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Notes from the SIGs Coordinator

At the time of writing, a great deal of AARE activity is underway – funding applications are being developed and conference preparations are in full swing. I would like to say a special note of thanks to SIG Convenors and Co-Convenors, whose contribution to activities such as organizing the review of abstracts and papers, and developing funding proposals and planning events on behalf of their respective SIGs, make such an important contribution to the work of AARE.  AARE members interested in getting more involved in SIGs are encouraged to visit the SIG pages on the AARE website, and to be in contact with their SIG leadership teams about ways to contribute to SIG networking and activities. Please feel free to contact me at either or at if you have any questions about your SIG involvement or any proposed SIG activities you might want to discuss. Best wishes, Sue Saltmarsh

SIG Networking Event at the AARE Conference

In response to recommendations by the SIG Working party convened in March, SIG Networking Events have been scheduled from 6:30-8:00 pm on Monday and Tuesday evenings of the conference. These are ticketed events with drinks and light refreshments provided, and replace SIG dinners held in previous years. In order to accommodate numbers, these events will be held on two nights, with SIGs grouped according to likely shared research interests, overlapping memberships, etc.  In addition to the main room where drinks and refreshments will be served, several adjacent break-out rooms will also be available for use should a quieter space be needed for conversation. HDR students, Early Career Researchers and new AARE members are especially encouraged to attend, meet your SIG leadership teams and others working in your fields of interest, and find out more about getting involved in AARE SIGs. We hope these early evening events will provide SIG members, as well as others who may be interested in joining a SIG, the opportunity to meet in an informal setting with SIG Convenors and other SIG members. For more information on registering to attend, please see

SIG Meetings at the AARE Conference

SIG meetings at this year’s conference have been scheduled to take place immediately preceding the SIG Networking Event, which we hope will be convenient for those planning to attend both the meeting and the social event afterward. The SIG Convenors’ and Co-Convenors’ meeting will be held on the Monday lunchtime as in previous years.

SIG Leadership Vacancies

Two SIGs currently have vacancies for leadership roles, for which current financial members of AARE are invited to nominate. AARE members who are considering nominating for one of these roles may wish to discuss their plans with the relevant SIG Convenor (a list of SIGs and SIG Convenors can be found online at: The following SIGs still have vacancies for the role of Co-Convenor:

Assessment and Measurement


Doctoral Education Research


Co-convenors nominated in this round will hold office for a 2-year period, and would then be able to re-nominate for a further two-year period. In order to nominate for one of these roles, please complete the nomination form and return to  You can download the nomination form on the SIGs webpage at:

Early Childhood SIG

As noted at the Early Childhood SIG meeting in Brisbane last year, at the end of this year the current convenors will be stepping down after fulfilling their term of office. This means the EC SIG needs new convenors. Being a convenor is a wonderful opportunity to take on a leadership role and develop a wide network of colleagues who research in the same field as you. Please consider this position and watch for the official call for nominations.

Narrative Research SIG

The Narrative Research SIG has a Facebook group for dialoguing about narrative research. Please click here and request to join so you can post your latest publications, notices of events, and ponderings. We would really welcome ideas for collaboration and to enhance our practice through narrative events with invited narrative scholars. Looking forward to narrative gatherings at Freemantle in December. We have submitted a couple of narrative research symposia!!  Louise & Michelle

Sustainability SIG

AARE members who would like to be involved in the establishment of a new Sustainability SIG are encouraged to contact Amy Cutter-Mackenzie at 

Teachers’ Work and Lives

Dr. Natasha Wardman (ACU) has accepted the role of SIG Co-convenor. Congratulations, Natasha, and best wishes in the new role.

Language and Literacy

It is tempting from my Melbourne Viewpoint to call this the “Winter Edition” and evoke soup and quilts, but I resist in the inclusive national interest!

Sue Nichols and myself, as co-convenors, are organising two one-day mini conferences for the SIG this year in addition to the end of year program. The first, Digital Literacies Come to School, focuses on Digital Literacies in the Early Years and is to be held on July 17th at Deakin University, Melbourne City Centre.

The second, The Global Englishes mini conference, will be held at the University of South Australia, September 25th.

We have linked two flyers to this newsletter. One is for the first event. We have kept the costs to a minimum of $50 per head (payable online through the link on the flyer) through sponsorship from the Deakin Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovations. The second flyer is an EOI for both events

The SIG was successful in obtaining a small grant through the generosity of the association, which will be used to fund small travel grants for Higher Degree Research students who wish to attend either of the two days. Further information, including how to register and apply for the travel grants is contained in the second flyer. If you are a graduate student and would like to attend either the first mini-conference on July 17th or the second in Adelaide on September 25th, please complete the form and send your application in to us ASAP.

We hope to see as many of you as possible this year—July 17th in Melbourne, September 25th in Adelaide and the end of the year conference 29th Nov-3rd Dec in Freemantle.

Regards, Jo O’Mara

Professional and Higher Education SIG

Professional and Higher Education SIG AARE Conference Panel on exploiting generative research spaces in neoliberal universities

Catherine Manathunga and Jan McLean

The Professional and Higher Education SIG is pleased to announce that it will open its 2015 AARE conference activities with an Invited Panel Presentation on Exploring generative spaces/cracks in neoliberalism in professional and higher education research: moving beyond grief and mourning. One of the persistent themes of the 2014 AARE/NZARE Conference in Brisbane was a feeling of grief that the field of Educational Research was struggling to operate in the current context of funding cutbacks, persistent organisational restructuring and declining time for research and writing.  While it is important to continue critical interrogations of the incursions of neoliberalism into education, this panel seeks to propose ways of moving beyond grief and mourning by investigating whether there are any generative spaces or cracks in neoliberalism that can be exploited in the fields of professional and higher education.  This panel offers a series of provocations and insights from experienced and early career researchers engaged in the troubled space of 21st century Educational Research.  The panel will include Professor Marie Brennan (Victoria University), Professor Jill Blackmore (Deakin University), Dr Lew Zipin (Victoria University) and Dr Sam Sellar (The University of Queensland).  Stay tuned for program details as they become available.

 Rural SIG

New rural education postgraduate student group As part of the Rural education SIG we have established a group for post graduate research students which can be found here: This group aims to connect research students internationally, particularly those from AARE & AERA. It provides a forum for meeting people and sharing ideas, news, conferences, events and publications. Please spread the word widely and invite those who are studying and have an interest in rural education to join! If you have any events or information that you would like to promote, any ideas for the group, or if you are not on facebook and would like to be kept informed of events and information, please contact Natalie Downes<>.


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