Creating a risk and innovation fund to stimulate innovative development of Australian programming, communication of information and knowledge, and adoption of new technology.
  3. Recognition of the role for the ABC and SBS in knowledge transfer. They should act as a connecting bridge between research and education organisations and the broader community so as to stimulate productivity growth through innovation.
  4. Renewal of the public broadcasting commitment to the creative arts so that they play a leadership role in giving audiences access to Australian cultural work of a high standard.

A number of CHASS member organisations will also contribute to the review across a range of issues reflecting the strong relationship between organisation working in the humanities arts and social sciences and the public broadcasters and their audiences and consumers.

CHASS urges members who will be making their own submissions to the review to send them to CHASS itself so that we can coordinate and summarise key points for distribution. Of course, any feedback or suggestions for CHASS’s submission are welcome.

Prime Minister’s Preventative Health task force

The CHASS working group needs your submission to see whether we can add to individual submissions and strengthen the case for the role of the humanities arts and social sciences in managing and solving problems involving human behaviour. Board members Ross Homel and Catharine Lumby are the leaders.

National Association of Arts Educators

Unless the arts are included as a key learning area in the development of a national curriculum for schools, children coming through the system will be illiterate in the new skill areas essential for the C21st.

So says a new lobby coalition, the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE), which recently spent two days meeting with politicians and arts advisers in Canberra. The arts educators and art form service organisations (most of them CHASS members) are seeking recognition of the importance of making rigorous, high quality curriculum and teaching in the creative arts.   Media release.

CHASS Occasional Paper 6

Copies of Professor Graeme Hugo’s The demographic outlook for Australian universities’ academic staff is on the way to all member organisations.

This paper, based on Professor Hugo’s presentation to a CHASS workshop on the HASS PhD earlier this year, is an analysis of the age structure of the academic staff of Australian universities. It demonstrates that over the next decade the universities will face their largest recruitment task for three decades.

Copies will be available for sale at the informa conference on Higher Education Recruitment and Retention in Sydney February 25 and 26 where CHASS members will receive a 10 per cent registration discount (mention when calling 02 9080 4307 for registration).

Extra copies are also available directly from CHASS at $22 including GST.

Bradley Review of Higher Education

Thank you to university members who have been working with CHASS Research officer Fenja Theden-Ringl as we build a summary of submissions to the Bradley Review by member organisations.

Staff changes

This week Fenja is moving on to a new position as Project Officer with the Australian Academy of Humanities where she will be able to keep in contact with CHASS and its work.

CHASS will be recruiting an Event Manager over the next few weeks, and is talking with candidates for the Research Officer position.


Best wishes for the New Year from all at CHASS. The office shuts on Christmas Eve and reopens January 5.

CHASS hopes you have an opportunity to relax and rest before a year of change and challenge across the many areas of Australian society, which rely on the skills, and knowledge of those in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

For more information, please contact:
Helen O’Neil
Executive Director
Council of the Humanties, Arts and Social Sciences
Phone: +61 2 6201 2740