Australia should enhance and capitalise on its existing skills and expertise in geographic information systems (GIS) and big data to address thesocial, economic and environmental challenges of our region and the emergence of the ‘China Century’.
The recommendation is one of several in a strategic plan for Australian Geography launched today by the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Geographical Sciences.
Chair of the Committee, Adjunct Professor Stephen Turton from CQ University, said Australian geography focuses on solving issues and threats affecting the wellbeing of people and places in Australia and our Asia–Pacific neighbours.
“The plan explains the contribution that geography makes to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Australia through research, education, training, skills, expertise and engagement with industry and the community,” Adjunct Professor Turton said.
“It also offers a research, teaching and industry engagement framework strategically aligned with contemporary challenges of our region. Indeed, addressing sustainable development, climate change, regional development, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, requires an increasingly whole of government, industry and academia approach.
“The breadth and depth afforded by geographical understandings to such problems places Australian geographers in a strong position to provide evidence‑based research informing and advancing innovative policy and practice.
“We invite policy‑makers, senior managers in universities and research organisations, fellow academic and practicing geographers and interested members of the public to review the rich material covered in this strategic plan.
The National Committee for Geographical Sciences acknowledges the support of the following organisations in the development of this plan: The Institute of Australian Geographers, Australian Geography Teachers Association, Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, Royal Geographical Society of Queensland and the New South Wales Geographical Society.
© 2020 Australian Academy of Science