Summer | 19/20

19th February 2020


First tracks down for FWFC research

I am pleased to write for the first newsletter of the year and report on the progress and movements both in our research and the broader field.

In the small time since the launch of the Future Work, Future Communities project and our first output in Regional Studies, Regional Science, it is of no doubt to the team that our work is valuable. Innovation, technology and enterprise is pushing the Australian economy towards a direction in which economic disruption and transition is inevitable. It is apparent therefore that an understanding of the long-term effects on workers and communities affected by transitions will be key to planning for a healthy and successful future of work. Towards this end, our academics and professional staff have been working tirelessly in producing the Stream 1 longitudinal survey and bringing together all the moving parts to make it field ready and approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee. Substantial effort has also been put in to ensure that Holden, Toyota, Ford OEM workers and the Victorian and South Australian supply chains are all represented in this study to achieve a complete picture of worker and community transitions.

Looking forward over the next few months, we are excited to be in the field and connect with retrenched workers to begin our research.

Andrew Beer, Team Leader


Launch and Inception Meeting

The project was launched in July last year in Adelaide with the team collaborating over the next few days in a team planning session to lay down the study’s foundations and put together the first of the project’s longitudinal surveys. At the launch, Prof. Andrew Beer welcomed attendees in thanking our Industry Partners for their interest and contributions thus far. Prof. David Bailey, an international partner from Birmingham University, gave an address highlighting the importance of the research of the study.

Photo: Sandy Horne

Survey Administration

PhD Candidates

An important part of the project is the research that our PhD candidates will commence this year to deepen our analysis of the impacts of industry restructuring. We have begun the process of accepting applications and look forward to welcoming the candidates soon.

The two successful candidates will be examining the topics ‘Labour market preferences of retrenched workers’ and ‘The repurposing of industrial sites: society, community and politics after economic restructuring’.

Project Outputs

Mid last year the team published a paper in Regional Studies, Regional Science: ‘The urban and regional impacts of plant closures: new methods and perspectives’

In November of last year Andrew Beer presented a paper in Bath: ‘Agency, Structure, Discourse and Entrepreneurship: Understanding the transition of former Auto Regions’

Tom Barnes and Sally Weller Co-Authored a paper published in Critical Sociology: ‘Becoming Precarious? Precarious Work and Life Trajectories After Retrenchment’


Other Activity

Next Steps


More information about our project and the team can be found at

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If you require any further information or have any queries about the project, please contact us via email: [email protected]