We facilitate networking amongst members and others in projects, research, teaching or learning about action learning, action research and process management and related approaches. ALARA can support a branch or network to "start up" or events and activities with seed funds (repayable once up and running). Members are encouraged to work as network hubs generating interaction among members with a particular interest or in a specific geographical area.

The first local network was Brisbane ALARA in Queensland, and this remains a highly active powerhouse. It has generated numerous activities and fund-raisers, and is associated also with Bob Dick's AR-listservice and ARwebsite, and also Shankar Sankaran's Southern Cross AR Institute. Other networks are in Victoria, Singapore and South Africa. They may or may not be called ALARA branches, as our focus is on supporting or linking with authentically local networks or organisations, either ones already-existing, or those newly emerging. We are explicitly not empire-building colonisers!

For example ALARA - along with a long-established local association (the Melbourne Action Research Issues Association) and in collaboration with members of the local branch of the Australasian Evaluation Society - established the Victorian SPIRAL state-wide network in a southern state of Australia in 2002 following a major consultation culminating in a Research-in-Action symposium. SPIRAL's name - Systemic Participatory Inquiry Research Action Learning - like ALARA's name, reflects the diversity of approaches within the new paradigm that is a hallmark of the ALARA style - or of the kind of style to which ALARA gives whatever support it can offer.

Members of ALARA have also established formal and informal connections with existing networks and organizations (for example the New Zealand Action Research Network NZARN), some of which have joined ALARA as organisational members (for example the Cornell PAR network and the UK SOLAR), and many of whose members attend the world congresses.

ALARA also actively connects with the international Participatory Action Research (PAR) community, promoting collaboration across international borders, especially in the form of our joint world congresses since 1997.

See Around the World for links and information.

Local events/activities

We have found that as people begin to network and organise they soon find themselves wanting to organise various events and activities to intensify their community of practice learning. The Research-in-Action Symposium in Melbourne, Victoria is a good example - as are the numerous annual events of the Brisbane ALARA group and SPIRAL, where groups of members organise local conferences and workshops for themselves and other interested people.

ALARA's goal is to support conferences, workshops, publications, discussion evenings etc. on a regional or interest basis. Support can take the form of encouragement, advice, contacts, seed funds, mail outs and e-mail or website notification. The Association is a potential partner in collaborative action learning or action research or related projects.

Here are some examples:

A State-based Action Learning Interactive (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) - 2002. Read about it here

ALARA also attempts to act as a clearinghouse, providing a news service to quickly disseminate current information about interesting workshops or events to members with e-mail addresses. It is currently trialling this in the form of a more formal newsletter. More lasting information will continue to be published in the ALAR journal and on this website.


ALARA holds or supports annual conferences in varying states of
Australia, and in future these may be held further afield in the
Asia-Pacific area.

2007 Tauondi College, Adelaide 8, 9 & 10 August 2007. "Moving forward together." Topics included education, environment, health and Aboriginal ways of knowing and doing.

1997 - Singapore - Building a Learning Organisation through AL&AR

1997 - Brisbane - Action for a Better World: Practitioner Development Conference

1998 - Brisbane - "Solutions outside the square": Action learning and action research for a better world
Abstracts from the 1998 ALARPM Conference

1999 - Sydney - Translations of Action Learning and Action Research?
Abstracts from the 1999 ALARPM Conference

2001 - Brisbane - Different Journeys

2002 - Brisbane Conference - "Confronting the Gaps"

2002 - Melbourne - Research-In-Action Symposium Read the Annual Report Read the Program

2003 - Gold Coast - Surfing the winds of change Read more

[[the link has changed to:]]

2004 - Darwin - "Action in the Top End - The Power of Story"
Read the Brochure
Read the Program

2005 - Sydney - "Telling our stories"

2006 - Brisbane - " Invigorating the politics of participation"

Other conferences:

2003 - New Zealand Action Research Network (NZARN) 10th anniversary, Auckland.Guest speaker, Ortrun Zuber-Skerrit, Brisbane, Australia

2004 - New Zealand's national AR network conference "Think, Act, Global and Local."Guest speaker Geof Mills, Oregon, USA.

2004 - CARN held its 1st conference outside the UK in Malaga Spain Conference and welcomed ALARPM members to attend

2005 - CARN conference with the International Research Practitioner Network in Utrecht, Netherlands

Links here to some key journals we know of:

Centres, universities, organisations, associations, networks & consultancy groups

Our newly-developing field is seeing the settling-down of both some long-established groups, networks and associations, as well as some early academic centres. Often these have originated outside academe in consultancy groups - or retain powerful links to the outside world of settings in which AR, AL and related approaches are practiced. Some collectivities have folded or morphed into new groupings - and some have risen again from the ashes. As well there is the constant creation of new ones, even as we speak.

See Around the World for networks, research and teaching centres and publishing:

Teaching/learning courses and practitioner development

Practitioners and others using or researching action learning and action research and related approaches meet through local networks, attending events and activities, discussing work, accessing information, enhancing skills and engaging in collaborative and reflective development processes. Members may form ongoing learning groups. Development opportunities are created using a range of media and processes, and increasingly this website will play a part. See also teaching/learning courses above. There are also numerous usually local workshops constantly being offered all around the world. While many of the above-described organisations offer teacher-learner courses or workshops we list here some key and well-known examples:

Some reading

The published literature in our field has truly increased exponentially in size and range in recent years. From a time when one could have read all the major texts, now there is not the time in a single life to do so! Perhaps we will conduct a ?20 top texts? survey of the world community to determine what we could usefully list here! In the meanwhile - along with the rich swag of resources people like Jack Whitehead, Bob Dick and Ian Hughes have put on their university websites (see below) - here are just two suggestions: one very introductory, the other very comprehensive:

What is Participatory action research?? (1998)
in Action Research International on line journal

Handbook of Action Research (2001)
Eds Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury