2015 JERAA conference in Bathurst
The 2015 JERAA Conference, to be hosted by Charles Sturt University in Bathurst from 30 November to 2 December, will mark the 40th anniversary of our organisation.
Twelve journalism educators from across Australia met in December 1975 at the Mitchell College of Advanced Education, Bathurst, to form their own association. Initially, this organisation was known as the Australian Association for Tertiary Education in Journalism (AATEJ).
The name was changed in 1980 to the Journalism Education Association (JEAA). Following a vote from members, the name was officially changed again on 1 August 2014 to the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA).
Contemporary JERAA Conferences bear little similarity to those of the AATEJ. JERAA Life Member Roger Patching notes that annual AATEJ conferences usually devoted less than a day to formal papers. Those papers concentrated on exchanging information about curricula, assignments, and relations with academics from other areas of study. Relationships with journalism employers, the Australian Journalists' Association and the profession were also on the agenda; as were exchanges of information about how to create a balance between theory and practice in journalism education.
The remainder of the conference was taken up by the annual meeting at which the contemporary issues of journalism education – often described in "reports" – were discussed at length. Assoc Prof Patching notes that the lengthy time dedicated to these discussions was due in part the differences among the courses. Speakers often gave detailed explanations about the structures and contents of their courses so that their reports could be understood by other members.