The project Future Work, Future Communities was established to bring together cutting-edge thinking and research on changes in industry and employment with the insights and experience of those working in government and industry. As an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project, collaboration and sharing our findings with external partners were built into the DNA of our work together.
The July 4 workshop in Adelaide gave the research team an opportunity to provide industry and government with insight into our findings to date and receive their feedback on our results and the questions which remain foremost in their minds.
There can be no doubt the closure of Australia’s automotive industry was a major development in the nation’s economic history. It represented the ending of a long-term policy ambition for national and state governments, and it had profound impacts on those working in the sector, the communities which hosted these factories, and other parts of the economy.
One of the most valuable elements of research-related workshops is the interaction between all the speakers, the industry representatives, academics from other disciplines and those who have supported the research in a professional capacity. This workshop benefited from exchanges that were made richer by the diversity of those who participated, including visitors from Finland and the UK; government officers from Canberra and Adelaide; those working in the not-for-profit sector; local government officials; and, academics from other universities here in Australia. This mix of individuals and interests resulted in rich and varied discussions, all of which made for a more productive and enjoyable event.
In closing, I would like to thank the staff who worked so tirelessly over many months to bring this workshop to life. First, I would like to thank Ms Josefina Atienza for her very capable oversight of this component of FWFC and her ‘hands on’ approach to delivering success. Second, I thank Mr Jacob Irving and Ms Sandy Horne for their very valuable contributions in the months leading up to this event, and on the day. Finally, I acknowledge the work of two postdoctoral fellows – Dr Helen Dinmore and Dr Lynette Washington, both of whom were central to our success on the day.
Professor Andrew Beer
Executive Dean, UniSA Business