Transcript

Professor Sandy Gifford:

The research that we do is all about the experiences of migrants, mostly forced migrants, people who have had to leave their home countries, who have come to seek safety and shelter in Australia.

Professor Robert Manne:

I’ve been mainly driven by the questions that are at the centre of political conversation in Australia. So that for example at the moment I have great interest in climate change and why Australia has moved in the direction it has, but I’ve also been working for ten years or more on Aboriginal child removal.

Professor Geoffrey Crouch:

Marketing is my disciplinary background, but I specialise in the tourism industry. Looking at the sorts of factors that affect it, particularly tourism marketing and consumer behaviour issues.

Professor Dennis Altman:

I’ve been involved in a number of projects that have been aimed at rethinking what we mean by human security, how relevant it is to Australian foreign policy, and how it impinges upon the way we understand the world and the sorts of threats and possibilities that are likely to happen in the future.

Professor Sandy Gifford:

And this bridge is really important because it’s the old railway bridge, over which many of the migrants who came to Melbourne and Australia travelled when they first got here. In Australia we often don’t see diversity until we really look, or until it’s picked out for one reason or another, and I think that’s what’s really important about the research. How do people both come together as well as live in their own separate worlds with their own cultural meanings, and how do we create a really good cohesive society?

Professor Robert Manne:

A lot of the debate that goes on about the things in Australia which are central to our identity like climate change, like refugees and asylum seekers, like indigenous matters, these are often discussed at a rather superficial level. And I think we are in a very bad state if our discussion is limited to things that happen on television, radio, newspapers.

Professor Geoffrey Crouch:

I’ve done quite a bit of work looking at the management and marketing of tourism destinations and in particular what makes destinations competitive. And if you’re going to develop marketing campaigns, if you’re going to look at the sort of government policies that are required in this area you need to understand something about how tourists think, feel, and behave.

Professor Dennis Altman:

My own personal involvement in this has really grown out of doing a lot of research on HIV/AIDS and the impact of a global epidemic on security, on people's lives, on general frameworks of political and social structures, and how they’re affected by a major catastrophe such as a new epidemic.

Professor Sandy Gifford:

It’s a privilege being able to be an anthropologist and being able to be welcomed in to people’s lives and research that. And then to offer those insights in a broader way that help a more collective understanding about how people have families, about those everyday aspirations and the things that stop them.

Professor Robert Manne:

I think the most rewarding part of my work is actually that when you see the things you’ve done have mattered to the general public. And there have been occasions when I’ve been involved in something or other, when an audience of seven hundred or a thousand turns up to hear the discussion take place.

Professor Geoffrey Crouch:

What is interesting in studying tourism development is the human behaviour aspects behind it. What motivates people, quality of life sorts of issues that are important in this industry as well.

Professor Dennis Altman:

There’s something for me very nice about having this conversation with you here in an OXFAM shop because it’s symbolic of those broader coalitions that we’re trying to build through a research process

Professor Sandy Gifford:

Melbourne and Australia are terrific multicultural environments but I think it’s a fragile gift, and we can’t take it for granted. The more we take it for granted, the more we’re bound to lose it, and that’s why anthropology is really important.

Professor Robert Manne:

Human societies defy the attempts to get general laws or generalisations that work. They require incredible subtlety. Unless we understand ourselves as human beings then we’re in dire straits.

Professor Geoffrey Crouch:

As individuals there’s not that much we can accomplish but if you look at a city like the city of Melbourne or any sort of area of human activity it’s amazing what as a society and through our organisation that we can achieve so much.

Professor Sandy Gifford:

I’m Sandy Gifford, I’m a Professor at La Trobe, and I’m the Director of the La Trobe Refugee Research Centre at the University.

Professor Robert Manne:

I’m Robert Manne. I’m Professor of Politics, School of Social Sciences and Communications. I’m also the convener of something we call the Ideas and Society Program at La Trobe University.

Professor Dennis Altman:

My name is Dennis Altman and I’m Professor of Politics and Director of the Institute of Human Security at La Trobe University.

Professor Geoffrey Crouch:

I’m Geoffrey Crouch and I’m a Professor of Marketing in the School of Management, part of the Faculty of Law and Management at La Trobe University.