The combined New Zealand Geographical Society/Institute of Australian Geographers Conference in Auckland was an excellent conference with scholars and Research Higher Degree students attending representing many parts of the globe. I was thrilled (with the financial support of the Regional Studies Association) to have the opportunity to present my paper in a session on ‘Alternate politics’. This session attracted a large, very engaged audience and generated lots of discussion among delegates, which continued long after the session had concluded. This truly exemplified the overarching theme of the conference which was: ‘Creative conversations, constructive connections’. After my presentation, I was very pleased to have numerous people come up and ask me about the Association and its support of members and to see the promotional material and journals disappearing very quickly.
This conference also provided me with valuable opportunities to network with new colleagues from other international universities about our shared research interests, and to re-connect with colleagues from other institutions Australia-wide who were also attending. Highlights of the conference were that there was a very diverse range of keynote speakers who laid down a series of challenges for geographers in the Anthropocene. These keynotes were sponsored by highly regarded international journals such as: Antipode, Gender, Place and Culture, Progress in Human Geography and the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. There was also a plethora of panels, roundtables and workshops where academics, community practitioners and student delegates were able to participate in deepening their knowledge and understanding of important theoretical concepts as well as offering new perspectives on global issues that remain a challenge.
Overall, this conference was well-attended and offered me a wonderful opportunity to showcase my research and to attract the interest of other scholars working in the same and similar fields. It also allowed me to attend sessions on topics that offered insights useful to my teaching practice which is always valuable in helping keep one’s work relevant and attractive to newer generations of students. Without the support of the RSA, this would not have been possible. I am very grateful for their support and financial assistance in helping me attend this conference.