AUSCCER PhD Candidate Ananth Gopal reflects on his time volunteering with social enterprise Green Connect and the possibilities for productive relations to grow.
Warrawong sits on the south side of Port Kembla, downwind of the steelworks sloping into Lake Illawarra. For decades from the 1930s it housed successive waves of migrant communities. Before that, colonial migrant farmers knew it as a place of rich, fertile soils fed by Mt Kembla’s alluvial material. For millennia prior, the Dharawal nation nurtured this Country.
Compost – Green Connect urban farm Warrawong
Today, a Google search yields some underwhelming, albeit unscientific, findings: A 75 year old woman mugged last week, a gas fire which blew up a building and, the immolation of 16 puppies in a house fire. Its Wikipedia entry offers tepid consolation: ‘home to the third largest shopping centre in the Illawarra.’ With industrial decline in full-swing one could easily conclude Warrawong’s best years are behind it.
I’ve been spending time in Warrawong for nearly 18 months now. There’s a farm there at the back of Warrawong High School. One quite unlike any I know: Urban Grown, run by Green Connect. In the last three years Warrawong has begun to grow a different kind of notoriety, one that reimagines what industrial decline can look like. One that Human Geographers ought to take notice of. Continue reading →
Today marks the exciting milestone of the UOW Human Geography Society’s (HuGS) first birthday!! I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the past 12 months, recap our events so far, share the experiences of some … Continue reading →
The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Over the next few months we’ll introduce some of our academics and PhD candidates to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.
Kiera began her PhD with AUSCCER at the start of 2014. Here she answers questions about her research.
You’re in the second year of your PhD. What is the focus of your PhD research?
My research looks at where and how children play in the city. For example, built playgrounds are common spaces that represent ‘children’s spaces’ in the city. Playgrounds can provide a lot of play opportunities for children; however, when talking to children about where they prefer to play, research has shown that children will often talk about informal spaces in their neighbourhood or near their school. For example, a favourite tree to climb. When creating city spaces with children in mind, these everyday play spaces are more challenging to plan and design. This is where my current research interest lies.
The playground at Brighton Lawn/Belmore Basin is one location where children are often seen playing. This is a regional playground meaning that it is larger, and has more play opportunities.
On Tuesday 21st April 2015 the University of Wollongong Human Geography Society (UOW HuGS) was officially established! The inaugural meeting for the society was attended by undergraduates, postgraduates and staff. The committee elected to run the society in 2015 are: Sophie-May Kerr (president), Carrie Wilkinson (vice president), Charlie Gillon (treasurer), Elizabeth Oliver (secretary), Susannah Clement (post grad rep) and Emily O’Donnell (undergrad rep).