Two of our RMIT CUR researchers have been recognised in The Conversation’s 2020 annual yearbook examining a life changing year and what comes next.
Research Fellow Dr David Kelly and Professor Libby Porter from the RMIT Centre for Urban Research are among the leading contributors included in the new book 2020: The Year That Changed Us, launched today by The Conversation.
Of the 4,000 essays published by the not-for-profit media outlet this year, only 50 are included as part of the book.
With coronavirus exposing housing inequality and the different experiences of lockdown in Melbourne and across Australia, David and Libby’s article Melbourne tower lockdowns unfairly target already vulnerable public housing residents published in July, examined the hard lockdown placed on nine public housing towers in inner Melbourne.
Leading RMIT’s research and expertise in the public housing sector, Libby said she was pleased that key issues concerning public housing have been amplified through The Conversation and now through its yearbook.
“Public housing has not featured anywhere near enough in the broader conversation of what’s next for Victoria,” Libby said.
“Coronavirus and the lockdowns have put the spotlight on how critical housing is in a pandemic and how many people are exposed to housing injustice.
“But the problems with public housing are not a by-product of COVID-19 – they have always existed.
“What we’ve learnt in 2020 is that if living conditions in public housing are riskier than elsewhere, then we need to ask why this should be true in such a privileged country as Australia,” Libby said.
“We are very pleased that this critical issue and our work has been recognised by The Conversation and has been included to kickstart the discussion of what comes next.
“It has been long overdue that we recognise public housing is a cornerstone not only to a just housing system but to rebuilding a fairer Victoria.”
The Conversation’s Yearbook has become an annual bestselling collection of essays from its news site.
Its new edition, 2020: The Year That Changed Us, is now available through Thames & Hudson Australia.