CHASS Newsletter #53

We need to talk about ERA…

On 7 October CHASS held a workshop on Excellence in Research Australia: lessons learnt and next steps forward for the HASS disciplines and clusters at QUT in Brisbane. This workshop was considered a very valuable exercise which brought together over 100 participants from a broad range of HASS disciplines from 34 universities, institutions and CHASS member organisations across Australia. The sessions focused on just five of the two digit HASS clusters, across which 16 speakers discussed their views and experience in preparing submissions to ERA 2010, and also identified their concerns and recommendations for the 2012 round. Presentations and ensuing discussions covered a range of topics including the impact and interpretation of ranking on the HASS disciplines across the Australian university system; the comparative ranking of HASS research against STEM disciplines, and aspects of the ranking system and the peer review process. The workshop also highlighted that several different approaches are being taken across the universities as to how HASS research is categorised and ranked; particularly with non-traditional outputs such as interdisciplinary projects or practice-led and creative disciplines. Many questions were also raised, for example; what strategies should be used for dealing with FOR codes, how can we optimise HASS performance across a range of disciplines, does the peer review process really benefit a majority of HASS submissions and, how is HASS research really understood and valued by processes such as ERA. The workshop proved that further discussions and forums need to be held across HASS sector; between the universities, disciplines and all levels of faculty research positions, and including industry and government.

Keynote speakers included:

  • Professor Mike Calford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research for the University of Newcastle
  • Professor Graeme Turner, Federation Fellow, Professor of Cultural Studies, and Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland
  • Professor Arun Sharma, DVC (Research & Commercialisation), Division of Research and Commercialisation, Research and Commercialisation – DVC Office, Queensland University of Technology.

CHASS would like to thank all the speakers and participants who attended and assisted with this event. A special thanks to QUT for playing host to the workshop, the Chair Distinguished Professor Stuart Cunningham and Moderators Professor Linda Rosenman Associate Professor Michele Simons. A workshop feedback survey has been sent to all participants so please assist CHASS by responding before Friday 21 October. If you attended this workshop and have not received your survey link, please email Erica at membership [at] View the program listing, workshop speakers and sessions.

Key Speaker Mike Calford has published a new article with his views on the ERA.

Join CHASS in Fremantle, WA!

Communicating Big Ideas: Connecting the Arts, 9 November 2011, Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, WA. 9.30-4.30. This is a free event.

Moderated by Brad Haseman, Professor and Assistant Dean (Research) for the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT, this event features twelve distinguished speakers who represent leadership from cultural research centres, universities, foundations, administrating organisations and collecting institutions, and they will share their knowledge and experience of working within the sector. For a full list of speakers and sessions please check the events page.

The purpose of the workshop is to promote CHASS member organisations and professionals in Western Australia who have an interest in the future direction of art and culture in Australia. This event will create discussion and knowledge exchange, bringing people together from the arts and cultural sector from both WA and interstate, including CHASS members and government officials. …

Professors Mike Calford (foreground), Graeme Turner and Stuart Cunningham (standing) opening the discussion for the ERA workshop, QUT, 7 Oct 2011.

…The workshop will begin with the key note address, followed by a four structured sessions based on the most relevant themes for the Arts today as identified by CHASS members; arts policy in Australia, arts participation, creative arts, creative industries, connections and networks across the cultural sector, research industry and society within Australia and overseas. Topics of discussion will include: ‘More than bums on seats‘ the recently released Australia Councilsurvey into Australian participation in the arts; the relationship between the creative arts and creative industries and; the role of research into cultural policy, cultural theory, and practice-led projects in identifying and evaluating current and future trends in creative participation and policy-making. Please find a program of the workshop with confirmed speakers below.

To register your interest in attending this free and catered event, please email by Wednesday 2 November for catering purposes.

CHASS AGM and networking drinks in Fremantle following workshop. Esplanade Hotel 9 November 4.20 – 6pm.

A notification for the CHASS 8th AGM has been sent to all members and details have been posted online. If you are affiliated with a member organisation and would like to join us for the AGM and networking drinks, please contact Matt at Proxy and delegate forms can also be downloaded from the website. Deadline for registration is 12PM Wednesday 26 October 2011.

Nominations for the CHASS Board

If you are a specialist in your field, prepared to represent HASS, willing to contribute your industry knowledge and governance skills or share your networks within the sector, then perhaps you should consider nominating for the CHASS Board. Or perhaps you know someone who should. Nominations for the CHASS Board are now open. A nomination form can be downloaded from the CHASS AGM page. Deadline for nominations is 12PM Wednesday 26 October 2011.

HASS at a glance

National Cultural Policy discussion on Artscape ABC

First airing on ABC 1, 9.55pm 18 October, extended edition can also be accessed via ABC i-view

Airing on ABC and ABC2 Artscape with Virginia Trioli, this Q&A styled program is a special edition focussing on the Federal Government’s National Cultural Policy. The panel showcases leaders and commentators from the Australian cultural sector; Clare Bowditch, musician and social commentator; Wesley Enoch, Director of the Sydney Theatre Company and playwright; Sue Cato, Media Commentator; Professor David Throsby, cultural economist and author, and Marcus Westbury, Australian Festival Director.

The audience includes Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean, Senator Kate Lundy, Kathy Keele, CEO Australia Council for the arts, and a wide range of representatives from the Australian visual and performing arts. Many important issues to the HASS sector were raised as well as some very insightful comments from all involved. This one is not one to miss as the National Cultural Policy is an important issue for everyone involved in the HASS sector.

The discussion paper for the National Cultural Policy was released on Thursday 11 August 2011 by Arts Minister Crean and there is limited time to post your submission to the policy culturalpolicy [at] by this Friday 21 October 2011. Have your say

Queensland University of Technology QUT

Queensland University of Technology is a leader in industry relevant teaching and applied research. Industry representatives and professionals contribute to all QUT course development, adding a practical perspective to theoretical education. QUT has links with industry, and Academic staff consult with or work on a wide range industry and interdisciplinary projects across the humanities, arts and social sciences.

Join researchers from QUT’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) at UNSW campus in Sydney on 16-17 November for the 11th CCI Symposium, Emerging Scholars Workshop. This symposium will discuss themes of key drivers of the socio-cultural research agenda, methodologies for researching the digital domain, journalism futures and the current media inquiry, innovation from the informal media domain, and creativity by design in Asia. Registrations are now open.

Australian Teachers of Media or ATOM

Australian Teachers of Media is an independent, non-profit, professional association promoting the study of media. ATOM represents teachers and lecturers from across subject disciplines at all levels of education, media industry personnel, a range of media and education organizations and, increasingly, the general public interested in the media. ATOM also publishes two quarterly industry magazines, Metro and Screen Education and subscriptions can be easily made online.

ATOM regularly holds professional development events. On Friday 25 November an Adobe Photoshop Workshop will teach the basics of this industry grade photo editing program. See information including costing and registration dates.


Build your organisation’s strong voice and presence through collaboration across disciplines and specialisations and Council’s membership can start you on your way. Become part of the Council’s vital and active network linking issues and ideas across the sector and the community. Membership is open to organisations with an interest in the future of humanities, arts and social sciences in Australia.

If you would like your organisation to become a member of CHASS and would like to know how to apply, please contact the Membership Manager Ms Erica Seccombe: or phone on (02) 6201 5996.

Members’ Events Calendar

Did you know that if you are a member of CHASS you can post your event on our webpage. For more information contact membership [at] or log in with your member code at

National gallery of Australia invites members and guests to a Melbourne Cup Lunch held in the Gandel Hall on Melbourne Cup Day. Special highlights from the national collection will be screened and then race shown on the big screen. The event includes a two-course lunch, champagne, sweepstakes and fashion prizes. Don?t forget the more creative your hat the better you chance to win. Bookings are essential $100 ($95 for members) | $950 table for ten for booking please see

The Australian Maritime Museum presents, The Spice Race on Adult learning. Thursday 10 November 2011 10am – 12.30pm. Food enthusiast and lecturer Heather Bentley explores the stories surrounding the 17th Century Spice Race – scurvy, buccaneers, pirates, sugar and rum. Ian Burnet, author of The Spice Islands shares the fascinating history of the Dutch East India Company. Top the morning off with a guided tour on the Duyfken, a Dutch East India Company vessel followed by a morning tea of spice-inspired treats. It?s set to be a “swash buckling” event. Cost: $45.00 including morning tea, Bookings are essential: Phone +61 2 9264 2781 (WEA)

Adelaide’s Design Institute of Australia Designers’ Saturday held on the 5th of November to the 12th is a trade event for the design community. Australia’s premier designer furniture, finishes, fixtures and lighting showrooms will be opening their doors on a Saturday to allow architects, designers, students and design-savvy members of the public to enjoy the product they specify. Contact for more information.