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14 Disruption, advocacy, and change: amplifying archival research and education in Australia

Presentation Description

Recent years have seen numerous disruptions to archival research and education in Australia. Courses have closed or been subsantially restructured, student fees have increased (in some cases by more than 100%), the casualisation of the workforce continues, and the future of research funding models remains unclear. The financial impact of COVID-19 has also resulted in thousands of job losses across the academic sector, adding to the existing deficit in research focused on recordkeeping, archives, and preservation. This loss of people, resources, and profile has the potential to impact the diversity and richness of knowledge and theory for many years to come. Meanwhile, ongoing cuts to archival and cultural heritage institutions are making practioner-based research equally difficult. These and other challenges threaten the vibrancy, and in some cases the very viability, of archival scholarship and education in Australia. But this may also provide the impetus for us to better understand and articulate the value of our disciplinary and professional perspectives in a post-pandemic world.  How can we continue to build on Australia’s rich legacy of research in the current environment? Are our current approaches to advocacy working, or are we still struggling to articulate our own value? Do other associations dominate the debate at the expense of records and archives? When considering the diversity and representativeness of our profession, are the few gains we have made under threat? Does the ASA need to invest more in the issue, and if so what would this look like? This panel brings together researchers and educators from around the country to discuss the current state of the field, and to advocate for change within and beyond the profession. A series of short presentations and provocations will be followed by a moderated discussion involving panel members and attendees.

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