Bold Thinking: Global pandemic, regional response: citizenship and community in the time of COVID

RegionalThe Latrobe University Bold Thinking series will examine how the COVID-19 virus exposes our community and economic vulnerabilities, as well as their strengths. How can we support regional communities to ride the social, health and economic shockwaves of the COVID-19 pandemic? With local speaker Sam Atukorala, you are invited to join on Tuesday 15 September 2020 12:00 pm, online.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the ways we think about our communities, how we care for each other, what civic and social citizenship look like.   

Regional Victoria has weathered many aspects of the pandemic well, but points of weakness are evident: the lack of investment in health care and telecommunications infrastructure; a dependence on ageing volunteers to run vital social services; and an agricultural sector which relies on a mobile workforce. 

The COVID-19 virus exposes our community and economic vulnerabilities, as well as their strengths. What must be done to ensure communities remain strong and resilient, able to ride the social, health and economic shockwaves of the COIVD-19 pandemic? 

These same issues are being grappled with across the Pacific. In this webinar you’ll hear some Canadian perspectives on these challenges, and responses from regional Victorian communities. 

Join our expert panel of Professor of Canadian Rural and Small Town Studies Greg Halseth; Shepparton community leader Sam Atukorala; and University planning expert Julie Rudner. La Trobe’s Director of the Centre for the Study of the Inland, Katie Holmes will moderate the discussion.


Professor Greg HalsethGreg Halseth

Prof Halseth’s is the Research Chair of Rural and Small Town Studies. His research examines regional development processes, rural and small town community development, and community strategies for coping with social and economic change.  In particular, his work provides significant insights about place-based development, social and economic change in rapidly growing towns, the restructuring of rural labour landscapes, aging resource communities, rural poverty, and innovative and voluntary sector organisations.

Sam AtukoralaSam Atukorala

Sam Atukorala has earned a reputation as a respected community leader who is making a real impact in the community as a keen volunteer, an ambassador for intercultural community harmony and an exceptional member of the Goulburn Valley community.

Currently, Sam works as the Strategic Engagement Coordinator for Goulburn Region reporting to both the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Incorporated and the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Multicultural Affairs Unit.

Dr Julie RudnerJulie Rudner

Dr Julie Rudner is the Program Convenor of the Community Planning and Development Program at La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus, which specialises in regional and rural issues.  Julie examines governance and how ‘public knowings’ of safety, risk and belonging for different social groups are created, maintained and contested in society with regard to their spatial implications. Though research, consulting and teaching, she supports active citizenship via community-based projects


Professor Katie HolmesKatie Holmes

Professor Katie Holmes is an environmental historian and Director of La Trobe’s Centre for the Study of the Inland.

She is the co-leader of La Trobe’s Climate Network and the coordinator of the new Environmental Humanities major within the Bachelor of Arts.

Her most recent publication is the co-authored Mallee Country: Land, People, History (2019), and she has also written on Australian gardens; women’s writings; and gender and environment.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday 15 September 2020 12:00 pm until Tuesday 15 September 2020 01:10 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact: Lauren Elliott – University Events
Presented by: Bold Thinking Series
Type of Event: Community Event; Public Lecture
Cost: Free to register : Register Online now


What is the impact of Covid -19 on regional townships and communities?


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