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Date: 3/29/2020
Subject: Postgraduate Thematic Group Convener opportunities
From: TASA

Letter from the Postgraduate Sub-Committee

Postgraduate and Thematic Group Convener Opportunities

Dear ~~first_name~~,

Over the last year we have been interacting and listening to our postgraduate members to find out what they want to get out of TASA, and the barriers they are facing in accessing the membership benefits of TASA. A recurring theme is that postgraduate members want to be active parts of thematic groups, yet often feel unsure about how they operate, or feel anxious about attending meetings or specific thematic group events. We write to offer a few suggestions to encourage PG involvement based on feedback we have received from PGs.

Under section four of the thematic group conveners' manual (pages 2-3), it notes that thematic groups may consist of up to three convenors, as well as student representatives. These student representatives are intended to provide a link for postgraduate students into thematic groups, making access to events, meetings and other activities that little bit easier. They also provide an important student voice to thematic groups, ensuring the needs of postgraduate students are met at all TASA events.

The usage of this role is mixed. While some groups have very active postgraduate representatives, most have not appointed any. We are happy to support you in filling this role through advertising via social media, email, or the TASA newsletter, as well as approaching postgraduate students who may be suitable for the role.

Appointing a postgraduate representative has benefits for both the student and your thematic group. A postgrad rep can increase participation by postgrad members in your group as the student provides another point of connection and promotion through their networks. For students this role is an opportunity to get involved in TASA, providing essential experience and connections as they pursue their career (whatever their career may be). With mentoring a postgraduate rep can often be a good avenue for future thematic group conveners. With some thematic groups struggling to find conveners, this could form an integral part of your succession planning.

Thematic groups are an integral part of TASA. So are postgraduate students. We believe everyone can benefit from us working together.

Thank you for your energy and effort as thematic group leaders and your assistance in boosting the postgraduate voice at TASA.

Kind regards,

TASA Postgraduate Sub-Committee

Ben Lohmeyer Postgraduate Portfolio Leader

Flinders University & Tabor

Anthony Smith 

 The University of New South Wales

Claire Smith

Emma Barnard


Marina Khan

Simon Copland

You can folllow postgraduate activity via Twitter: @tasapostgrads