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Postgraduate Retreat

Step away from the day-to-day and commit to your writing
Postgraduate students researching Southeast Asia are invited to attend our inaugural online writing retreat.

Who: Higher Degree by Research students focusing on Southeast Asia at an Australian tertiary institution
When: Monday 22 – Wednesday 24 November 2021
Where: Online

It had to happen eventually. Restrictions on in-person gatherings have meant that SSEAC cannot proceed with our popular postgraduate writing retreat in its usual form. Rather than cancelling the retreat, we’ve instead transitioned to an online format that preserves the essence of the program but avoids the demands of endless hours on Zoom.

We’ll meet online as a group on the morning of day one, to share goals and commit to our writing practice. On day three, at the conclusion of the retreat, we will come together as a group again to see what progress we made, and celebrate or commiserate accordingly. In between, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet online in pre-assigned small groups, ensuring you feel supported and connected along the way.

Consider this retreat as your excuse to step away from the day-to-day and commit to your writing. We’ll treat it just as we would an in-person retreat, by encouraging you to block out your calendar and set your out-of-office reply. We can’t promise great food (that’s your responsibility this time) but we can promise connection, fun and some serious kicking of writing goals.

Expected outcomes of the retreat include:

  • Making meaningful progress on an academic output, be it a chapter or a journal article 
  • Daily check-in sessions with your peers
  • Connecting with other research students from the University of Sydney and beyond  

Applications are currently open until 11:59pm (AEDT), Sunday 14 November 2021.


Retreat information

Due to public health and travel restrictions, this year’s retreat will be held entirely online. 

To be eligible for this retreat, applicants must be:

  • a SSEAC member (free to join
  • currently enrolled as a Higher Degree by Research student at an Australian tertiary institution*
  • conducting research on any of the countries within Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam), or Southeast Asia as a region

* Preference will be given to students from the University of Sydney. A limited number of positions will be made available to students from other Australian tertiary institutions on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that no grants are available in 2021.

Applicants are required to fill out this online form by 11:59pm (AEDT), Sunday 14 November 2021.

Please email any queries to

  • 09:00-10:00 (AEDT), Monday 22 November 2021: Check-in and goal-setting
  • 16:30-17:30 (AEDT), Wednesday 24 November 2021: Accountability session
  • Plus a short daily check-in with your group (to be arranged within your small groups at a time that suits everyone)