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About Dr Rod Caldicott

Dr Rod Caldicott DipJourn(ACJ), DipMgmt(GTI), BBusTour(SCU), BBusTour&HospMgt(1st Class Hons)(SCU), PhD(SCU)
Rod has recently completed his Doctorate within the School of Business and Tourism at Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia. He has 25 years’ experience in the tourism industry with a strong balance of private enterprise, public sector, and educational research, engagements. Rod’s research passions stem from his vast practical, business, political, community, association, academic, and volunteer experiences. They include but are not limited to:
• University teaching
• Regional development
• Local government
• Event management
• Governance
• Policy; and
• Fatherhood.
Rod was awarded his PhD in September 2017. His policy-based research critically analyses the politics of freedom camping in four Australian communities. Freedom camping defines travellers choosing recreational vehicles as modes of accommodation in spaces not bound by market-based commercial norms and caravan park-based regulations. A pragmatic and reflexive lens underpinned his grounded multi-methods case-study to inform four major contributions to tourism and leisure policy studies: an original taxonomy of caravanning; a conceptualisation of freedom camping’s history since 1900; an explanation of community engagement with freedom camping referenced to power relations and public policy theory; and, a conceptual framework for the study of planning and policy.
His PhD thesis was corollary to earlier, and outstanding, academic achievements. These include a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality Management (Hon) 1st Class, for which, in 2011 he was awarded a University Medal. Rod’s Honours’ thesis reported on the supply-side evolution of caravanning in Australia through an historical analysis of caravan manufacturing and caravan parks. This fascinating topic informed the title of his PhD thesis: Freedom camping politics and policy: A case study of four local communities.
In 2011, Rod simultaneously completed a Diploma in Management having satisfied all requirements. In 1996 he obtained a Bachelor of Business (Tourism) with Distinctions. In 1995 he was awarded a Diploma of Journalism. Also in 1995, Rod was awarded the Australian Institute of Tourism Management Prize for the highest grade point average in the undergraduate tourism program. Further, in 2003 while working for Richmond Valley Council in NSW, and again in 2013, Rod was recognised by his tourism industry peers for his – “Outstanding Individual Contribution to Regional Tourism” – a passion that remains with him today.
By direct example of Rod’s vast networks, tourism industry, and community associations knowledge, he has previously held prestigious industry and civic representative offices including: Chair of the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN), Executive Director of the NSW Council of Tourist Associations, Chair of the Australian Fatherhood Project, and Chair of the Allstonville Primary School Parents and Citizens Association. He continues to hold the executive office of NSW Vice President for
the Australian Institute of Tourism Officers (AITO), and, Vice-president of the Northern Rivers Community Regional Advisory Committee (NRCRAC) for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. In 2008/09, as ARTN Chair, Rod was instrumental in driving the transitional development of ARTN into a fully independent incorporated association with developing finance, governance and policy convictions inclusive of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and Service Level Agreements (SLA)’ These significant governance instruments were brokered both with operational industry and academic research partners ( Through the Fatherhood Project, Rod introduced a brokerage model of service delivery for programs such as ‘Dads in the Fast Lane’, ‘Building Better Dads’ and ‘The Fatherhood Festival’, each promoting the value of fathers in society (
Before returning to Southern Cross University in 2011 to pursue an academic career, Rod spent the previous 14 years working in the local government arena in the inaugural position of Tourism Manager for Richmond Valley Council. Previous, he had gained extensive experience with the private tourism sector in Queensland and direct entrepreneurial exposure through a family-owned business with caravan parks, camping and 4x4 touring. More recently, in the public sector his experiences range through episodes of tourism planning, marketing, and regional product development initiatives. His community contributions are credited with volunteer roles for The Fatherhood Project and Dads in Distress additional to multiple parent and citizen associations during the time of his childrens’ schooling. While Rod remains interested in their now university careers, he focuses his own endevours to tourism education and research with specific links to regional and community development. Therein, he relishes his current academic opportunities that support close professional and research based relationships with scholarly peers at several internationally recognised universities: Southern Cross University, University of Qld, and Griffith University, each in Australia; the University of Northern Colorado and Florida Central University in the USA; and Khon Kaen University (Nong Khai Campus), in northern Thailand.
Rod is particularly interested in methodologies and the ongoing debate over mixing paradigms and Mode 2 knowledge production in the pursuit of solving ‘wicked’ problems. He views regional tourism development generally, and particularly tourism management and education in less developed countries (LDCs) as such a problem. He believes that through application of his well-developed understanding of tourism knowledge, across multiple sectors and multiple disciplines, he can assist in nation, state, regional and local community building through tourism; breaking wicked problems into manageable, productive, resilient, and empowering solutions for such communities. For a summation and list of his selected readings from international publications, technical reports, and conference presentations, specifically in policy studies, RV tourism, and visitation in protected areas visit
Rod is now keen to pursue his passion for regional tourism more broadly. Specifically he offers his services through international consulting, academic advising, co-researching, and co-publication writing opportunities. Such endevours may sit within, or outside of, a post-doctoral research program with tentacles across international settings.


2015 - Present ITAS Tutor (Individual), Southern Cross University Indigenous Australian Student Services (IASS)
Present Academic (Teaching), Southern Cross University School of Business and Tourism

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

PO Box 157
Lismore NSW
Australia 2480


Journal articles (5)

Book chapters (2)

Reports (4)

Conference publications (9)

Thesis (2)