Seminar today ‘Conservation in the Kunene: Rural Livelihoods and Community-Based Natural Resource Management’ by John Heydinger

Please come along to PhD student John Heydinger’s seminar Tuesday 13th June 12-1pm, W6A room 127. All welcome.

About the seminar:

‘This presentation focuses on the intersection of wildlife conservation and rural livelihoods within Namibia’s communal conservancy system. John will provide a brief historical background on the region, emphasizing how apartheid and its legacies continue to affect community-based natural resource management schemes. He will also lay-out a research programme and objectives for his upcoming PhD fieldwork.’

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About John M Heydinger:

‘John Heydinger is trained in environmental history and conservation biology. His research and fieldwork primarily examines conservation spaces as dynamic social-ecological systems. He is currently working alongside local NGOs to examine how wildlife conservation and rural livelihoods intersect in rural northwestern Namibia.’

Seminar: ‘Berths for the boom – Planning for cruise ship infrastructure in South East Queensland’ Dr Chris Beer

Please come along to Dr Chris Beer’s seminar – all welcome!

When: Tuesday 30 May, 12-1pm.

Where: Building E8A, Tutorial Room 188

Abstract: Australasian ports have had a notable role in the continuing global boom of cruise tourism.  An increasing number of cruise ship visits and growth in the size of ships has meant that new infrastructure has been mooted in many places.  Against this background, this seminar examines planning for new cruise facilities in one of Australia’s major tourism hubs – South East Queensland (SEQ). After briefly analysing the general characteristics of the local cruise sector and the dynamics of cruise infrastructure planning around the world, its focus turns to two continuing SEQ processes – the planned development of new facilities for Brisbane and the Gold Coast.  Each process highlights several broader planning issues facing communities, including the economic impacts of new cruise facilities and competing recreational and environmental values.  The paper concludes that while the cruise industry has clearly developed products with widespread appeal, community views towards the development of cruise facilities can be highly contingent on the littoral space involved and scope for benefit realisation.

Bio: Dr Chris Beer has published articles in journals including Urban Policy and Research, Australian Planner, Political Geography, and Australian Geographer on many topical planning issues including the development of national capital cities, food security, the night-time economy, the development of major cultural institutions and events, and infrastructure for religious communities.  Since completing his PhD at the Australian National University, Dr Beer has been professionally involved with a number of major urban renewal, infrastructure, and greenfield development projects in the ACT and NSW


Seminar: “We don’t need it in Sweden”: Swedish mining industry attitudes concerning respect for indigenous rights by Rebecca Lawrence

Rescheduled for a later date – will update when finalised.

Please come along to Dr Rebecca Lawrence’s talk next Tuesday at Macquarie.

Abstract: There are growing societal expectations, as encompassed in international law and norms, that corporations must seek the consent of affected indigenous communities before undertaking resource extraction activities on indigenous territories. This presentation will discuss some preliminary research findings on the existing knowledge and attitudes within the Swedish mining industry concerning the question of indigenous rights, and specifically that of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Mining companies operating in Sweden do not currently respect or implement the principle of FPIC, and we (Rebecca Lawrence & Sara Moritz, Research Fellow, Political Science, Stockholm University) explore how mining representatives justify and reconcile this through various discourses, including the rationale that human rights protections are superfluous in Sweden.

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Bio: Dr Rebecca Lawrence is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Geography & Planning. Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses on the intersection of Indigenous claims with governments and the private sector. Her current research projects concern relations between the mining industry and local/Indigenous communities in Sweden, Finland, Norway, South Africa and Australia.



When: 23rd May Tuesday 12:00 – 1:00pm
Where: building W6A room 107, Macquarie University.

No RSVP required. All welcome!



Lifework Part II

Thanks for sharing this Audra Mitchell – an excellent piece!


Macquarie Mural Leanne Tobin This mural at Macquarie University, by acclaimed Darug artist Leanne Tobin, expresses Darug eel, goanna and other Dreamings that have shaped Wattamattagal Country 

Last autumn, I published a short piece – ‘Lifework’ – that reflected on my ongoing journey towards more committed, responsible, meaningful and respectful forms of research. The post provoked some wonderful responses that gave me the opportunity to learn from others’ journeys towards honouring the life of the work they’re engaged in, and of the other beings with whom they learn and create.

On a recent research visit to Darug Country (Australia), on the land of the Wattamattagal/Wallumattagal[1] clan, I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop on the theme of ‘Lifework’ with a talented group of Masters and Doctoral students from Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales. The workshop was jointly hosted by the Environmental Humanities programs at each of these universities…

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GeoPlan Macquarie folk at AAG

The Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting begins this week and we are represented in 2017 with the following excellent contributions:
Sara Fuller will give a paper on Friday 7th April at AAG: ‘Activism and climate responsibility in the city: reflections from Hong Kong and Singapore’. Session details here.

Ashraful Alam and Nicole McNamara are organising a session that has attracted a lot of interest on ‘Emotions and Practicing Everyday Urban Spaces‘.
Session details here.
Nicole McNamara is presenting a paper on ‘Cycling: co-becoming and feeling the bike in Sydney, Australia‘ in that session.

Ashraful Alam will present research with Dr Donna Houston and A/Prof Andrew McGregor on ‘Spacings of mobile farming in New Zealand: Assemblages of cows, bodies, farms and the weather‘ in the Mobile Dwelling session. Paper details here.

Maria Melo Zurita will present a paper on ‘Subterranean protagonist: Colonisation, water and the underground in Mexico’ (co-authored with Paul Munro from UNSW) in the panel Critical Geographies of Subsurface, Sky and Other Inscrutable Spaces. Presenting on Saturday the 8th of April at 10am.

‘Morrku mangawu – Knowledge on the land: mobilising Yolngu mathematics from Bawaka, north east Arnhem Land, Australia, to reveal the situatedness of all knowledges’ will be presented by Bawaka country including  Kate Lloyd1, Sandie Suchet-Pearson1, Sarah Wright2, Laklak Burarrwanga1,3, Ritjilili Ganambarr1,3, Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs1,3, Banbapuy Ganambarr1,3, Djawundil Maymuru
Paper details here, paper presented online in The Call of Place session.
(1. Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University; 2. Discipline of Geography and Environmental Studies, The University of Newcastle, 3. Bawaka Cultural Experiences, North East Arnhem Land).

Seminar: ‘Adaptation through Transformation: Expanding the discourse on climate change responses’ – Professor Karen O’Brien

Come and join us on Monday, 6th March, for a seminar by Professor Karen O’Brien. Karen will be presenting on Adaptation through Transformation: Expanding the discourse on climate change responses. No RSVP required, all are welcome.

  • Date: Monday 6th March 2017
  • Seminar time: 12pm – 1pm
  • Place: Building W6A, Room 107 Macquarie University



Karen O’Brien is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo. Her research explores the human and social dimensions of global environmental change, including the relationship between individual and collective change. Her current research project, ‘AdaptationCONNECTS,’ focuses on the relationship between climate change adaptation and transformations to sustainability, with an emphasis on collaboration, creativity, flexibility and empowerment. She has written and edited numerous books and papers on climate change and its implications for human security, has participated in four IPCC reports and is engaged with the Future Earth global change research program.

She is the co-founder of cCHANGE (, an initiative to promote new perspectives on transformation in a changing climate.

Seminar on Development, Culture and Tourism in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh: exploring Indigenous and gender concerns

Please come along to Sabiha Yeasmin Rosy’s first seminar for the Department of Geography and Planning on Tuesday 14th February at Macquarie University, details below.


Tourism, as a newly ventured development initiative is the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), raises multidimensional concerns and scopes within indigenous communities. Indigenous people of Bangladesh share predominant history of discrimination and violation by the state due to cultural differences, which seems to be persistent in the development programs including tourism development as culture is mostly ignored and devalued in development planning. This research intends to understand the implications of developing tourism in the indigenous peoples’ lives in that region. The tourism-gender-development nexus through the lens of culture helps to underscore the potential of tourism both as a risk or an opportunity towards livelihood, gender relations and environment of indigenous people. Moreover, the gender relations, as introduced or constructed by tourism, depict the impacts on women’s lives. Consequently, this research calls for ecotourism as an alternative form of tourism in the CHT, as integration of indigenous knowledge and culture can make the development process sustainable and effective.

Seminar time: 12pm-1pm

Place: building W6A, room 107 Macquarie University

No RSVP required – all welcome.


About Sabiha Yeasmin Rosy:

Sabiha Yeasmin Rosy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. She has major academic affiliations with gender issues due to her Bachelor and Masters studies in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Later on, she pursued her M. Phil degree in Gender and Development in University of Bergen, Norway, and has written a dissertation on women trafficking survivors’ reintegration in Bangladesh. She possesses keen interest in development issues related to violence against women, women’s economic development, indigenous rights and environment. Being a novice researcher, she tries to experience and understand the diversity of lives, histories and cultures, to enrich herself as a learner. She also has a passion to connect academia and activism together to promote change in a broader context.