2014 17th Biennial Conference

The Australian Population Association hosted the 17th biennial conference  at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart from 3 - 5 December 2014. The theme of the APA Conference 2014 was: 'Australia’s population in a global world'. The program included papers on a wide range of topics including: Internal and international migration; Indigenous demography; Regional population issues; Population and environment; Demographic data and methods; Mortality and population ageing; Health, wellbeing and morbidity; and Fertility, family formation and life course.

We hope that you enjoyed the conference and we thank you for your contributions to the advancement of population research, policy and practice in Australia and the region. More information about the conference including the program and handbook are available through the links provided below.

Contact us at: conference@apa.org.au or +61 2 6125 3358.


The APA Conference 2014 Program (final) and Handbook (including presentation abstracts) are available below:


Social events
The Welcome Reception is at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday 3rd (6.30-8.30pm) and the Conference Dinner is on Thursday 4th (7.00-11.00pm) at the Hobart Function & Conference Centre on Elizabeth Street Pier. Please note the Conference Dinner is sold out.

Information for presenters
Please check the program well in advance for the date, time and room of your presentation. Should you have a special request, please contact the Conference Secretariat (02 6125 3358) in advance in order to make sure your presentation can be made in the desired form. Presenters are asked to: please bring their presentation on a USB; report to their session room 5-10 minutes prior to scheduled session time; and upload their PowerPoint presentation to the laptop computer.

Presenters will have 15 minutes for their presentation, followed by up to 5 minutes for questions. Please be considerate of other presenters in your session and keep your presentation at or under the 15 minutes allocated. Chairs will hold up a flash card when there is '5 minutes' to go, '1 minute' to go, and 'Stop' time is up.

Poster session
Authors are requested to be present for discussion at the poster session, to be held during the lunch break on Wednesday 3 December (12.45-1.30pm). Posters should be mounted by 9am and removed by 6.30pm.

3MT 3-minute thesis competition
The 3MT competition will be held on Thursday 4 December (12.45-1.30pm). The 3MT judges are Prof Martin Bell and Dr Ann Evans.

Plenary Presentations

The APA is pleased to announce the following Conference 2014 plenary speakers and their topics:

Population ageing: An international perspective

The challenge of global population ageing has been brought into sharper focus by the financial crisis of 2008. In particular, growing national debt has drawn government attention to two apparently conflicting priorities: the need to sustain public spending on pensions and health care versus the need to reduce budget deficits. A number of countries are consequently reconsidering their pension and health care provision, which accounts for up to 40% of all government spending in advanced economies.

Yet population ageing is a global phenomenon which will steadily impact upon all regions of the world. By the measure of more people over 60 than under 15, Europe reached maturity at the turn of the millennium. North America will become mature by 2030, Latin America and Asia by 2040.  In terms of absolute numbers, the Asian/Pacific region, is already the oldest and by the middle of the century will hold two-thirds of the world’s then 2 billion elders.  The worldwide numbers of those aged 80 and above will show an even greater rate of increase, rising from 69 million to 379 million by 2050, when nearly 10% of the developed world will be over 80.

By 2050 there will be the same number of old as young in the world – with 2 billion of each – and each accounting for 21% of the world’s population and by the end of the 21st century demographic trends will converge with declining births, stabilisation in size, and ageing populations across the globe, as median ages rise, and there is a proportionate shift from younger to older people.

Of particular interest is the question of the appropriateness for the 21st century of financial and health institutions and programmes designed for the demographic structure of the 20th century and the capacity of individuals and households to make the relevant adjustments to their savings behaviour, labour productivity, family and intergenerational transfers and to invest in their own human capital.

Professor Sarah Harper
Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing

Sarah's research addresses demographic change focusing on the global and regional impact of falling fertility and increasing longevity, with a particular interest in Asia. Sarah trained as an ethnographer and her early research focused on migration and the social implications of demographic change. Her current research concerns globalization and global population ageing. In particular Sarah considers the impact at the global, societal and individual level of the age-structural shift from predominantly young to predominantly older societies, addressing such questions as the implications of the widespread falls in fertility and growth in extreme longevity. Particular research interests are the impact of these demographic shifts on intergenerational relationships, work, migration, and the environment.

Tasmania’s population: Past, present and future

Tasmania's population size and growth has always attracted a level of interest above its size. This not-to-be-missed session will cover the state's entire demographic history, with historical demographer Rebecca Kippen outlining the period up to Federation, and ex-University of Tasmania regional demographer Natalie Jackson covering Federation to the present.


Professor Natalie Jackson
Professor of Demography at the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the University of Waikato

Natalie was NIDEA’s foundation director (2010-2014) and recently vacated the post in favour of focusing on her research. Natalie’s main research is on the subnational ending of population growth, the different demographic drivers underlying this trend, and the consequences of this situation for all levels of government, the labour market, the welfare state, education, health care, and business in general. She also undertakes research on the 'disparate impact' of one-size-fits-all policies on subpopulation groups that are significantly differentiated by age structure, such as Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

Dr Rebecca Kippen
Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne

Rebecca’s research interests include the life courses of Tasmanian convicts and their descendants, the historical demography of Australia, fertility models, and population futures for Australia. Rebecca graduated with a PhD in Demography from the Australian National University in 2002.

Population mobility in the Pacific region in the 21st century: trends and prospects

Thirty years ago at a conference in Auckland the late Epeli Hau’ofa advanced the view that “there already exists in our part of the world a single regional economy upon which has emerged a South Pacific society, the privileged groups of which share a single dominant culture with increasingly marginalized local subcultures shared by the poorer classes” (Hau’ofa, 1987: 11). He went on to argue that all of the economies of the independent and self-governing Pacific countries south of the equator, excluding the French colonies, are so tied to Australia and New Zealand that they cannot be considered separate entities. 

A lot has happened in the region since Hau’ofa delivered his paper on “The new South Pacific society” in 1985.  Is it appropriate as we head towards 2015 to talk of “a single regional economy” and the associated integration of Pacific societies into a world dominated by Australia and New Zealand?  This paper reviews recent trends in one dimension of this integration – international migration – and reflects on prospects for population mobility in the region in the next decade or two. 

The discussion draws on examples from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia and suggests that it is no longer appropriate to view economic and social integration in the Pacific region in the way Hau’ofa saw it in the early 1980s.  The South Pacific societies of 2015 remain heavily dependent on Australia and New Zealand but there are now other very significant players in the region that are having a major impact on the development of island societies and economies.   Hau’ofa’s observation that, “we must reexamine many of the assumptions we have about development in our region”, remains as relevant in 2015 as it was in 1985.

Hau’ofa, E. (1985) The new South Pacific society: integration and independence. Paper delivered at the Conference on Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, August 1985. Published under the same title in A. Hooper et al (ed.) (1987) Class and Culture in the South Pacific, Auckland: Centre for Pacific Studies, and reprinted in E. Hau’ofa (2008) We are the Ocean. Selected Works, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, pp. 11-23.


Professor Richard Bedford
Professor of Migration Studies at Auckland University of Technology and Research Associate in the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the University of Waikato

Richard is a specialist in migration research and since the mid-1960s he has been researching processes of population movement in the Asia-Pacific region. He is currently working on implications for New Zealand and Australia of population developments and migration trends in the Pacific over the next 30-40 years, including the impact of climate change on migration.

W.D. Borrie Lecture 2014

Demography, time and space

Time, in various guises, is integral to the conceptual and methodological apparatus of demography but the significance of space has been less well articulated. I review the way each dimension has shaped our understanding of demographic processes, and explore the distinctive contribution to be derived from closer linkages between population science and spatial analysis. Methods and models are needed that link individual with aggregate analyses, bridge geographic scales, and couple space and time.  These have the potential to enhance theory, inform policy, and address contemporary knowledge deficits, but they call for novel approaches to data collection and also have implications for demographic training. The case is illustrated with examples drawn from both the global and Australian contexts.


Professor Martin Bell
Professor of Population Geography at the University of Queensland and Director of the Queensland Centre for Population Research

Martin’s main research interests focus on population mobility and demographic forecasting. His early work was concerned with tracing patterns and causes of migration within Australia, but since 2000 he has concentrated on developing robust measures to understand differences in the level, patterns and causes of population mobility and internal migration in countries around the world. He is currently leading the IMAGE research project (Internal Migration Around the GlobE), an international collaborative program, which has generated the first global inventory of internal migration data; established an international data repository; and computed comparative measures of internal migration. Other current projects include assembling a consistent set of small area projections for Australia, tracing patterns of graduate migration and developing indicators of wellbeing among Australia’s rural aged.

APA Presidential address 2014

Dr Alison Taylor
Acting Executive Director Demography and Economics in the NSW Department of Planning & Environment

Alison was previously the NSW Chief Demographer, a position created in 2013 to guide the critical task of producing official state government population, household and dwelling projections. In her current position she has responsibility for building a quality evidence base to underpin strategic planning and decision making in NSW.

Alison is a highly skilled demographer, with broad experience in the research and application of population and other projections in an urban and regional planning policy context. This has included applying demographic and related data to support policy, planning, service delivery and infrastructure decisions. A focus of her work has involved innovation in communicating planning information to a wide range of stakeholders.

Alison has previously worked in the ACT; for over a decade in Queensland and also as a Regional Demographer for NSW School Education. Alison is the current President of the Australian Population Association, the professional body for Australia’s demographers.

3MT Competition Winner

Alice Falkiner (Australian National University)
Dual Carers in Australia: An Examination of the Experiences of Australians with Dual Caring Responsibilities

Our Sponsors

The Australian Population Association gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their support of the APA Conference 2014.

Major SponsorGold SponsorSponsorWelcome Reception Sponsor