Well attended by both Academic and Higher Degree Researchers (HDRs), the 27th Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) Conference was held from 6–8 February, this year in Fremantle, Western Australia. Many a WOW industrial relations scholar delivered papers, following the release of findings from two Australian Research Council Linkage grants’ surveys in the six months preceding the Conference. The ‘Work and careers in Australian universities’ Linkage (LP0991191) team delivered a panel of the same name on day two, chaired by grant Chief Investigator, Professor Glenda Strachan. The grant’s Research Fellow, Dr Carolyn Troup presented an additional co-authored paper with Glenda on equitable access to workplace leave in the public sector, the same afternoon.
Acting WOW Director, and ‘Working arrangements and wellbeing in regional coal mining communities’ Linkage (LP0990766) grant Chief Investigator, Professor David Peetz delivered a paper co-authored with WOW colleagues, Associate Professor Georgina Murray and Dr Olav Muurlink, on the determinants of harassment in male dominated blue-collar occupations. David presented a second paper with AIRAANZ President and WOW member, Associate Professor Janis Bailey, regarding the impact of an aging unionised workforce on unions and their ailing membership.
Four WOW-affiliated PhD candidates additionally presented papers, including Maggie May discussing research on greenfield sites in Australia; Robyn May – Australian Postgraduate Award recipient with the ‘…careers in…universities’ Linkage project – on the results of the Work and Careers survey in relation to casual academic staff; Sue Ressia (pictured right) on the employment-seeking strategies of skilled migrants; and Shalene Werth discussing working women with chronic illness. Maggie, Robyn and Sue (pictured right) also attended a pre-conference Masterclass at the University of Western Australia and delivered by Professor Michael Burawoy on the extended case study method. An informative and valuable training opportunity, attendees were vocal in their praise for AIRAANZ’s continuing support of HDR students’ research development. Both Maggie and Robyn’s attendance at AIRAANZ was facilitated by the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing’s PhD Conference Support Scheme.
In her role as AIRAANZ Postgraduate Representative, Ms Ressia (pictured right) additionally oversaw another successful postgraduate networking breakfast; now a regular feature of AIRAANZ conferences. Sue (pictured right) has now relinquished the role of Postgraduate Representative to Ms Gitika Sablock, Victoria University and Mr Alex Veen, University of Western Australia. Postgraduates are encouraged to interact via Facebook on the ‘AIRAANZ Postgrad Space. The AIRAANZ LinkedIn page has additionally been updated to facilitate the involvement of AIRAANZ participants.
(Story contributions by: Sue Ressia and Robyn May)