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Interview with Dr Rebecca Rey

Introducing Rebecca, our communications maestro and the mastermind behind our upcoming Annual Forum. As the conductor of all things communication, she doesn't just manage messages; she orchestrates symphonies of connection!

Tell us about yourself.

I’m the Communications Manager for CRC TiME, working in the wonderful External Relations and Impact team.

After my PhD, I made my way to teaching and lecturing in Communication Studies and English and Literary studies. From there, I realised the best way I could make an impact in the research world is to apply those communication skills to share the stories of research findings. I’ve worked with and for university-based research organisations for over ten years, writing about everything from nanoscience, to environmental ethics, to adolescent mental health, to cannabidiol research, to sports policy, and so much in between. It’s a real privilege to work with great minds, translating their rigorous research findings and reports into modes that the public and potential collaborators can access, without being reductive.

An experienced ‘comms person’ is an all-rounder – from making videos, to writing in many modes and forms, to managing annual reports, all the way to ensuring websites are accessible to those on-screen readers. In small teams, we’re PR, marketing, events, photography, graphic design, AV, and social media, rolled into one.

Running events is part and parcel of the job – it’s been truly memorable organising this year’s CRC TiME Annual Forum in the Latrobe Valley, somewhere I haven’t been before and can’t wait to visit.

What would you like people to take away from the forum?

There are two big benefits to these sorts of conference gatherings: first, it’s a unique and opportune time to take stock of the current state of things – in our case, post-mine transitions research – and how different sectors respond to these findings; and second, it’s a chance to take a breath, for ample conversations across roles and organisations to occur, and to set up or nurture mutually-beneficial relationships between delegates.

Part of our CRC’s mandate is to be the glue, the bridge – choose your metaphor – between people and organisations who are working towards a similar goal but would be stronger together. I like to think of us as continually expanding a Venn diagram of partner organisations, being the conduit for engagement across, between and through the natural silos that exist.

This year’s Forum program, as in other years, has been deeply co-designed by various partner organisation representatives and others, and the event itself has been lovingly shaped with much input from those in the region.

What are you most excited about for the forum?

Personally, I can’t wait to experience regional Victoria for the first time. I’m looking forward to, in particular, the site visits at Yallourn and Hazelwood. While the logistics of a regional conference of this nature have been challenging, it’s been wonderful working with the locals to bring some memorable experiences to delegates.

Of course, being from South-West WA, I’m rather excited to try the famed tipple at Narkoojee Winery and compare it to some of our own award-winning drops.

In your time working with partners in the Latrobe Valley, what have you learned most about the area?

There’s deep pride of place – both a deep respect for the past, but also a yearning to create a sustainable future of benefit to all locals. I’ve learned about the importance and complexities of water and waterways in the Valley, the Gunaikurnai five clans working together to care for Country, and the significant stories, memories and hopes that come out of the region’s coal mining industry.

The Latrobe Valley is the perfect case study to convene in and discuss, at such a momentous turning point in its coal industry. I’m very much looking forward to helping take delegates on that journey.



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