Diversity of Ideas at ACELG Research Forum

Diversity of Ideas at ACELG Research Forum
07 May 2014

More than 80 local government practitioners and academic researchers participated in the ACELG Local Government Research Forum in Melbourne on Wednesday, 30 April.

This year, the Forum was co-hosted by Local Government Managers Australia (National) and ran alongside its annual National Congress & Business Expo. 

There was great interest in Forum sessions from delegates of the LGMA Congress and from Forum attendees from around Australia, particularly with a number of local government reform processes underway or recently completed in a number of jurisdictions. 

It is clear from the quality and diversity of research presented at the Forum that there is a great capacity to respond to reform processes through evidence-based studies that can be translated into practical, local level action. 

ACELG was pleased to welcome to the Forum Professor Alex Brillantes from the National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines. Prof Brillantes' presentation about local governance, local autonomy and decentralisation in the Philippines drew parallels between local government in Australia and the region that are both timely and germane.

This work is of great interest to ACELG in view of current research on international alliances. 

A keynote 'Why local government matters' from ACELG Director, Associate Professor Roberta Ryan brought a number of Forum themes together. A/Prof Ryan outlined provisional findings from a national research project that explores the social context of the connection between Australian communities and their local governments.

The Forum program reflected the LGMA Congress theme 'Productive Communities' and covered a wide range of areas, including measures of progress, productive regions, social enterprises, community cultural development, housing, investment in employee skills and practitioner led research, many more. 

There were more than 25 presenters from councils, universities and other organisations. Presentations are available here.

A number of presentations will in due course be featured on ACELG's blog site ACELG Community. This will enable those unable to attend the Forum to join the discussion via comment or contact authors directly. A selection of Forum papers will be published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration or in the 2014 National Local Government Research Forum Proceedings later in 2014.

This Forum was the 5th research forum run by ACELG since its inception. 

Such forums and similar events are part of a broader ACELG initiative to build and encourage research capacity within Australian local government.  The Forums showcase examples of current local government research which relate to pressing policy issues, provide opportunities for local government practitioners to present work alongside academic researchers, and allow discussion about the implications of research for policy and practice. 

This approach to developing local research capacity is an emerging trend internationally.

The next ACELG research forum will be held in the Northern Territory in September, so do stay in touch with us about this event.

ACELG wishes to thank the LGMA for co-hosting the Forum alongside its annual National Congress & Business Expo, an important event that encapsulates current trends and ideas within and about the sector. 

We were most grateful of presenters and participants who generously shared their ideas throughout the day.

The Forum abstract booklet and presentation schedule is available here

For further information contact: 

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