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New research centre to look at the nexus between work and leisure


Zuleika Henderson
16 March 2010
Improving our understanding of the interface between work and leisure in today’s busy world is the focus of a research centre established by Southern Cross University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

The Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work will be officially launched tomorrow, (Wednesday, March 17) by Professor Peter Lee, Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor, at the Centre’s inaugural research workshop at the Gold Coast campus.

The Centre brings together experts in various disciplines including tourism, exercise science and business and commerce, to promote high quality research aimed at building community connections, promoting sustainable development and contributing to social and economic development.

Projects already in progress include the preparation of the Scenic Rim Regional Council Tourism Strategy and an international research project to better understand the dynamics of regional industry clusters. The Centre has also already hosted a free public talk on work/life balance, featuring popular television presenter James O’Loghlin, which was attended by more than 80 participants.

Professor Lee said he was delighted to formally launch the Centre.

“The Centre for Tourism, Work and Leisure will contribute relevant, quality research that has practical applications for anyone with an interest in planning and management for tourism, sport, work organisation and leisure,” Professor Lee said.

“It will further strengthen the strong links we have with the tourism industry and provide new opportunities for engaging with the community.”

The Centre’s inaugural workshop will feature guest speakers including Professor Bernard Lane, editor of the UK-based ‘Journal of Sustainable Tourism’, Professor Jorg Sydow, of Frei University of Berlin, and an international expert in networks and cluster research, and Professor Betty Weiler, director of the Tourism Research Unit at Monash University.

Director of the Centre Professor Kerry Brown said a key aim was to engage with the community to help promote more sustainable lifestyles.

“We hope events such as the public talk by James O’Loghlin will encourage people to think about the steps they can take to make their lives less stressful,” she said.

“But it is just the beginning - we have a strong base of researchers with excellent connections in the community who will carry out industry and government commercial research as well as basic, applied and community-engaged research.

“The latest research findings, publications and tools produced by the Centre, which will be available via our website, will be a valuable resource for researchers, industry, government and community sectors as well as anyone with an interest in lifestyle pursuits combined with the economic driver of work.”

Photo: Professor Kerry Brown, director of the Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work (high resolution image available on request)