Best PhD Scholar Paper testimonials


Allison Anderson, James Cook University


Allison pictured with supervisor, Bruce Prideaux

As a PhD student, I found the CAUTHE conference experience to be really positive. The PhD workshop was a great way to start the conference. I met new people who were also engaged with the challenges of completing their PhD. Our workshop mentor had very useful insights into how to approach our research and academic careers in terms of publishing, networking, and applying for jobs. The connections I made with him and the other PhD students provided a great base for networking in the rest of the conference, and also opened some doors for friendship and potential future collaboration. The conference itself provided a valuable gauge as to what people are currently thinking about in tourism, in my area and others. In particular, the opportunity to put my research topic out there and receive feedback about my approach has been very valuable to my reach process.

Probably the most valuable thing of all though, was to listen to and engage personally with those academics whose work we all regularly cite and admire, to hear where their thinking is going and to think about where my research fits within their more established ideas.  The food and drink was pretty delicious as well!


Ian Knowd, University of Western Sydney
Untitled-1Ian’s winning paper, Tourism as Panacea: Exploring the Role of Tourism in Non-tourism Development Agendas, came out of an embedded research relationship with the Harvest phenomenon. Ian is part of the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at UWS, and continues his relationships with a variety of community organisations. He is a member of the boards for Hawkesbury Harvest, and Hills, Hawkesbury & Riverlands Tourism which is a Sydney based industry group established in 2008. He is also a member of the Office of the Hawkesbury Nepean Community Stakeholder Committee, the UN Regional Centre of Expertise (Greater Western Sydney) on Education for Sustainable Development.

Through Hawkesbury Harvest, Ian sits on the Agriculture Reference Group for the Review of the Sydney Metro Strategy. Ian said ‘The Bill Faulkner Award was a surprise when I got it in 2005, but as I said at that time, I was/am very fortunate to have been studying the Harvest phenomenon and working with and through community on the problems it is tackling. These aren’t intractable problems, but they are persistent, and it’s these sorts of things that create fantastic research opportunities’. Some of us will likely relate to Ian’s comment that ‘the kind of ‘study’ I do is not the kind that attracts funding because it’s long term sociological inquiry rather than specific problem- based inquiry’. Nevertheless, ‘that aside, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything different and I continue my exploration of the Harvest dynamic.’ (2013 September newsletter)


Aggie Wegner,  Charles Darwin University

aggie_wegner Since winning the Best PhD Paper award, Aggie completed her PhD at Murdoch University. She then worked as a research fellow on a project in collaboration with colleagues from Monash University. After the completion of the project she was offered a research fellow position at Charles Darwin University, in the School of Social and Policy Research. After 1 1/2 years she was offered the inaugural position of academic postgraduate advisor in the Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts. In 2011 she became the Sub-Dean Research and Research Training in her faculty. In January 2012 Aggie took up the Associate Dean Research and Research Training position in addition to her role as Senior Research Fellow. She was also an elected member of CDU’s Academic Board and CDU’s Research and Research Training Committee. Aggie believes that winning the CAUTHE award has positively influenced her work as well as belief in her abilities. She believes that the award is viewed positively when she’s applied for positions and helped her in securing the jobs. Aggie says that the CAUTHE network has furthered her research by providing her with collaborative opportunities and has even resulted in long term friends. (March 2012 newsletter)


Lisa Beesley, Griffith Universitylisa_beesley

Shortly after being awarded her PhD in August 2003 Lisa worked in Vietnam at RMIT International University in Hồ Chí Minh City. Upon her return to Australia in 2006 she took up a research position with UQ School of Tourism. In late 2008 she left to join Griffith University and is now a Senior Lecturer. She is also Honours Program Convenor Nathan campus and currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. Lisa feels that winning the award gave her a greater sense of confidence in her work and her abilities and gave her a more solid foundation on which to build her career. She thinks that the education program CAUTHE offers to PhD students “ is of immense value”. (March 2012 newsletter)


Christof Pforr, Curtin Universitychristoff_pforr

Christof was employed at Edith Cowan University when he received the award but shortly after he took up a position at Curtin University. He is now an Associate Professor in Tourism Management and also Discipline Leader for International Business, Tourism, Hospitality and Events at Curtin University. Christof feels that receiving the award was a “fantastic recognition” for his work as PhD student and gave him “a lot of encouragement to continue in my research endeavours”. He says “I am not sure if the award itself played a particular role in my career path, but it has certainly made my research known amongst the CAUTHE community, which was great.” Christof feels that awards that value PhD students and Early Career Researchers are important. (March 2012 newsletter)