Mobilities conference – Asian Australian research at the Immigration Museum

Tseen Khoo (La Trobe University) is a founder of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network (AASRN) and convenor of the 2015 mobilities conference.
Jan Molloy –Programs Coordinator, Humanities, Immigration Museum.

It was a wonderful collaborative first when the Asian Australian Studies Research Network (AASRN) and the Immigration Museum worked together to convene the 5th AASRN conference, 'mobilities', on 26-27 November 2015.

The conference invited scholarly and community contributions on movement and migration, transnational connections, cultural narratives and creative work, and Asia education. It was great to have so many different organisations and universities involved, and presenters and delegates came from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

People sitting at table Time for coffee and networking.Left to tight: Owen Leong (Sydney), Roanna Gonsalves (Uni of NSW), Kaz Ross (Uni of Tasmania), and Hoa Pham (Melbourne).
Image: Mayu Kanamori

Held since 1999, AASRN conferences are peak network events that bring together the latest work by researchers in Asian Australian Studies. As well as academic work, they feature contributions by creative artists and community workers, and performances and exhibitions. This blend of involvement is a key part of the conferences' success over the years.

The Immigration Museum's "Vietnamese in Australia: 40 years of settlement" exhibition coincided with the 2015 conference, demonstrating yet again why working with the Museum to host the conference was a perfect match!

Delegates also got a guided tour of "Identity: Yours, mine, ours" from Jan Molloy (Coordinator, Education programs).

Woman with camera and drawing Drawing inspired by the “Identity: Yours, mine, ours” exhibition.
Image: Mayu Kanamori

The two-day event featured talks about food and memory, quarantine stations, Chinatowns, Japanese Australian identities, Indian migration to Melbourne, and much more. Plenary panels generated much conversation around topics of Asia capabilities, Asian Australian queer heritage and representation, and activist writing projects.

Spaeaker having presentation Keynote speaker Professor Ien Ang (Western Sydney Uni) speaking on Sydney’s Chinatown.
Image: Mayu Kanamori

The keynote speakers were Professor Ien Ang (Western Sydney University) and Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Australian Human Rights Commission) – both presenting sessions that gave participants much food for thought.

Man in suit speaking Keynote speaker Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Australian Human Rights Commission).
Image: Mayu Kanamori

Immigration Museum Community Programs will continue to explore Asia , Australia and  migration at Feast Asia on May 1.
Watch this space Feast Asia festival for more details.

Comments (1)

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Lauren 13 April, 2016 14:05
Looks very interesting! Dr Soutphommasane is always a wonderful speaker.
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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.