Eileen Clark: Welcome to this issue of Nexus, in which we sum up the very successful 2016 TASA Conference held at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. The campus itself mirrored the conference theme, Cities and Successful Societies, with its clever blending of the new and the old. The striking Mannix building had everything needed for tertiary teaching in the 21st century while close by, the beautifully restored Cathedral Hall theatre reminded us of the district’s Irish Catholic history. The campus provided sociological insights also, standing as it does at the junction of two sides of contemporary Melbourne, with the tower blocks of social housing and immigrant faces on one corner and the quirky signs of inner-city gentrification on the next.
But what really makes a conference are the presentations, discussions and informal networking that occur and which we sum up in this issue. There are summaries of the keynote addresses by Professor Sujatha Fernandes and Professor Michèle Lamont, both of whom reminded us, in different ways, of the inequalities that exist in any city. (We hope to have a summary of the third keynote by Professor Bryan Turner in the next issue.) Next is a piece by Yoland Wadsworth, who was the worthy recipient of TASA’s Sociology in Action award for her distinguished career as a ‘Research Sociologist’. Ashleigh Watson describes the lively and well-attended Postgraduate Day, and winners of conference scholarships tell us about their work and what the conference meant for them. In the session on publishing at the Postgraduate Day there was mention of two tools for authors, ORCID and KUDOS, and I have written a brief summary of these. To whet the appetite, we have the first flyer for this year’s Conference, to be held at the University of Western Australia in Perth. Now’s the time to start checking airlines’ early bird offers for cheap tickets!
Several thematic groups also held events late last year and we have reports from some of these. The scale and scope of these activities show how active the groups are, and the extent to which they are grappling with sociological issues from theory to research methods to public activism. Organisers and participants are to be congratulated on their energy and involvement.
The last article is about members who have recently completed doctoral studies. We hope you enjoy reading about their work and all the other contributions in this issue. As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions and articles for the next issue. It’s due out mid-year, and you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org