Crossroads of Rural Crime

ISBN: 978-1-80043-645-9, eISBN: 978-1-80043-644-2

Publication date: 19 May 2021


(2021), "Prelims", Harkness, A. and White, R. (Ed.) Crossroads of Rural Crime, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xiv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited

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Crossroads of Rural Crime

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Crossroads of Rural Crime: Representations and Realities of Transgression in the Australian Countryside

Edited By

Alistair Harkness

University of New England, Australia


Rob White

University of Tasmania, Australia

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2021

Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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ISBN: 978-1-80043-645-9 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-644-2 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-646-6 (Epub)

List of Figures and Tables

Figure 2.1. Stepping Stones for Walan-marra ‘Strong’ Australian Rural Criminology.
Figure 3.1. Placing Country in the Centre.
Figure 10.1. Spatial Clustering as Proportion of Total Seats in Victoria.
Figure 10.2. Age Distribution of Selected Victorian Electorates.
Figure 10.3. Socio-economic Demographics of Selected Victorian Seats.
Figure 10.4. Percentage of Public Transport Usage in Selected Victorian Electorates.
Figure 10.5. Victorian Legislative Council Voter Spectrum.
Figure 10.6. Primary Vote, Victorian Legislative Council Eastern Region, 2006–2018.
Figure 10.7. Primary Vote, Victorian Legislative Council Northern Region, 2006–2018.
Figure 10.8. Primary Vote, Victorian Legislative Council Western Region, 2006–2018.
Figure 11.1. Percentage of Population Who Were In-migrants from Capital Cities into Gippsland 2011–2016.
Figure 11.2. Percentage of Local Population Who Left Melbourne 2011–2016 in Selected Victorian Local Government Areas.
Figure 11.3. Percentage of Total Population of Melbourne Migrants 2011–2016 in Selected Victorian Suburbs.
Figure 11.4. Percentage of In-migrants per Age Category of Melbourne Residents 2011–2016 into Gippsland.
Figure 11.5. Percentage of In-migrants per Age Category of Melbourne Residents 2011–2016 into Specific Gippsland Local Government Areas.
Figure 11.6. Percentage of In-migrants per Age Category of Melbourne Residents 2011–2016 into Selected Western Victorian Local Government Areas.
Figure 11.7. Percentage of Personal Income Brackets (Weekly) of In-migrants from Melbourne into Gippsland Local Government Areas.
Figure 11.8. Percentage of Personal Income Brackets (Weekly) of In-migrants from Melbourne into Selected Victorian Local Government Areas.
Figure 11.9. Percentage of Migrant's Highest Level of Education Status from Melbourne 2011–2016 into Selected Victorian Local Government Areas.
Table 11.1. SEIFA Ranks of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage for Local Government Areas in Gippsland.
Table 11.2. Median Household and Personal Income of Local Government Areas in Gippsland.

About the Contributors

Elaine Barclay was an Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of New England, Australia, until retirement in 2019. Her career included 25 years of research and teaching in rural criminology with a specific focus on farm crime.

Katrina Clifford is a Senior Lecturer in Communication at Deakin University, Australia, and a specialist in media criminology and media framing analysis. Prior to joining academia, she worked as a journalist, magazine editor and strategic communications consultant.

Trudi Cooper is an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow and Associate Professor of Youth Work at Edith Cowan University, Australia, where she leads the Social Programme Innovation Research and Evaluation group. Her research includes higher education policy, youth work education, theory, policy and programme evaluation.

Chris Cunneen is a Professor of Criminology at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and has published widely on Indigenous legal issues, abolitionism, youth justice, penality and restorative justice.

Kristen Davis is a Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University, Australia. She has publications in a number of research areas including the Bondi ‘gay gang murders’, disappearance cases in Australia, and also in the areas of homelessness, housing and family violence.

Lisa Denny is a Workforce Demographer and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Institute for Social Change, University of Tasmania, Australia. Lisa's areas of interest and expertise centre on the interrelated nature of the population, education and training, industry and work with a view to achieving economic renewal in the context of population change and other socio-economic scenarios.

Nick Economou is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University, Australia. His research interests include Australian national and state governance, federal, state and local elections and electoral systems, and the role and behaviour of Australia's political parties. He has published extensively on federal and state politics.

Rachel Hale is a Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Federation University Australia. She previously worked in the oversight of corrections and disability services in Victoria, Australia. Her research interests focus on girls and women’s experiences of the Criminal Justice System and desistance from crime, where she advocates for decarceration and prevention using a critical, feminist approach.

Alistair Harkness is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of New England, Australia. He is co-director of the Centre for Rural Criminology and the secretary of the International Society for the Study of Rural Crime. His primary research interests are in rural acquisitive crime, with a particular emphasis on crime prevention, policing responses and community partnerships.

Russell Hogg is an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He is a co-author of Rethinking Law and Order (1998) and Policing the Rural Crisis (2006), and the author of numerous articles and book chapters. His principal research interests relate to punishment, law and order politics, criminological theory and southern criminology.

Belinda Morrissey is a Lecturer in Literature at Federation University Australia. She is the author of When Women Kill (Routledge, 2003) and has chapters published in Millennial Cinema (Columbia University Press, 2012) and Geography and Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Her current research considers the impact of trauma on memory, place and space.

Nick Osbaldiston is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at James Cook University. His main research interests are in lifestyle migration. He is the author of the monograph Seeking Authenticity in Place, Culture and Self (Palgrave, 2012). Nick is currently researching internal migration to regional areas such as Tasmania.

Gillian Paxton is an Environmental Anthropologist based in Queensland, Australia, with a particular interest in the more-than-human politics of wildlife management. She works as a research consultant on a variety of projects ranging from urban reptile relocation, climate adaptation in the grazing industry and managing water quality in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

Felicity Picken is a Lecturer in Heritage and Tourism at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. She researches the changing relations between humans and nature including the emergence of the ‘blue planet’ as a significant social actor and how rural and coastal environments influence amenity and lifestyle. She enjoys creating strife for human-centric ontologies in pursuing a more symmetrical understanding of life.

John Scott is a Professor and Head of the School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Trained as a sociologist, John has published widely on a range of themes, including crime in remote places and is passionate about the promotion of social research from the Global South.

Margaret Sims is an Honorary Professor of Early Childhood at Macquarie University, Australia. Her research in recent years has focussed around the way neoliberalism and managerialism are impacting on education and on the path towards professionalisation in early childhood.

Melina Stewart-North is a Doctoral Candidate at Federation University Australia. Her research focusses on digital vigilantism in Australia, considering the nature, causes and impacts of ‘netilantism’. She has a background in psychology and criminal justice. Her research interests include issues situated around the rural frontier and barriers to accessing justice.

Rebecca Strating is the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Australia. She teaches and researches in Australian politics and foreign policy.

Lisa Waller is a Professor of Digital Communication in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Australia. Her research investigates how the news media shapes society, from Indigenous Affairs to its roles in rural and regional communities and the justice system.

Rob White is a Distinguished Professor of Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He has published widely in the areas of youth studies, criminology and eco-justice, including on topics such as rural folk crime and rural water theft.

Megan Williams is a Wiradjuri yinaa woman and Justice Health Researcher. She focusses on cultural responsiveness of workforces, based at the University of Sydney's National Centre for Cultural Competence and Sydney Institute of Criminology. Megan is a miimi sister of Mibbinbah community organisation and contributing editor of


An inter-disciplinary social sciences workshop – Understanding Crime and Rural Communities: Theory, Policy and Practice – was hosted by Federation University on 7 and 8 February 2019. Held at Churchill in the Gippsland region of Victoria, the event included 21 scholars from 12 different universities across four Australian states and one international rural criminologist.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous sponsorship of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia for fostering this ‘meeting of the minds’ through their workshop grants scheme. The workshop also generated the present volume.

Accepting the Academy's challenge to intellectually exchange ideas, explore connections between research and policy, support early career researchers and establish and develop ongoing collaborations for research, the workshop convenors – Alistair Harkness, Naomi Smith, Bec Strating and Rob White – crafted a workshop programme to unpack an array of issues around rural crime, communities and criminology in a non-urban Australian context.

One participant, Lisa Waller, observed in the closing session of the workshop the emergence of the notion of ‘roads’ and ‘crossroads’ which was, as it inadvertently happened, woven throughout each panel session. This was an astute and welcome observation, as ‘crossroads’ serve as a metaphor for networks and intersections, overlaps and trajectories: this is outlined in Chapter 1 and drawn upon throughout the book.

Seven of the papers presented at the Workshop were selected for inclusion in a special edition of the International Journal of Rural Criminology (Volume 5, Issue 1) published in November 2019. The remaining Workshop papers have been carefully themed and curated for this edited collection.

We would very much like to thank all the participants in the workshop: David Baker; Marg Camilleri; Chris Cunneen; Nick Economou; Erik Eklund; Andrew Groves; Bridget Harris; Russell Hogg; Rob Hulls; Belinda Morrissey; Kyle Mulrooney; Nick Osbaldiston; Gillian Paxton; John Scott; Naomi Smith; Lisa Waller and Megan Williams. Particular thanks to Joseph F. Donnermeyer from the Ohio State University for his visit to Australia to join the workshop and for sharing his considerable rural criminology expertise. Special thanks, too, goes to Melina Stewart-North for her organisational skills and sheer hard work.

Finally, many thanks to Jules Willan for commissioning this volume and to Hazel Goodes for ensuring its smooth production. We are grateful for their ongoing support and guidance throughout.

Alistair Harkness and Rob White