The launch symposium of AusMob, took place on 7-8th of December 2017 in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne.
Peter Adey, who is currently a visitor in the school until early January, presented a fascinating keynote presentation that explored the ethics and politics of evacuation mobilities, drawing on a number of pertinent examples from Australia. This followed a provocative keynote presentation on the first day by Mimi Sheller whose talk explored the concept of mobility justice in relation to infrastructure.
The event had two parallel sessions to accommodate the 50 papers that were presented, which showcased a diverse range of mobilities approaches. The symposium was well attended, attracting over 80 delegates, with many interstate participants. Given that the theme of the symposium was ‘The Future of Mobilities Research in Australia and Beyond’, we were delighted to welcome a number of overseas guests and presenters from Belgium, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, and USA. Representing our school, Uma presented on touring, postcolonialism and geopolitics, Tim presented on stone, materiality and circulation, and David presented on labour, technology and automation.
Thank you to the many of you who gave your support by attending the event. We are also grateful to Professor Lesley Head for opening the symposium and for providing financial support, and to Joanne, Tina and Darren in the School of Geography for their expert and invaluable assistance both before and during the event.
This launch symposium is only the start of the AusMob journey. We have exciting plans for growing mobilities research to enhance Australia’s research capacity in this field. We want AusMob to raise the recognition and impact of mobilities research in Australia, to facilitate collaborations between researchers, to foster relationships with government and industry, and, very importantly, to provide support for postgraduate and early career researchers working in this field.