School collaboration launch, early career awards, budget statement and more.
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President's Message
This month will be a busy one for many people, and there is a lot going on. The Federal election will occupy the attention of many social scientists – last month I mentioned the Academy’s election position statement, which suggests five key areas of focus for Australia’s next government to prioritise.

National Reconciliation Week begins toward the end of May (running 27 May to 3 June). Reconciliation Australia’s website also details the need for Australia’s next government to be brave and ambitious when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs – worth a read, here.

National Reconciliation Week is also a good reminder of the Academy’s continued commitment to reconciliation as outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan. Please do take a look if you aren’t familiar with what we are doing in this important area.

I also want to remind you that nominations for the Paul Bourke Awards open soon. These awards, named for past Academy president and distinguished historian Paul Francis Bourke (1938–1999), honour some of the best early career researchers in Australia. If you know someone worthy of nomination, please take the time to do this. Information on this year’s application process and timings is available here.

Richard Holden

CEO's Message
It was a privilege last week to travel to Brisbane to welcome guests to Dr Dylan Lino's 2020 Paul Bourke Award lecture; the first we've been able to host in-person for almost three years. Dylan is a senior lecturer in the UQ Law School and he gave a very powerful presentation comprehensively deconstructing some of the purported legal arguments against indigenous constitutional recognition. We're grateful to the University of Queensland for co-hosting this event, and to Vice Chancellor (and former Academy President) Professor Deborah Terry AO FASSA for her attendance and support.

The Academy's national office has bid farewell to two colleagues recently; Kate Luke and Alice Balnaves-Knyvett both leaving to pursue other interests and opportunities. We are however pleased to be welcoming a new Programs and Administration officer Zoe Perry in the coming weeks, and to be welcoming back our Policy Manager Andi Verdich from maternity leave in June. These changes have given the Academy the opportunity to further strengthen our focus and capacity on delivering policy advocacy and services to and on behalf of our Fellows and the broader social science sector. I've no doubt many of you will be in touch with Andi and Zoe on a range of important matters.

Chris Hatherly

Launched! Our collaboration taking the social sciences to schools
The Academy’s program collaboration taking the social sciences into schools is now live.

The project, the first under our new partnership with the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), represents a collaboration between MoAD’s education experts and the Academy’s communication team. Working together, and using our Seriously Social podcast and videos as the basis of our evidence-based content, we have developed our first group of engaging, professionally-produced resources for Australian secondary schools to teach the social sciences.

Each term we’ll be launching four themed modules for secondary school teachers to mix and match in class. Each themed module contains:
  • A professionally produced podcast episode (20-25 mins)
  • An engaging video (2-4 mins)
  • A provocation worksheet for students to use – this can be used with either resource.

Term 2 school resource topics include forecasting (features Fellow Rob Hyndman); how to spot an expert (features Fellow Ken Henry); memory (features Fellow Amanda Barnier) and monarchies (features Fellow Dennis Altman).

All educational resources are housed on the new “Learn” page of the Seriously Social website. Please check them out and share them widely with your secondary school networks.

(If you have contacts for networks of teachers online or offline, please let our communication team know – we’d be delighted to connect as we begin building this audience. Email

Do you know an award-worthy early career researcher?
Each year, the Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research recognises four social science researchers in the early part of their careers. Nominations for the 2022 awards are now open!

Named in honour of the late Professor Paul Bourke, an influential political historian who served as Academy President from 1993 to 1997, the awards are presented to social science researchers who, at the time of nomination, do not yet hold an Associate Professor or Professorial appointment. Winners will have achieved excellence in scholarship in one or more fields of the social sciences, and have normally received their doctorate within the past five years (with allowances for career interruptions).

Each recipient will receive a citation, medallion and, with the agreement of the recipients’ home universities, deliver a jointly-sponsored lecture the following year. For more information and to nominate someone for the 2022 Paul Bourke Awards click here.
Academy's statement on the Federal Budget
The gears were turning madly in the Academy communication team on budget day late March. We were so busy putting the final touches on your must-read monthly dose of Academy news (aka: the April newsletter) that we didn’t have time to include the Academy’s response to the Federal Budget. So – here it is! The Academy called it a “strong election budget” but noted a focus on higher education was still lacking.

Read the Academy’s statement on the Federal Budget here.

Vale – Fellows James Jupp and Don Aitkin
We were saddened to learn that two Academy Fellows passed away last month.

Political scientist James Jupp was a former Executive Committee member as well as a former Executive Director of the Academy. We would also like to pass on our condolences to Jim's wife Marian Sawer, who is also an Academy Fellow.

Don Aitkin, also a former Academy Executive Committee member, was always interested and involved in Academy activities. Don wrote novels in his retirement, as well as a blog, where one of his last posts was about his impending death. An interesting read.
Read, Watch, Listen
In her recently published book, Australia’s Great Depression, Fellow Joan Beaumont details how a nation shattered by the Great War survived the world’s worst depression.

Fellow Frank Bongiorno’s essay ‘Politics by other means: Enlarging our diminished sense of political leadership' is a must-read ahead of the Federal Election.
It was a big month for new videos: as part of our education partnership with the Museum of Australian Democracy, we were funded to produce three videos to accompany our new resources for high school teachers. Watch our new videos, all featuring Academy Fellows:

How memory works
How to spot an expert
What is a constitutional monarchy?

In other great viewing, we recently spotted Fellow Stephen Duckett commentating in this fascinating episode of Four Corners: Profiting from the pandemic: How Aspen Medical cashed in on COVID. Stephen talks about supply chains, probity and an “extraordinarily unusual” letter written by Greg Hunt.

After a brilliant response to the first episode of the Seriously Social season, “I’m not racist, but...” our second episode for the season offers pre-election listening on the Rise of the Campaign Speech.

What makes a speech, especially a political speech impactful, memorable and stirring? And why does it always feel so long between those times when we hear a good one?

In this episode of Seriously Social, political historian Fellow Sean Scalmer joins us to discuss the origins of the stump speech, and what it takes to move hearts and minds with words.
Opportunity: Nominations open for Breakthrough of the Year in Social Sciences and Humanities
This opportunity hit our inbox recently, from Falling Walls in Berlin. Nominations (and self-nominations) are now open for Science Breakthrough of the Year 2022 awards. The awards, which cover the most outstanding research in 10 categories, include an award for Breakthrough of the Year in Social Sciences and Humanities.

Organisers are looking for internationally recognised, established academics and leaders in the study of the institutions and functioning of human society and of the interpersonal relationships of individuals as members of society, whose ground-breaking work contributes towards solving the world’s biggest challenges.

Every category is judged by a panel of experts, and the overall winner with be invited to speak at the organisation’s summit in Berlin this November. More information and the nomination form can be found here.

In the News
Here are just a few of the mentions we have seen last month featuring Fellows in the news. We share these juicy stories most days on our Twitter account – if you haven’t yet, follow us for more.

Fellow Peter Shergold featured in a story about an independent enquiry on how the Federal Government performed during the pandemic.

Fellows Ian Hickie and Patrick McGorry featured in a story in the Sydney Morning Herald about the difficulties of young people.

Fellow Nancy Pachana spoke to ABC Radio in Brisbane about the Great Ageing debate. (For more on ageing, listen to Nancy speaking a previous episode of our own podcast, Seriously Social, about Why ageism is such a hard “ism” to fight.

From Our Socials
Find us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. (You can also follow our Seriously Social stories, videos and podcast episodes on social media – find all those links here.)
Wish more people understood the social sciences? Introduce them to Seriously Social.
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Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6249 1788

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