World Congress finally meets in Cairns

    After two years of postponement; restricted international borders, COVID-19 regulations and airline schedule disruptions, delegates converged onto Cairns for the XV World Congress of Rural Sociology 19-22 July at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel.
    Congress was opened with Gudgugudgu Fourmile welcoming all delegates, followed by a video message from the IRSA President; Koichi Ikegami as he was unable to travel from Japan. Keynote addresses by Dr Emma Lee, Prof Nora McKeon and Dr Monica White (live-streaming from Wisconsin, USA) were well-received. Of the delegates, 52% flew in from overseas and 48% were already in Australia.

    Some feedback received:
    “The IRSA conference was a great opportunity to see rural sociologist from around the globe converge to share their perspectives and work
    on wide array of matters. The diversity of topics made the conference interesting and exiting to be at. Participating gave me the unique
    opportunity to engage with so many people from the international community, which was an absolute pleaser!” Sara M., Australia.

    “Thanks again for organizing such an amazing conference. It was such a breath of fresh air.” Emily H., USA.

    “Just a quick ‘thank you’ to you, Stewart and the team for a wonderful Congress. In spite of the unavoidable Covid disruptions, it was a huge success”. Geoff L., Australia

    “Many thanks to yourself and the conference team for an amazing event” Holly R-M. Australia.

    “Thank you for your organization”. Tomoko I., Japan.

    “This was my first experience with an in-person academic conference and the experience was definitely positive. Many of the presentations were directly applicable to my proposed research, while others gave me much-needed background on rural sociology and inspired new ways of thinking. Overall, two things stood out to me: First, the keynote speakers were all women. This seemed to be a deliberate choice on the part of the organisers, and it was a welcome one. Secondly, I was glad to see the representation of different racial and ethnic backgrounds amongst the keynotes, an Indigenous Australian (Dr. Emma Lee) and a Black American (Dr. Monica White). As a Black Caribbean woman who is relatively new to academia, I don’t take for granted the opportunity to observe historically underrepresented groups in this space. The content of their talks was equally valuable, and I see many ways that I can integrate what I learnt into my doctoral research.“ Dani.N, Cairns North, Australia.

    “My experience of IRSA was an eye-opener. As an upcoming researcher, IRSA helped me to connect with other like-minded researchers from different parts of the world. It gave me the opportunity as a researcher from the field of education to witness a variety of presentations from other discipline within the field of sociology.” Dom O., Palm Cove, Australia.

    “The international community was epitomised in a session in which we had a speaker present in Spanish which was translated by an audience member with no connection to the presentation. This was followed by a speaker who presented a fellow colleague’s work who couldn’t make it due to travel difficulties. The original presenter was however able to facetime into the session and answer questions - so good!
    The field trips and time after each day to socialise with IRSA members really made for an atmosphere in which I really got to know people and their research. However, the keynote speakers and panel discussions at this year’s conference has to be some of the best I have seen at any conference in a long time.” John B., Cairns, Australia.

    More images can be found on here

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