inspirational community movements

Sean Connelly and Doug Hil

 

 Imagine. Imagine if the world was like this.

Shane:

Our guests tonight are Dr Doug Hill and Dr Sean Connelly, both of Otago University Geography.¬† Sean has been on the show before so I’ll skip straight to Doug Hill. He got his BA at Australian National University and his PhD at Curtin University, Perth. His research interests include South Asia, especially India, development studies, geopolitics and trans-boundary water resources – we’ll talk to you about what they are – migrant labour, ports, labour restructuring in maritime trade, world development, participatory governance in West Bengal, urban transformation and socio-spatial segregation in India’s megacities. Both of them have just given a talk entitled, “Community Power: Exploring the process for change through the Clean Energy for Eternity campaign in New South Wales, Australia,” which we’ll talk about in detail shortly. Welcome to our show. Doug, you’re from Australia originally, yes?

 

Doug:

I am, Shane, yes.

 

Shane:

Where were you born?

 

Doug:

I was born in Sydney, in St Leonards, which is a part of the northern part of Sydney. I lived there for only a couple of years and then my family moved to the country. For the majority of my childhood I grew up in a place called Tathra, which is in the far south coast of New South Wales, about halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, a little coastal town surrounded by forests, et cetera.

 

Sam:

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 

Doug:

I think, at that point I really wanted to be a pilot, because when I was about eight I took my first plane ride and it really gripped me that there was this great thing that you could do. My dad started talking to me about being a lecturer, actually. He was quite keen on history as a profession. Quite early on in my life I got this idea that this was a nice thing to do, go and work in a university. He particularly talked up this idea of a sabbatical, which thankfully here we still have.

 

Shane:

So, you went to school. Was it kind of the idyllic Australian childhood, wandering round the forests and on the beaches. What was it like?

 

Doug:

Yeah, it was relatively idyllic. It’s a small coastal town. A lot of people move there for lifestyle reasons, but having said that, it’s also an area that I guess was fairly socially not particularly progressive at the time that I was growing up. It’s an area where the dairy industry was predominant in that place, and so there’s fairly entrenched attitudes, I guess, around a whole a whole sorts of things. Relatively idealistic, but that always comes with those provisos about the lived experience, of what it’s like to grow up in a small country town.

 

Shane:

Obviously your father was encouraging you to do history. What made you change direction? Was there anything in particular, or is it just that you gradually thought, “Hey, geography’s kind of cool”?

 

Doug:

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