Diversity & Urban Growth: Western Sydney University Welcomes The Australian Sociological Association to Parramatta

Next week (25-28th November), the University will host over 300 delegates from across Australia and the wider world for the annual conference of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA). This conference is one of the highlights of Australian Sociology’s calendar.

Photo of Parramatta Town Hall and food truck.

The conference theme, Diversity & Urban Growth, is highly relevant to the dynamic, diverse Greater Western Sydney region in which the event takes place. The conference venues, the modern vertical Parramatta City and historic Parramatta South campus, will show delegates different sides of an urban area in transition.

Hosting TASA is particularly timely for Western Sydney University after its recent recognition as the top research institution in Sociology in the 2019 Australian Research Magazine.

There will be over 50 conference presentations by Western Sydney University sociologists in its various sessions, as well as a dedicated Postgraduate Day, book launches, a Women’s Breakfast and social events such as the Queer Drinks evening.

Other highlights in the conference program are a display of trailblazing research by the Institute for Culture and Society, and a packed-out public event for delegates and non-delegates entitled Doing Sociology with Diverse Publics.

Conference Convener Associate Professor Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, says that, “Western Sydney University is an ideal place to hold a Sociology conference. The acclaimed work of its scholars, in combination with the University’s commitment to being an anchor institution, advocate and champion of Greater Western Sydney, enables dialogue about the trajectory of cities, not only in Australia but globally.”

“The successes of a space like Parramatta city, particularly in its diversity, business growth, employment and educational attainment, also present the challenges with which many delegates of the conference are engaging, including social inequality, community service provision, health, ageing, housing, work, cultural infrastructure, and education”, Associate Professor Possamai-Inesedy said.

The conference keynote speakers will add their voices to the theme of Diversity & Urban Growth. Leading Indigenous academic Professor Maggie Walter, from the University of Tasmania, will give the first keynote address, entitled Indigenous Policy, Fracasomania and Indigenous Data Sovereignty. On Wednesday and Thursday, two Western Sydney University sociologists will give keynote addresses: respectively, Professor Deborah Stevenson presents Planning and Diverse Urban Cultures: A Sociological Critique and Professor Rob Stones The Political Morality of Sociological Research.

In keeping with its inclusive philosophy, TASA promotes conference accessibility for delegates who are parents, pregnant, breastfeeding and/or caretaking attendees. There will be dedicated family-friendly spaces, and breastfeeding facilities for all carers throughout the conference.

TASA 2019 is co-hosted by the School of Social Sciences and Psychology and the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University.

Building cranes and skyscrapers in Parramatta.

For further information about TASA 2019: