AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION
This organisation began as the Australian Communication Association (ACA), founded in 1979. It hosted its first event in Adelaide in 1980, followed by a larger conference in Sydney in 1981. It became the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) in 1994, emphasising the association’s trans-Tasman nature.
The establishment of the ACA followed significant expansion in courses in oral, written and organisational communication throughout Australia in the 1970s, mirroring developments in the United States.
Since its inception, ANZCA has been shaped by the relationship between communication as an element of professional practice and a field of critical research—sometimes referred to as the distinction between the ‘empiricist’ traditions of North American mass communications research and the more critical traditions of British and European media and cultural studies, which drew upon sociology, Marxism and semiotics. It can also refer to distinctions between communication as a distinct professional and disciplinary field, as seen in areas such as interpersonal and organisational communication, and areas such as media studies and internet studies, which are more interdisciplinary in nature.
Many ANZCA members are also active in more discipline-specific professional associations, such as the Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA) and the Public Relations Institute of Australia. The relationship between ANZCA and these associations is the subject of ongoing discussions, particularly around its relationship with the JEAA, as many are members of both associations.
ANZCA members are also active in international associations such as the International Communications Association and the International Association for Media and Communication Research, both of which are affiliates; ANZCA is also affiliated with the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Australia and the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The association has hosted an annual conference in either Australia or New Zealand since 1980. The Grant Noble Award, honouring a former president, was initiated in 1996 for the best paper presented by a postgraduate student, and the Christopher Newell Prize, honouring the late disability activist, was initiated in 2009 for the best paper dealing with disability/equity/ social justice and communication.
Members receive the journal Media International Australia. They also received the Australian Journal of Communication from 1982 until 2013.
REF: W. Ticehurst, ‘Ten Years On: The Development of the Australian Communication Association’, Australian Communication Review, 10(3) (1989).