Assembling housing using digital data

Dr Rae Dufty-jones1

1Western Sydney University, Parramatta, Australia


Digital technologies are changing how we imagine, make and consume housing.  These technologies have produced a surfeit of data that is both lauded for its research potential while also being at the centre of a methodological crisis in the social sciences. This paper examines these debates and how they relate to housing research. The paper draws on a case study of using a digitally generated data set by social housing tenants in Australia to examine these issues and the opportunities and challenges of using digital data in housing research.


Rae is a Senior Lecture in Geography at WSU. Her research is concerned with the development of housing, population and regional development policies in Australia historically and present day. Rae is also the President of the Geographical Society of NSW.

Home in the ‘global arc’: a governmentalities approach to understanding divergent rationalities around public housing renewal

Ms Laura Wynne1

1University Of Tasmania


Governmentalities approaches allow us to unpick the ways in which places, people and things and brought into view such that they might be governed—and that this government might be resisted—in specific ways.

In this presentation, I use a Foucauldian approach to identify the ways in which public housing is variously brought into visibility by different actors. Waterloo, situated in Sydney’s ‘global arc’, is currently subject to a major public housing renewal project. The renewal relies upon Waterloo being brought into view in ways that make its redevelopment appear necessary, justified and even inevitable.

Focusing in particular on the rationalities drawn upon by residents engaged in activism against the redevelopment, and on the governmental discourse used to make the redevelopment possible, this presentation explores how divergent fields of visibilities allow public housing to be imagined and governed in particular ways that make certain futures appear possible.


Laura Wynne is a PhD Candidate at the University of Tasmania. Her research uses a governmentalities approach to understand resistance to public housing renewal. Laura also works as a researcher with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS.

Campsites and caravans as informal housing

Ms Philippa Chandler1

1University Of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


Every winter, thousands of retired Australians tow their caravans to the northern parts of the country to enjoy a warmer winter. These ‘grey nomads’ set up seasonal encampments in commercial caravan parks, national parks and pastoral stations. The remote Ningaloo region of Western Australia is an example of an area that receives a seasonal influx of grey nomads, many of whom return every year. This paper uses ethnographic research in the caravan parks and campsites of the Ningaloo region to argue that these campsites are significant forms of alternative housing.


Philippa Chandler is a sessional lecturer in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD about repeat visitors to the remote Ningaloo Reef region of WA was recently passed subject to minor corrections. Philippa is also a freelance journalist who writes about Australian arts and culture for Guardian Australia.

“They don’t care as long as we pay them rent”: Aboriginal social housing reform in the Murdi Paaki Region

Dr Judith Burns1

1Burns Aldis Community Development and the University of New England, Armidale, Australia


The prevailing discourse in social housing policy produces public or community housing as a transition to independent private sector renting but, for many Aboriginal people in north-western and far western NSW, social tenancies are normative, life-long and heritable.  Evolution of regimes of policy and practice over the last decade has led to decline in Aboriginal community control over collectively held assets, spatially variable investment in housing provision and in condition of existing dwellings, and discriminatory or otherwise culture-blind approaches to tenancy management.  This presentation explores the views and aspirations of tenants and Aboriginal community-controlled housing providers in relation to housing provision in a remote context characterised by market failure.  Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly, the peak Aboriginal representative body for the region, has undertaken an extensive and rigorous process of research to inform sector development.  The Assembly is now driving a comprehensive, evidence-based agenda to improve the situation of regional Aboriginal providers and tenants and reform the sector for a sustainable future.  The responses of various NSW Government departments have ranged from keen interest in delivering change to outright resistance, manifesting as denial of the agency of the Assembly.


Judith Burns PhD BE (Hons) GradDipUrbRegPlan is a Principal at Burns Aldis and an Adjunct Lecturer in Geography at UNE.  Judith has worked with Aboriginal representative bodies and community organisations in NSW for thirty years; much of this time with the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly and its predecessor ATSIC Regional Councils.  She also taught Geography at UNE from 2001 to 2008.  She is currently working to support implementation of the Murdi Paaki Regional Housing and Business Consortium transition process and in documenting the history of community-led governance in the Murdi Paaki Region in remote NSW.

About provides delegate registration, website and app solutions, and financial management for conferences, conventions and scientific meetings.

Terms & Conditions

All registrations and bookings are subject to our standard term and conditions.

Contact Us

Please contact the team at with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2017 - 2020 Conference Design Pty Ltd. is a division of Conference Design Pty Ltd.