About the Australian Cities Research Network (ACRN)
The Australasian Cities Research Network (ACRN) was initially known as the Australian Sustainable Cities Network when it was first established in the early 2000s. The network’s fundamental aim is to promote, foster, champion, and disseminate research relevant to Australian cities and regions. This is achieved via the State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference which has been running since 2003 when the inaugural conference was held in Sydney.
Since then the SOAC conference has effectively toured the nation’s major metropolitan regions – Brisbane (2005), Adelaide (2007, 2017), Perth (2009), Melbourne (2011), Sydney (2013), Gold Coast (2015) and now back to Perth in 2019.
Refereed Conference Papers
Over 900 peer reviewed papers from the SOAC conference series are now archived online at the Analysis and Policy Observatory – a significant resource for research and teaching. And, it represents an important mechanism for researchers to disseminate their work directly with policy makers and practitioners.
To this end, an important and enduring aspect of the SOAC conference series has been a commitment to the preparation of fully double blind refereed papers which present original research.
SOAC Conference hosting
The SOAC conference is a biennial meeting of the ACRN. The timing of the SOAC Conference is decided by the ACRN. It is established custom to hold the SOAC conference at the end of November or beginning of December of every alternate year (i.e. 2017, 2019, 2021 etc).
Any University or group of Universities may express interest in hosting a SOAC Conference, in response to the call for expression of interest issues by the ACRN. The selection of conference host/location is undertaken by the ACRN Committee.
The ACRN membership and ACRN Committee
Membership of the ACRN is open to all those engaged in research which is relevant to Australian cities and regions.
The ACRN Committee is made up of academics from around Australia who volunteer their time to oversee the continuation of the SOAC conference and to lend advice and assistance to the host local organising committee.
In 2019 the ACRN is co-convened by Prof. Nicole Gurran (USyd) and Assoc. Prof. Paul Maginn (UWA). This joint convenorship reflects the ACRN’s commitment to geographical and gender diversity.
The current committee also includes: Prof. Emma Baker (Co-Chair, SOAC2017); Dr Matthew Rofe (Co-chair, SOAC 2017), Prof. Paul Burton (Chair, SOAC 2015); Prof. Jago Dodson (ex ACRN Chair); and Elizabeth Adamczyk (Newcastle, AECURN Representative).
Call for ACRN Committee volunteers
The ACRN Committee invites all Australian urban studies academics to contribute to the organisation of SOAC and the wider promotion of urban scholarship.
ARCN Committee is intended to be geographically balanced and should include a mix of early, mid and senior career academics, from Australia and New Zealand. The ACRN Committee structure is as follows:
- 2 members, comprising immediate past and present SOAC chairs, terms of 2 years;
- Up to 8 appointments, proposed from general membership, terms for 4 years (3 new appointments, every 2 years);
- 2 Australian Early Career Urban Research Network (AECURN) members, (typically the past and present chairs, terms for 2 years); and
- One representative from New Zealand
The Co-Chairs of the ACRN Network is chosen by the steering committee, for a term of 3 years, with up to one extension.
Calls for ACRN Committee members are issued in the first quarter of the relevant calendar year.
ACRN Scientific Committee
For each SOAC Conference, a scientific sub-committee is formed, to oversee and contribute to the SOAC conference paper review process. The Chair of this Committee is drawn from the ACRN Committee, and should be an ex-officio member of the local SOAC conference committee.
For 2019 the ACRN will seek to establish greater links with other international academic organisations such as the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) and the European Urban Research Association in order to foster greater opportunities for Australian scholars to (i) present their research at international conferences, and, ultimately, (ii) conduct more comparative urban research on Australian cities by Australian scholars.
Diversity and inclusion statement
The ACRN encourages free expression and exchange of ideas between ACRN members and during SOAC events, through collegial and respectful debate and communication. Discrimination or harassment based on gender; race; ethnicity; sexual orientation; disability; age or any other form is not acceptable within the ACRN.