Researching in Dialogue – Country, Relationalities and Otherness



We are pleased to invite you to the 2023 Research Symposium of the Australian Association for Environmental Education, to be held on Wednesday 27 September, both in person and online.

The research symposium is an AAEE initiative, directed by an AAEE organising committee with representatives from a range of states and research institutions. In 2023, the Symposium will take place on the final day of the AAEE Biennial conference, which is being hosted 25-27 September by the University of Wollongong, NSW.


The key purpose of the research symposium is to develop a high quality, interactive event that contributes to the development and growth of the environmental and sustainability education (EE and SE) research communities in Australasia.

A symposium format provides the space and opportunity for robust dialogue, capacity building, and networking on research in environmental and sustainability education, and in related fields.

The organising committee has designed this event with the following values in mind:

  • commitment to open inquiry and reflexivity
  • critical sensitivity to research, its development and challenges
  • non-hierarchical and participatory formats for sessions taking place at the event
  • emphasis on interactions that are nurturing, in good humour, and ‘ego-free’
  • generosity and collegiality towards others and their scholarship
  • inclusivity of those with a genuine interest in learning about and developing EE / SE research.

Who might participate?

The symposium is intended for active researchers, but just as importantly we welcome environmental/sustainability educators who are interested in exploring the research related to environmental / sustainability education. The AAEE research symposium has been designed to attract early-career to senior academics, higher degree students, and community researchers, as well as educational practitioners who are interested in research, from Australasia and further afield. The symposium language will be English.

What is the theme of the Research Symposium?

Symposium dialogues will explore the theme of Researching in Dialogue: Country, Relationality, and Otherness – building on the overall conference theme of Listening to Country, Learning Together, Transforming the Future. By grounding ourselves in Country and the deep knowledges and understandings of First Nations people, we understand that everything – research, education, environment, sustainability, knowledge – starts and finishes in interconnected relationships. Now is the time to fully embrace these relationalities, in order to think beyond the planet-threatening challenges we are currently facing. Rethinking the binaries that support our current “western” world structures helps us to challenge otherness and move towards relationality.

 Dialogic Keynote Session: Launch of AJEE SE: Indigenous Philosophy in Environmental Education

The Dialogic Keynote session that will open the Research Symposium this year celebrates the launch of a Special Issue of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education (AJEE) – “Indigenous Philosophy in Environmental Education” and includes Anne Poelina, Sandra Wooltorton, Mindy Blaise, Laurie Guimond, and others. As they share, “Indigenous Philosophy in environmental education is the oldest education, being tens of thousands of years of continuity (slowed only in the last few centuries)….working towards its proliferation is one of the most important education tasks of our day”.

Please see full abstract and bios of the presenters HERE.

Anne Poelina

Professor, Senior Research Fellow and Co-Chair Indigenous Studies, Nulungu Research Institute, the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Mindy Blaise

Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow and Co-director of the Centre for People, Place and Planet, Edith Cowan University

Sandra Wooltorton

Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Nulungu Research Institute, University of Notre Dame Australia

Laurie Guimond

Professor, Geography Department at Université du Québec à Montréal; Adjunct research fellow, Nulungu Research Institute, University of Notre Dame Australia.

What can you expect from the event?

This event will facilitate a series of creative and critical dialogues about research, research development, and research challenges for the field of environmental education. The expectation is that these dialogues will be original, participatory, creative and collegial. The Symposium will open with a Dialogic Keynote session, offer interactive Dialogic Workshops, and finish with an interactive Forum.

The success of the research symposium depends on active engagement and participation from all attendees. Rather than traditional presentations, the event will include conversational and interactive dialogues, such as fishbowls, roundtables, and inquiry workshops. See the call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for further information.

For those who wish to make a presentation about a specific research project or offer a paper on a research topic, we strongly encourage you to submit an abstract to the AAEE conference instead.

Where will it be held?

University of Wollongong

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

10:00am – 5:00pm (Please arrive around 9:30am for a 10am start).

Refreshments and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided, please bring drink bottles and reusable coffee cups if you have them.


Please register for the Research Symposium via the AAEE Conference website.

For further information or questions about an EOI or the Research Symposium, please contact Dr. Lisa Siegel by emailing lisa.siegel@scu.edu.au

AAEE 2023 Research Symposium organising committee (in alphabetical order):

  • Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles
  • Associate Professor Chris Eames
  • Emeritus Professor Annette Gough
  • Dr. Allen Hill
  • Dr. Sonja Kuzich
  • Dr. Larraine Larri
  • Dr. Lisa Ryan
  • Dr. Lisa Siegel
  • Associate Professor Peta White