Closing Plenary

Closing Plenary, Friday 7 July, 2017, 2.15pm-4pm

Reimagining Communication Worlds

University of Sydney, Camperdown campus, New Law Lecture Theatre 101

In the closing plenary, a panel of experts, in dialogue with the live and online audience, reflects on the conference theme of communication worlds, and the urgent questions faced in relation to access, voice, diversity, and engagement ­in the antipodes, Asia-Pacific region, and internationally.

Marcus Strom, Media, Entertainment & Arts AllianceMarcus has been a journalist for 20 years in Britain and Australia. For 13 years, he was a senior journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald, most recently as Science Editor. Other positions he has held include Morning News Director and Deputy Foreign Editor. Marcus is also an activist in the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, Australia’s union for creative professionals. He sits on MEAA’s board of directors and is president-elect of its media section.
& Arts Alliance

Antoinette Lattouf, Media Diversity AustraliaAntoinette is a multi award-winning journalist whose career spans television, radio and online. She’s worked on a range of programs in both commercial and public broadcasting media. Antoinette is currently a senior journalist at the ABC and recently co-founded Media Diversity Australia, a not for profit organisation that seeks to increase cultural and ethnic representation in mainstream media.

Sofya Gollan, Create NSW Now a Sector Investment Manager for the screen industry at CreateNSW, Sofya Gollan is also guest programmer with Sydney Film Festival programming the 2017 Screenability Strand. An award winning director and writer of documentary and drama films; her films have screened in international festivals and locally in Australia. Sofya started working in theatre, moving from a successful acting career to filmmaking in her mid twenties, making several short films and a short feature. She was an Artist in Residence at Bundanon, and has worked as a commissioned playwright on several occasions, in 2016 being one of the Griffin Studio Playwrights. She continues to be an ongoing presenter on the iconic TV show Play School. Preservation, screened worldwide and was nominated for three AFI / ACCTA Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. She has also been nominated for Best Director at the Australian Film Critics Circle Awards, and Best Screenplay at the Australian Writers Guild. She is an ATOM award winner of Best Short Documentary for Dressing Dad.

Joyce Brandful, Communications for Development consultant, GhanaJoyce Brandful has close to three decades of experience in communication management of development programmes in different cultural milieux. She began her professional career in marketing communication and advertising in the private sector in Ghana. She worked for twenty-one years with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in developing countries starting with her native country Ghana, followed by Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Haiti. As Chief of Communication with UNICEF, she worked with national media and local journalists to improve reporting on children. She also initiated the project for engaging children as reporters about their own interests and issues in the DRC. Her collaboration with international media journalists in the various duty stations helped to bring to issues concerning the children’s survival and protection, and the need to leverage resources for peace and development. Her position as the first Manager for Communication for Development (C4D) in UNICEF Haiti offered her the opportunity to develop partnerships with the network of community radios and introduce C4D in the curriculum of two national training institutions including the University of Haiti. Joyce Brandful has continued to work as consultant in Communication for Development since her relocation to Ghana in 2013. She holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies, an Executive Master in Public Administration and a Master of Development Studies from the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research of the University of Ghana.

Prof Paula Gardner, McMaster UniversityPaula Gardner, PhD, is a feminist interdisciplinary scholar, whose multimedia practice and text-based scholarship binds feminism, media studies, human computer interaction, and science and technology studies. Gardner is the Asper Chair in Communications in the Faculty of Communication Studies and Multimedia, McMaster University (Canada) where she runs Pulse Lab, and is Senior Adjunct Faculty at OCAD University, where she co-founded the Mobile Experience Lab (mobilelab.ca). Gardner is incoming President of the International Communication Association, sits on the Steering committee for FemTechNet, and was a founding PI on the Canadian GRAND NCE network. Professor Gardner is a keynote speaker for ANZCA 2017.

Professor Matthew Ricketson, Deakin UniversityMatthew is an academic and journalist. He recently took up a position as professor of communications at Deakin University where he will be responsible for programs in journalism, public relations and advertising. This follows eight years as inaugural professor of journalism at the University of Canberra. Between 1995 and 2006 he headed the Journalism program at RMIT. He has worked on staff as a journalist at The Australian and Time Australia, among other publications; his most recent full-time role in industry was as Media and Communications editor at The Age between 2006 and 2009. He is the author of a biography of Australian author, Paul Jennings, a journalism textbook and most recently Telling True Stories. A second edition of his textbook, Writing Feature Stories, co-authored with Caroline Graham, was published earlier in 2017. He is the editor of an anthology of profiles and of Australian Journalism Today. In 2011 he was appointed by the federal government to assist Ray Finkelstein QC in the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation, which reported in early 2012. He is a chief investigator on two Australian Research Council-funded projects examining largescale redundancies from newsrooms and their impact on the future of journalism in Australia.

Prof Colleen Mills, University of CanterburyColleen is Professor of Management at the University of Canterbury and an FIA (international faculty affiliate) at Audencia Business School in Nantes, France. Her research, which examines organisational communication and sensemaking during periods of uncertainty and change (e.g., during organizational restructuring and business startup), has produced several theoretical models including an empirically-based model of sensemaking about organizational change communication, a theory of embedded organizational gossip and a model of enterprise orientation that explains start-up behaviour in the creative industries. Her award-winning research has been published in range of well-regarded management and communication journals. She is currently a member of several editorial boards including Group and Organization Management, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, Journal of International Education in Business, the Communication Journal of New Zealand and is a sub-editor of the new Communication Research and Practice for which she edited a special issue on materiality relationality and discourse with François Cooren (University of Montreal). She is a longstanding Executive Member and Past President of ANZCA and is a Board Member-at-Large for the International Communication Association (ICA).

The session will explore:

  • What are the key challenges and openings in contemporary and future communication and media?
  • What are the responses and imperatives we might consider in relation to research, scholarship, education, and engagement from the academic field?

Key questions will include:

  • What are the new frontiers and battles in access to communication and media? How are we faring in securing access, control, and rights to these crucial resources for everyone?
  • What is at stake in the shift of media landscapes away from traditional publishing organizations and models? What are the key shifting social, political, and cultural transformations in the Asia-Pacific region, that have local as well as global implications for communication worlds, and how we shape and study them?
  • Many countries (including Australia and New Zealand) still have pressing and consequential issue with diversity of media and communications, in all their meanings? What is holding back fundamental change? And what can we do to initiate and support transformations?
  • Why is new technology, for all its promise, so resistance to diversity? Across the various emergent social, information, computational, and data technologies, infrastructures, and digital cultures, why is there so little embrace of and design for democracy? Why are we still producing technology that is ignorant of social dynamics, diversity, and cultural nuance?
  • How to represent people? Repeatedly, we encounter stereotypical, offensive, and disabling forms of media assumptions about way people should be represented. After so much work and societal shift in relation to identities and diversity, why is there still such a long way to go, in relation to many groups?
  • Issues of trust for communicators? Across a wide range of micro, meso, and macro arenas of communication, trust is by far a burning issue. What we can usefully do about this?