Registrations open for AUCEA Community Engagement Conference July 2-4 Alice Springs 


Registrations are now open for the 4th Annual Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance (AUCEA) conference. The conference is being hosted by Charles Darwin University (CDU) at its Alice Springs Campus from July 2-4, 2007.

The Scholarship of Community Engagement refers to engaged teaching, learning and research. It involves collaborative relationships that yield mutually beneficial outcomes for the University, its students and its communities.

The conference invites robust scholarly debate and grass roots practitioners’ perspectives on the pressing questions that will shape the way forward for community engagement in Australia.

Professor Rob Wallis, AUCEA President says, ‘The theme, the scholarship of community engagement: Australia’s way forward, challenges us to reflect upon how and why engaged teaching, learning and research is key to Australia’s social and economic future.’

Don Zoellner, CDU’s PVC Community and Access and AUCEA Vice-President, says,‘ community engagement is key to all of CDU’s activities. The AUCEA conference provides a great opportunity for lecturers, researchers and post-graduate students to reflect, network with colleagues, inspire and learn from each other.’

The conference will focus on engagement in the context of its contribution to enhanced student learning and to broader social, cultural, health, environmental and regional development outcomes. The four conference sub-themes are ‘Policy Context’, ‘Institutional Responses’, ‘Perspectives on Practice’ and ‘Benchmarking and Quality’. 

Linda Cuttriss, CDU’s Coordinator Community Engagement who is coordinating the conference says, ‘Many CDU lecturers, researchers and post-graduate students are strongly engaged with Indigenous communities, industry, government or not-for-profit organisations. 

’The call for abstracts closes next week on Monday, 5 February so there’s still time to submit a brief outline’ says Linda. 

‘Proposals for joint presentations with partners or conducting practical workshops on methods of engagement will be highly regarded.’ 

The conference will include keynote addresses from national and international speakers, oral presentations of refereed and non-refereed papers, workshops, panel discussions and poster sessions.  

‘Most of the keynote speakers have already confirmed,’ says Linda.

Dr Sherril Gelmon, Professor of Public Health at Portland State University (USA) will open the ‘Policy Context’ sub-theme, Dr Mark Rose, Director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Indigenous Education will give the keynote address for ‘Perspectives on Practice’ and Dr Barbara Holland, Director of the National Service-Learning Clearing House (USA) will moderate the ‘Institutional Responses’ panel discussion.

The conference program will open at 2pm on Monday, 2 July and finish at 5pm on Wednesday, 4 July with a post-conference tour on Thursday morning featuring local highlights of community engagement in Alice Springs. The welcome reception will be held at Alice Springs Desert Park and the conference dinner is an event not to be missed with an evening under the stars at Ooraminna Homestead.

Staff who have recently joined CDU are invited to register to attend the conference. Those of you with existing partnerships are encouraged to invite members of your partner organisations to attend with you. 

To register to attend the conference and for more details and updates go to the conference website at

For further information about community engagement contact Linda Cuttriss, Coordinator Community Engagement at or telephone 8946 6336 or go to CDU’s community engagement website at