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Our Discovering Humanities series is a celebration of more than fifty years of humanities research and discovery. It was born out of the 50th anniversary of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2019 but is not limited to the work of Academy Fellows. Of necessity it covers just a small fraction of the many advances across the humanities made by researchers in Australia since the Academy was first founded.

Having supported hundreds of scholars over more than five decades, the Publication Subsidy Scheme is one of the Academy’s longest running awards programs.

Our Publication Subsidy Scheme supports quality publication in the humanities, with funding awarded to early career researchers to support costs associated with publication, such as illustrations, maps, and copyright fees.

We have a deep commitment to achieving national data and research infrastructure that serves the humanities, arts, the wider system, and the public good. The critical and creative talents of the humanities are vital to developing and realising a research commons agenda.

In our second Past Presidents’ Perspectives article, the Academy’s Immediate Past President Professor Joy Damousi reflects on the influences that led her to a career in the humanities, as well as her time as President and the biggest challenges the Academy faced.

The release of the UN’s latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has confirmed everyone’s worst fears. Not only is climate change real, but it is also the direct result of human activity. It is predicting the earth will have warmed by 1.5 degrees since 1910 in the next decade, and looking ahead, Australia, which is already bearing the brunt of extreme weather events, will be amongst the hardest-hit nations in the world.

The world is rapidly changing, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities is meeting the new challenges we face, in new ways. The Academy’s original visual identity served us well for more than five decades, but as the world has changed, so must we.

The entire world is currently bearing witness to the ‘demise or death of what we love’ due to the effects of the climate crisis. But what do our environmental educators who have dedicated their lives to learning about and teaching, while at the same time witnessing, this catastrophic phenomenon, have to say about impact of ecological anxiety on students?

In our inaugural President’s Conversation which took place on 22 June, Professor Lesley Head asked a panel of educators at different career stages how they approach their teaching in this context, how they empower students, and how they protect their own and their students’ wellbeing.

In August 2018 the Australian government released Sport 2030 – a comprehensive plan to reshape Australian sport and build and healthier, more physically active nation. But what makes for an effective, comprehensive and inclusive policy when it comes to the arts and culture sector? How can policy inspire and create cultural confidence in all Australians? And is it wishful thinking to aim for a national arts and cultural policy that spans three tiers of government, with agreed levels of investment and targets, and an effective delivery mechanism? For independent think tank A New Approach (ANA), these questions are top of mind, especially as the role of arts and culture in our daily lives take on a striking new relevance in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.