Putting rural issues on the agenda
Here at RAI we play a valuable role in sitting between research and the policy world. This means it is our job to know what research is being conducted across regional Australia and how it can benefit communities.
Late last month, the RAI’s Dr Angela Lehmann attended the Rural Issues Symposium: The Future of Rural Sociology in Australia in Bendigo.
The day was an opportunity for RAI to engage with leading academics based in universities around Australia who are currently conducting research in regional Australia. “The issues being addressed by rural sociologists are central to understanding how we can best build and grow our vibrant regions,” Dr Lehmann said.
Research was presented about a range of issues including the social determinants of rural health, parenting in small towns, ageing with attitude and about young people making decisions to stay or leave their towns.
“This valuable knowledge base that is being built about our regions can play a role in shaping policies and programs,” Angela Lehmann said.
“The struggle for many academics is how they can communicate their complex work to broader audiences, and be read by those who can make an impact,” Dr Lehmann said.
“The Regional Australia Institute and the Regions Rising event series was raised as playing a valuable role for academics to engage with the policy world and those involved with shaping regional Australian development,” Angela said.
“These researchers, like RAI, believe that it is time to shift this narrative and to demonstrate the complexity and diversity of lives in regional Australia,” Dr Lehmann concluded.
The keynote speaker, Professor Barbara Pini from Griffith University said it is time to put rural people and places back on the agenda and the RAI couldn’t agree more.
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