Australian geography: The next 10 years (and beyond)?

Stephen M. Turton, Alaric M. Maude

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

5 Citations (Scopus)


Geography: Shaping Australia's Future (2018) provides a ‘strategic plan’ for geography aligned with the national research priorities, as well other key areas where Australian geographers are addressing environmental and societal challenges. To provide context, we first describe the state of geography in Australian universities. We then articulate ways forward for strengthening Australian geography—both within the discipline and how we interact externally. We describe how geography may better contribute to policy agendas, capitalising on our unique perspectives of space, place and the environment, but also highlight how we might improve these contributions through a more unified approach across human and physical geography. Third, we discuss opportunities for geographers to build the reputation of the discipline and ways to advocate for its importance in the wider academy, school curricula and community. We conclude with some preliminary suggestions on how Australian geographers may better engage and contribute to the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-192
Number of pages7
JournalGeographical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank our colleagues on the NCGS, the authors and peer reviewers of various chapters in the Strategic Plan, whose scholarly contributions have informed the discussion in this commentary. We are also grateful for the geography organisations for their financial contributions to the Strategic Plan (a complete list of individuals and organisations may be found online on page vii of Geography: Shaping Australia's Future, 2018, Finally, we thank the secretariat of the national committees of the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Institute of Australian Geographers

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Asia-Pacific
  • decadal plan
  • FoR codes
  • geography education
  • research–policy nexus
  • Sustainable Development Goals


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