Symposium: Telling climate stories across disciplines at Deakin: Possibilities for collaboration and action

The first cross-disciplinary meeting of researchers working on climate change at Deakin University came together in conversation on Friday 25 March 2022. From blue carbon to cli-fi, virtual reality to eco-anxiety, we considered our multi-disciplinary creation of climate change knowledge and narratives by bringing together the range of Deakin research responding to climate change. We heard from both individual speakers and join in action-orientated round tables to critically think through the ways we communicate and act on climate change, with the aim of seeding ongoing conversations, collaborations and change making. We asked, how can we better ‘tell climate stories’ to galvanize climate action? We asked how the way we communicate our research on climate change can ultimately ‘do’, and consider how we as researchers should seek to respond to this moment with the urgency now required of us. This day offered an opportunity to facilitate awareness of climate change research in different disciplines across the university, as well as of institutional climate action the university itself is taking. We aimed to investigate how our work can be an impetus for ‘real world’ change and to open opportunities for working together, to maximise our impact in this crucial decade.

This symposium was organised by the Climate Change Communication and Narratives Network ( and is funded with the support of the Faculty of Arts and Education.

For a recording of the day’s events and a copy of the program, see below.


Sessions 2 and 3:


Session 1

Opening and Acknowledgement of Country

  • Introduction to the day: Dr Gabi Mocatta – Deakin researchers across multiple disciplines study climate change. How can we work together for more impact?
  • Keynote: Prof. Gabrielle Fletcher (Director of NIKERI) – Relational Acclimation: A Flagpole Truth-Telling
  • Discussion & questions: open to the floor

Session 2

  • Engaging with Communities on Climate Change: Dr Eve Mayes (Education); Dr Jack Kirne (Creative Writing); Dr Will Smith (Anthropology)

Session 3

  • Communicating science and climate change: Dr Adam Cardilini (Animal Studies); Prof. Euan Ritchie (Integrative Ecology); Dr Luke Heemsbergen (Communication)
  • Discussion & questions: open to the floor

Session 4

  • Deakin as climate-aware institution: Deakin Sustainability Director Emma Connan on the University’s climate initiatives.

Session 5

  • Navigating climate and health: Dr Rebecca Patrick (Health) and Dr Tristan Snell (Psychology)
  • Discussion & questions: open to the floor

Session 6

  • Discussion for action: In this session, we will collectively discuss possibilities for collaboration across schools and faculties to intermesh climate teaching and research at Deakin, including the Faculty of Arts and Eds ‘Global Challenges’ initiative. What could such collaboration look like in terms of teaching, research and driving community change?
  • Guest participant: Prof. Andrew Singleton, AHOS (T&L) in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Wrap up: where to from here?

  • Assoc. Prof. Emily Potter: imagining ‘climate futures’ and our role in realising them. Collective discussion.