In the midst of these dark times, I am sorry to pass on further sad news with the passing today of our dear colleague and long-time CSAA member, Professor Tom O’Regan. Tom will be known to many of you for his work in Australian screen studies and policy, and his co-founding and long-term editorship of our association-affiliated journal Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. This journal remains an important and high-regarded venue for CSAA members work, and Tom’s leadership in co-founding this journal, and service in editing it between 1987 and 1995, is reflective of his generative contributions to this community.
For those of us who worked with and knew Tom personally, he was a treasured colleague, and a kind and generous mentor to many. In his various roles as Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, including a term as Head of School, Tom did much to encourage collaborative work and to foster a strong sense of community.
This work is more urgent than ever during the ongoing maelstrom of the pandemic, when many of our members are finding themselves in dire situations. Between the Indigenous Lives Matters protests, the HASS fees spike, the ongoing outbreaks, and now the announcements of sector layoffs, we know many of you are individually struggling. So we need collective spaces like that of the CSAA more than ever, and please know that the CSAA in turn is teaming with the other HASS associations to co-ordinate and consolidate our responses to these ongoing issues.
I am grateful to have had the benefit of Tom’s insight for many years, and I know that many members of the list will be saddened to hear of his passing. So I hope that the CSAA community he did so much to foster and sustain will continue to be a support to us all as together we face the times ahead.
On behalf of the CSAA, I extend my deepest sympathies to all Tom’s family, friends and colleagues.
President, Cultural Studies Association of Australasia