UNE’s Amanda Kennedy identified as a ‘future leader’

Published 24 May 2012

amandaDr Amanda Kennedy, the Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law (AgLaw Centre) at the University of New England, has been named one of the State’s “future leaders” in a new program launched in Sydney last week.

Dr Kennedy (pictured here) is one of four young academics who, as Future Leaders, will help Sydney attract business events and conferences from around the world.

The Future Leaders program is an initiative of Business Events Sydney (BESydney), Australia’s leading business events marketing organisation. Future Leaders will receive grants to attend business events relating to their fields of expertise in order to develop networks, to identify opportunities for events, and to explore the function of conferences.

“NSW universities contain much of our State’s intellectual capital, and collaboration with the university sector is a key to our success in the business event industry,” said the Chief Executive Officer of BESydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith.

“We are adapting to changes brought about by technological advances, the rise of the Asian market and its inherent challenges and opportunities, and the increasing competitiveness of our global market,” Ms Lewis-Smith said. “We have to be on the front foot when it comes to identifying and responding to trends. The Future Leaders program will be integral to this process.”

As Deputy Director of the AgLaw Centre, Dr Kennedy has focused on aspects of natural resource law and rural social policy. Last year she coordinated an international colloquium at UNE – Water Law: Through the Lens of Conflict – that attracted participants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Iceland, South Africa and the United States to examine the role of legal institutions in providing new insights into water law.

More recently, she was one of the conveners of the 2nd National Rural and Regional Law and Justice Conference, which drew participants from around Australia – and overseas – to Coffs Harbour last weekend (18-20 May). This conference enabled the delegates to share their interest in rural and regional Australia while discussing practical strategies for enhancing social justice in rural and regional communities.

Dr Kennedy is one of the inaugural recipients of the Commonwealth Government’s Discovery Early Career Research Awards. Funded by this $375,000 award, she has begun a three-year study of the role of the law in managing disputes over the use of natural resources. She is studying cases of conflict in Australia – and also in the United States, where UNE’s partnership with Penn State University will facilitate her work. She is also the recipient of a $133,000 Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations cross-institutional research grant to develop strategies within the undergraduate law curriculum to prepare, attract and retain lawyers and other legal professionals for legal careers in rural and regional Australia.

The launch of the Future Leaders program was at BESydney’s 2012 Ambassador Dinner and Investiture on Monday 14 May, when the guest speaker was Michael Kirby AC CMG, who retired as a Justice of the High Court of Australia in 2009.

The three other Future Leaders are Dr Pia Winberg, Director of the University of Wollongong’s Shoalhaven Marine and Freshwater Centre, Dr Andrew Hutchinson, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Medical and Molecular Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney, and Dr Jochen Schweitzer, a lecturer in strategy and marketing at the University of Technology, Sydney.