Edith Cowan University has an amazing energy for engagement on the one hand, and for transformation on the other.
Although I have worked here for almost thirty years, the dynamism of the place excites me in a way in which my seven years with BBC Television failed to do.
I resigned my role as a Television Researcher/Director to take up my post with ECU's precursor institution shortly after being offered a highly-coveted BBC staff position.
Working at ECU is intellectually challenging, emotionally satisfying and personally rewarding. Colleagues and students help create a friendly and supportive environment.
In my core areas of research – Communications and Media Studies and Cultural Studies – my School of Communications and Arts (SCA) is amongst the most successful grant winners in Australia, and the outstanding performer in the State.
I am one of seventeen SCA colleagues, past, present and adjunct, to have shared in 12 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects, Linkage Projects and a Discovery Early Career Research Award located at the School since 2002. This compares favourably with many bigger departments and is evidence of ECU's strong commitment to nurture and support excellence, and respond to opportunities.
I have greatly benefitted from being mentored as my career developed and now find mentoring one of the most rewarding aspects of my role.
I have been a full time research-only Professor since 2011. I spend my time applying for and conducting research, supervising PhD students, supporting early career researchers and leading the CREATEC research centre.
Unlike Humanities-discipline colleagues in other universities, I have never been put under pressure to 'bring in money' to cover my salary, which would be extremely difficult with Humanities-based research. Indeed, I have never been allocated targets in terms of numbers of grants, or dollars won. Instead, everyone accepts that we work as excellently as we can and successes are a cause for celebration, rather than relief.
ECU encourages excellence and collaboration, no matter where in the world these opportunities arise.
The University was whole-hearted in supporting SCA's engagement as an original partner in the Australian-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. They were also very positive about my work with the United Nations-supported Digital Review of Asia Pacific, which took me to three East Asian countries. And they supported the EU Kids Online network, which involved regular trips to Europe, as does the Marie-Curies IRSES Health Narrative project and a recent invitation to collaborate with a COST Action in our new research area of very young children (0-5) online.
Although my research involves lots of travel, I'm always glad to get back home. Perth is a gorgeous place to live. I originally planned to come to Australia for only five years, but it turned out to be the ideal city in which to make my home and raise a family. It's visually beautiful and culturally vibrant with an active arts scene and numerous opportunities to make the most of an energising Mediterranean-style climate.
ECU's social and built environment complements this context. We have a rich diversity of students from Australia and around the world, and our campuses include everything from an Academy of Performing Arts to a student Motorsports team which builds its own race car, competing nationally and internationally at the highest standard. It's a fun place to work, and this is an exciting time to join us.