News and Announcements

2014 ALARA Australasian Conference - Event 1 Self-determination and Action Research and Action Learning

  • Friday, 7th November 2014 at 5pm, Saturday, 8th November 2014 at TBD, Sunday, 9th November 2014 at TBD
    Location: Silver Wattle on the shores of Lake George, ACT, Australia

    Please see our announcement on ALARA's website.

Creative Life Matters A creative development workshop to shift your thinking

  • Saturday, 14th June 2014 (all day), Saturday, 6th September 2014 (all day)
    Location: Bardon, Brisbane, Qld Australia

    June and September Workshop Flyer 1 page.pdf for details 

Creative Life Matters Workshop with Dr Cathryn Lloyd

  • Saturday, 16th August 2014 (all day), Sunday, 17th August 2014 (all day)
    Location: Cairns, Qld Australia

    Cairns Workshop Flyer 1 page.pdf for details 

Call for Papers - International Society for the Systems Sciences

Posted by Colin, Thursday, 3rd April 2014 @ 3:33pm

  • The Action Research SIG of ISSS invites you to submit papers for presentation at the 58th Meeting of ISSS (at George Washington University, Washington DC, 27 July - 1 August 2014). Abstracts can be submitted from now until end June 2014, but if you require blind review, you must notify the SIG by mid-April. Full papers to be included in the conference journal Journals ISSS International Society for the Systems Sciences can be submitted after the conference. See here for more information.

Funding Cut to Centre of Research Excellence 'Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga' at University of Auckland

Posted by Colin, Thursday, 13th March 2014 @ 3:16pm

  • ALARA has been advised of the funding cut to Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga by Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith in the following message.

    Kia Ora,

    It takes years to develop a research infrastructure. It takes years to develop centres of research excellence.
    Firstly, it takes an excellent education system as researchers must succeed to the highest qualifications in their fields and new researchers need to be trained continuously.
    It takes the right synergies of knowledge as excellent researchers are trained and supported in diverse knowledge cultures.
    It takes discipline, perseverance and tolerance as researchers learn as much through failure and elimination as they do from success.
    It takes insight to understand the implications of serendipity.
    It takes difference and determination to carve out new areas of knowledge that challenge current thinking.
    It takes a wide community and network of similar minds as researchers learn from each other.
    It takes vision and stamina to build novel programmes of research that can address complex and inter-related problems.
    It takes a dose of sheer doggedness to forge a research direction when others want to set out to someplace different or to stay put.
    It takes an alliance of related systems that review, fund and publish research, that translate it into public knowledge like curriculum, that apply research into other contexts, that produce new or improved practices and products.
    It takes collaborations across disciplinary, institutional, national and international boundaries to get the best minds and skills available to advance the research.
    It takes institutional support to provide the best working environment for researchers.
    It takes institutional and public patience to wait for the next chapter of life changing research.
    It takes massive investment by the public through education and by the public and others through the funding of research.
    It takes a certain kind of ambition to persist in the pursuit of knowledge that may not generate quick fixes, widgets and gadgets, or social transformation in this generation and it takes a certain kind of society that believes it important to invest in the continuous development of knowledge for its longer term well-being.

    In my area of Māori research, it took decades to develop the foundations of a single national research infrastructure.
    It took decades upon decades for Māori to make their way, one by one, through an education system that was not excellent to gain the highest qualifications.
    It took persistence to survive in knowledge cultures that did not value diversity let alone Māori knowledge.
    It took vision to focus on producing a critical mass of Māori with the highest academic qualifications from New Zealand and international institutions.
    It took the largest and possibly the most novel and challenging of collaborations to build a strong network of researchers who would focus their minds and efforts on Māori development.

    It rounded up all the 'ones' and the 'twos' of Māori researchers scattered across institutions to create a critical community of researchers who could support new research.
    It established journals, created avenues of engagement with the most suspicious of communities, and stimulated intellectual engagements across disciplines, communities, and languages.
    It supported research that was explicitly focused on creating change, on improving outcomes and on developing communities.
    It had to win institutional support by winning funding.
    It created novel approaches that other centres of excellence borrowed and adapted.
    It created new methodologies for exploring social and cultural interfaces that are cited in international journals and applied in many other contexts.
    It's capacity development programme for PhDs is replicated in parts of Canada and the USA at top institutions.

    So what tumbles down when Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is informed it will no longer be funded? A centre? Some funding? Yes of course, but much more.
    What tumbles down will cut more deeply into the capacity, momentum, community, system of knowledge, networks, relationships, intellectual excitement that was emerging from this Centre of Research Excellence.
    What tumbles down is an infrastructure that was built from scratch, from ones and twos, that had no previous models to borrow from, that was truly internationally innovative, multi multi disciplinary, that was producing exciting young scholars footing it internationally and in our own communities.
    What tumbles down is a national infrastructure that could support Māori development across a range of dimensions that simply can not be provided for for existing institutions.
    More importantly, what tumbles down is a set of beliefs that the research system is genuinely interested in innovation, has a capacity to recognise or know how to support innovation outside its cultural frame, believes in its own rhetoric or actually understands the short term nature of its investments in research.

    Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith
    Pro Vice Chancellor Māori
    Dean of Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao The School of Māori and Pacific Development
    The University of Waikato
    New Zealand

ALARA Conversation with Kay Distel The Elusive Other: A self-study action research project with diverse learners in Higher Education

  • Thursday, 10th April 2014 at 5:30pm - 8pm
    Location: Moreno Collegium, 45 Clarence St, Coorparoo Qld 4151, Australia, Street Parking is available. Close to Coorparoo train station.

    Kay will share techniques she used when researching for her PhD in a fun and participative…

ALARA's New Postal Address

Posted by Colin, Thursday, 6th March 2014 @ 12:49pm

  • ALARA has changed its Postal Address. Our new address is:

    PO Box 162

    Please update your records accordingly.

Community and Organisational Change with Bob Dick

  • Saturday, 15th March 2014 (all day), Sunday, 16th March 2014 (all day)
    Location: Riverglenn, 70 Kate St, Indooroopilly,Qld, Australia

    Details available at

Community Development Courses with Jim Ife and Jacques Boulet

  • Monday, 17th March 2014 (all day), Tuesday, 18th March 2014 (all day), Tuesday, 25th March 2014 (all day), Wednesday, 26th March 2014 (all day)
    Location: Institute of Community Development, Melbourne, Australia

    Community Development Courses 2014.pdfWe would like to invite you to join us in our 2 day…

Australasian Evaluation Society Seminar: Visual Participatory Evaluation - A Rigorous Method of Employing Video in Evaluation

  • Wednesday, 19th February 2014 at 12:30pm - 1:30pm
    Location: Community Meeting Room, BRISBANE SQUARE LIBRARY, Ground Level, 266 George St, Brisbane, Qld Australia

    Visual Participatory Evaluation is a newly emerged methodology which was honoured with the AES…

Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research Call for Contributors

Posted by Robyn Lynn, Thursday, 30th January 2014 @ 12:20pm

  • Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research

    To be published Fall 2015


    The Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research will provide a vivid portrait of theoretical perspectives and practical action research activity and related benefits around the globe, while attending to the cultural, political, historical and socio-ecological contexts that localize, shape and characterize action research. Cross-national issues of networking, as well as the challenges, tensions and issues associated with the transformative power of action research will be explored from multiple perspectives providing unique contributions to our understanding of what it means to do action research and to be an action researcher. The handbook also will explore a global action research agenda and map for readers to consider as they embark on new projects and seek additional ways to connect with other action researchers in diverse parts of the globe.

    Key Elements to be included in International Handbook:

    current, comprehensive and relevant analyses of theories, perspectives, activities, and possible limits of action research with a particular emphasis on the action or participatory nature of action research in global contexts
    illustrative cases of action research with detailed annotation to help unpack the complexities and tensions of engaging in action research within challenging contexts globally and locally
    examinations of the variety of action research networks, both established and newly emerging, around the globe analyses of  the state of action research in global regions case studies of action research projects in diverse cultural contexts and companion analyses of the case studies through the lenses of cross-cultural comparative perspectives highlights of complexities of action research in the 21st century, including issues about the relationship between knowledge production and social change explicit outline of a strategic global agenda and map for future action research by addressing issues of globalization, marginalization, ethics and methodological considerations for researching action research

    The Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research will include approximately 34 chapters addressing the elements outlined above.  Chapters will range from 8-20 pages and will be authored by experienced as well as beginning practitioner-action researchers and scholars involved with a variety of epistemological, methodological, and political orientations in action research. In particular, the editors will give a preference to proposals for jointly authored chapters in which community-based non-higher education action researchers are partnered with academics.

    Editors: Lonnie L. Rowell, Catherine D. Bruce, Joseph M. Shosh, and Margaret M. Riel


    Proposed chapter outlines and abstracts are due on March 28, 2014

    Invitations to selected authors will be sent by April 25, 2014

    Full manuscripts from accepted authors will be due September 1, 2014

    Further information: Further information on the chapter contributions we are seeking is available at: www.arnaconnect/int-handbook-call-for-contributors. A companion website to support the development of the handbook will be available soon. A follow up announcement of the launch of the website will be distributed shortly.

    Submit questions and chapter proposals to lead Editor Lonnie Rowell at

ALARA Conversation with Pieter Reijneveld - Change within Organisations

  • Thursday, 20th February 2014 at 5:30pm - 8:30pm
    Location: Moreno Collegium, 45 Clarence St, Coorparoo Qld 4151, Australia, Street Parking is available. Close to Coorparoo train station.

    Action learning and action research processes are used in large scale interventions, but how…

Creative Life Matters A creative development workshop to shift your thinking

  • Saturday, 22nd March 2014 (all day)
    Location: Bardon, Qld Australia

    For further details and registration March Workshop Flyer.pdf

Call for papers for the Action Learning Action Research Association's ALAR Journal Vol 20 Issue 1 2014

Posted by Robyn Lynn, Monday, 13th January 2014 @ 8:42pm

  • ALARj has just published Issue 19 vol 2 2013 on OJS - (contact ALARA to
    order your hard copy through Sydney University Press). We have also
    published a call for our exciting next issue (Vol 20, issue 1, 2014) - a
    special issue on arts and creative expression in AR and AL. Deadline for
    drafts is February 7th.

    The Action Learning Action Research Association invites you to submit a paper with a view to publication in our up-and-coming Special Edition exploring practice innovations and outcomes that use or develop arts, creativity and creative expression.

    The edition is interested to document contemporary accounts that expand the concepts of arts and creative expression incorporating hands-on, digital, installation, performance, poetics, sound and music, photography and film, traditional, community and any other forms. You may use action research type approaches within the arts, and/or deploy artistic and creative forms of expression within action research initiatives in other domains.

    We invite you to reflect on your story in arriving at this approach to the field, the challenges you have faced in working this way, and considered findings regarding the value or otherwise of such approaches.

    Thanks for the continuing interest in our work.

    Susan Goff

AREOL (Action research and evaluation on line course)

  • Monday, 17th February 2014 at 9am - 5pm Friday, 30th May
    Location: Online course

    AREOL (Action research and evaluation on line) is a free 15-week program in action research and…

Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research 2014 Conference

  • Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 (all day), Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 (all day)
    Location: York St John University, York, United Kingdom

    Here is a note about the 2014 Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research, to be held at York…

Bill Torbett Australia Tour, Action Inquiry and Global Leadership Profile

  • Wednesday, 19th February 2014 at 9am - 5pm Friday, 21st February
    Location: Melbourne and Sydney 25-27 February 2014

    Bill Torbert's Australia Visit February 2014

    Bill Torbert, Dana Carman and Danielle…

New ALARA Site

Posted by Colin, Thursday, 3rd October 2013 @ 10:38pm

  • This is the new home for ALARA. The site is open to the public. We are still building and testing, but much of it is now functional. If you have comments, please contact us at admin [at]

    You can visit our old site at, but this site is where the action is!

From Theory to Practice; Context in Praxis - ALARA's 8th Action Learning, Action Research and 12th Participatory Action Research 2010 World Congress Proceedings is now available.

Posted by Lynn, Friday, 19th April 2013 @ 4:21pm

  • ALARA 2010 World Congress Proceedings

    This 270-page book has 24 papers from authors from around the world on a wide variety of topics and situations where they have used Action Learning or Action Research. Some abstracts from the presentations during the World Congress are available at ALARA's World Congress site, and the book with selected papers is available in printed paperback or pdf formats from Sydney University Press.

Participatory conference processes

Posted by Colliver, Tuesday, 16th April 2013 @ 7:38pm

  • Deb Lange and Rosemary Shapiro-Liu have drawn together principles and practices for participatory processes in ALARA events and will facilitate a community building process at the national conference in Septembe.


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