Arts Collected Works - Theses
Now showing items 1-6 of 6
Know your product: an informational analysis of the higher education contribution scheme in Australia
Between 1989 and 2004, the Australian University system was increasingly financed through a tuition fee and loans scheme referred to as the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS). This research explores perceptions of the HECS as reported by 346 current and former students carrying HECS liabilities in an online survey conducted in 2004-05. Their reported perceptions of the HECS were considered against representations of the scheme as 'fair and equitable' by policy makers and in official documentation. These representations comprised the data for an informational analysis (Bell 1973; Castells 1996) of the HECS debt contracting and repayment processes. The findings of informational asymmetry and inadequacy continue to be valid — perhaps even more so in the context of the introduction in 2005 of the Higher Education Loans Program (HELP).
An ethical defense of modern zoos
Zoos have been a largely uncontested part of the social fabric of cities for over 2,000 years. The nature and form of zoos have changed as sentiments and wealth of nations changed. While providing a place where animals and humans come into contact, zoos continue to hold and display animals in a relationship of vulnerability and dependence. Increasing threats to wild populations, public pressure to justify captivity and shifts in attitudes, have resulted in modern zoos adding research and conservation outcomes to their traditional benefits of recreation and entertainment. Yet a lingering question remains, can modern zoos be ethically justified? This thesis describes the workings of modern zoos and considers the core ethical challenges which face those who choose to hold and display animals in zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries. Using a number of normative ethical frameworks this thesis explores impacts of modern zoos. The impact of zoos include the costs to animals in terms of animal welfare, the loss of liberty and even impact on the value of animal life. On the positive side of the argument are the welfare and health outcomes for many of the animals held in zoos, increased attention and protection for their species in the wild and the enjoyment and education for the people who visit zoos. I conclude that zoos and aquariums are ethically defensible when they align conservation outcomes with the interests of individual animals and the interests of zoo operations. The impending extinction crisis requires large scale interventions which address human values and facilitate consideration of wildlife in decision making. Considering the long term relationship zoos have with animals, their extensive reach within communities and their reliance on animals to deliver positive experiences for people, it is appropriate that zoos pay back some of humanity’s debt to wildlife by making a meaningful contribution to wildlife conservation. Compassionate conservation demands that this contribution is not at the cost of individual suffering, rather that the interests of individual animals are aligned with the actions taken to save species.
SBS independent: productive diversity and counter-memory
This thesis explores SBS Independent (SBSi) (1994-2007) as a cultural institution characterised by productive diversity and counter-memory. It examines its cultural policy developments and uses a creative labour approach to demonstrate how the economic resource of productive diversity has conditioned new practices in management, production and distribution, in the Australian film and television industry. It also analyses content commissioned by SBSi and demonstrates how staff manoeuvred within this neo-liberal regime to generate new counter-memorial narrative representations, which continued to challenge white racial hegemony in Australia.
An empirical study of the usefulness of accounting ratios to describe levels of insolvency risk
This study aims to add a new dimension to research in Australia on the use of accounting ratios to predict corporate failure. Previous studies have used the statistical technique of discriminant analysis to derive models for predicting whether a firm will or will not fail. This study will use the same statistical technique but with three differences: (a) The ratios to be used in the discriminant analysis are selected by a method which ensured that no arbitrary limit is placed on their number. (b) Because the significance of accounting ratios can vary from industry to industry, four industries are separately analysed: manufacturing, retail, property, and finance. (c) The statistical probabilities yielded by the analysis are used to measure a firm’s current level of insolvency risk. The extra dimension is added by interpreting the characteristic patterns of insolvency risk which emerge: an analysis of the factors causing the differences in these patterns throws new light on the causes, symptoms, and remedies of financial distress.
A viable abortion: emotional intelligibilities of choice in contemporary Australia, 1969-2008
This thesis examines representations and registers of abortion speech in Australia from 1969-2008. While ‘choice’ was exclusive to early pro-abortion campaigns it has, over time, achieved hegemonic status in both pro-choice and anti-abortion utterances. This thesis argues that the centrality of choice to all abortion discourse has not liberated women from compulsory motherhood. Rather, by virtue of the emotions that attach to choice, it has recuperated aborting women to the very maternal identity that deems abortion to be an illegitimate choice for pregnant women. Choice and emotion work together to (re)produce aborting women as deviant subjects.
Tropical milestones: Australian gold and tin mining investments in Malaya and Thailand, 1880-1930
This study is concerned with Australian overseas investment in the tin and gold-mining industries of Malaya and Thailand before the Second World War. The idea was suggested by the reading of Tome Miles’s manuscript biography of his father, Captain Edward Thomas Miles, who was responsible for the formation of the first bucket-dredging company to successfully mine for tin on the Asian mainland in 1907. It seemed valuable to investigate the genesis of this direct investment, since Miles was a native-born Tasmanian, while the mining company he formed was owned and controlled by Australians. The study became of more than merely antiquarian interest when research revealed the surprising fact that before 1930, Australian-owned and –controlled companies accounted for a sizeable proportion of foreign mining companies in Malaya, and indeed, the majority of foreign mining companies in Siam. Not only were they among the most numerous of the foreign tin-mining companies, but they were among the first to invest there. The only major gold-mine in Malaya was run by Queensland enterprise from the 1890’s to the 1960’s. As work proceeded, there became apparent an embarrassing richness of examples of Australian mining investment in the mining industries of many other Pacific and Asian countries before the Second World War. It became so easy to go walkabout through different countries ranging from New Guinea to Burma to Madagascar, through different metals from chrome and nickel, gold and tin, to antimony and wolfram, that it was necessary to restrict the study to the area where investment was most significant outside Australia’s own territories. With the possibility of aggregating a number of investments in the same geographical area and in the same geographical area and in the same industry came also the possibility of making general statements which help to illuminate the causes of this outflow of enterprise and capital. In effect, the thesis is based on the idea that, although Australia’s relationship with its northern neighbours was not strong in commodity trade (Australia’s economy was competitive with the economies of Asian countries rather than complementary), it was strong in technology trade. Australia’s comparative advantage in the region was not measureable in commodities but in knowledge. The mining industry of Australia had created a pool of human skills and technical knowledge which were demanded when other countries began to expand their own mining industries. Australian entrepreneurs were quick to realise that Australia had a valuable, tradeable commodity in its stock of mining knowledge, and overseas investment in the mining industry stemmed from this realization. Why was it surprising to find that so many Australian companies had invested overseas? It was surprising because conventional interpretations of Australia’s economic development ignore excursions of Australian capital into other countries, particularly into Asia. Australia’s economic development has been seen as a slow process of evolution. Australia, at first a colony of Britain, then a Federation and by the mid-1930’s a fully fledged Commonwealth, is seen as slowly wresting itself from the apron-strings of the Imperial government. Australia’s economic and political policies were designed to keep it within the Empire nexus and the Anglo-Saxon race. Social, political and economic contact with Asia remained minimal. However, Britain’s slowly receding position in Australia’s trade and growing fears about Australia’s vulnerability in the Pacific area in the 1930’s united to force Australian governments to take stock of the nations to the north. By the time Japan entered the Second World War, Australia had established diplomatic posts in China and Japan. Soon after the War, posts were opened in Malaya, Indonesia and Thailand. The British and Dutch Imperial networks began to disintegrate in South-East Asia. The Vietnam War, the Malayan Emergency, Confrontation and new national liberation movements continued Australia’s trend away from Britain towards regional alliances in a new era of political instability. (From Introduction)