12 July 2013

working family having breakfastLeading researchers from around the world will convene in Sydney next week for the Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference, July 17-19th to look at the impact of rapid industrial, social and technological change on communities, workplaces and families.

The conference, held for the first time outside Europe, is being jointly convened by the University of Sydney, the University of South Australia and the Australian Institute of Family Studies. It brings together some of the globe’s best researchers who study work and family issues, with experts coming from many countries including India, China and Australia as well as from Europe and North America.

Conference convenors Professor Marian Baird (Women and Work Research Group University of Sydney), Professor Barbara Pocock (Centre for Work + Life, UniSA) and Dr Michael Alexander (Australian Institute of Family Studies) believe the conference will uncover some core issues for the policy agenda.

“We know the rate of change in society is increasing exponentially, driven to some extent by technology but also by demographic shifts and globalisation,” Professor Baird says. “We can see emerging touch-points where those changes are stretching the fabric of society thin as people struggle to combine care with demanding and often precarious jobs.”

Professor Pocock says there are particular issues affecting older people, and a pressing need to ensure that labour regulation keeps up with the changing nature of work and workers.

“We need to look at how we support and enhance people’s capacity to combine work and care while creating healthy communities and healthy workers,” Professor Pocock says. 

Dr Alexander says the conference represents an important think tank on the issues.

“What we’ll have at this conference is a mix of experienced researchers and practitioners presenting the latest research, defining the problems and putting forward solutions and suggestions for change in a range of crucial policy areas including work and family, regional development, human resource management, workplace relations, industrial law, women and women’s safety, employment and youth,”  Dr Alexander says.

The conference will be opened by the Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin.

Journalists are welcome to attend. The venue is Sydney University Law School, New Law Building Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus at The University of Sydney, NSW.

Keynote Speakers:

- Professor Raewyn Connell, University Chair, University of Sydney

- Professor Cindy Fan, Vice Provost for International Studies, UCLA

- Ms Jane Hodges, Director, Bureau for Gender Equality, International Labour Office

- Professor Rajni Palriwala, Department of Sociology, University of Delhi

- Jason Glanville, CEO, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

Full program: http://www.aomevents.com/CWFC2013

Media contact:

UniSA Michèle Nardelli office 08 8302 0966 mobile 0418 823 673 email Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

University of Sydney Trevor Watson office 02 9351 1918 mobile 0418 648 099 email trevor.watson@sydney.edu.au

Contact for interviews:

Prof Marian Baird 0438 167 963

Prof Barbara Pocock 0414 244 606

Dr Michael Alexander 0419406078

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