“WE IN AUSTRALIA ABSOLUTELY NEED AN AVIATION INDUSTRY. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT CAN’T REALLY GO ON WITHOUT ONE—IT WOULD BE A DIFFERENT LIFE,” PROFESSOR IRELAND SAYS.
THE UPLIFTING HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
Fascination with aviation as a key cultural context of modernity is burgeoning worldwide. It has gained particular attention in cultural studies, geography and mobility studies, and in popular and community contexts as the 100th anniversary of civil aviation in Australia approaches in 2021. Professor Tracy Ireland and a team at the University of Canberra have come together for the ARC Linkage Project ‘ Heritage of the Air ’—a project that aims to tell a story about how aviation has changed the lives of ordinary people in Australia. The project has brought together academics, community-based enthusiasts and volunteers, local historical societies and major museums, to learn from 100 years of civil aviation culture, history, heritage and design via the cross-cutting themes of ‘modernism, migration, machines and memory’. Drawing on approaches from contemporary archaeology, visual and material culture studies, oral history and digital humanities, the research is exploring little-known Australian aviation narratives and collections—which will be translated into scholarly and community-focused publications, exhibitions, digital and creative works, and a major conference involving 200 delegates from around Australia and the world. Now that the future of the aviation industry is being called into question by the global coronavirus pandemic, the historical perspective is more valuable than ever. Professor Ireland’s team is drawing on lessons from similar past events—like the Ansett collapse in 2001— and is looking at the serious implications for airline staff and the Australian way of life, which depends heavily on affordable domestic air travel.
Sydney Harbour Aerial. iStock.com/davidf
STRIVING FOR CULTURAL AND SOCIAL OUTCOMES
Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker