Leading innovative and impactful research that advances gender equity within and beyond sport

The purpose of Sport and Gender Equity @ Griffith research hub is to lead innovative and impactful research that advances gender equity in sport through a multi-disciplinary research hub connecting scholars, practitioners, athletes and advocates.

The research hub aims to:

  • contribute to knowledge and practice that addresses the complexity of gender inequality and diversity within and
    beyond sport
  • engage in collaborative and innovative research to advance opportunities for women and girls to lead in all aspects
    of sport
  • educate for sustainable change in classrooms, organisations and the public sphere to transform sport cultures and
    gender relations

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Research projects


This research project examines professional women’s competitions (AFL, cricket, football, Rugby League and Rugby Union), their co-existence within their respective national associations and the experiences of contracted women athletes.

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This research aims to provide insights to sport consumption theory and assist managers within sport organisations to position their brands to better attract, retain and develop sport consumers. High quality academic publications and industry reports are anticipated to emerge from this research.

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This project aims to investigate the growing visibility of women in contact sports in Australia and the multiple forces that influence their participation. The project also seeks to generate new knowledge in the area of feminist theory, cultural theory, and sport management.

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This project aims to identify and understand how issues of equity in skateboarding are being addressed and the milestones and barriers that still face various populations, as well as gaining insights from skateboarding on ethical and cultural issues as it shifts from its subcultural origins to becoming globalised and formalised, including through its inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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  • Developing safer cultures and policies to prevent violence against women in Australian Commonwealth Games sports
  • Using a ‘gender lens’ to understand how cycle tour events can develop inclusive practices
  • What contributes to parkrun’s success and how can it be improved?
  • Empowering track & field coaches for para-sport development in the Pacific
  • Gendered and racialized fitness cultures on the Gold Coast

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  • How equitable are media representations of sportswomen during major sport events?
  • Securing a sport participation legacy for women and girls
  • Gendered Representations of Athletes on Social Media #GC2018
  • Gender Balance and the International Olympic Committee

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Postgraduate Research Projects

Danielle Warby

Sexuality, gender and sport leadership

Danielle Warby

This project will examine how sexuality and gender intersect to affect leadership in a sport context in Australia. How women embody leadership in predominantly masculine domains like sport administration has been considered in previous research but sexuality is often sidelined in these articulations. My research will explore the question of who it is possible to be in leadership roles in sport, to bring sexuality into direct relation with leadership to unsettle the masculine heteronormativity of sport. I will explore how leadership is enacted and performed with a goal to queering leadership identity and practices to open up more diverse ways of doing gender.

Supervisors: Dr Adele Pavlidis and Prof. Simone Fullagar

Erin Nichols

Women and combat sports:

local manifestations, global governance, and the rise of Muay Thai boxing in Australia

Erin Nichols

Why do women fight? As women and girls enter into traditionally masculine sports the uptake of new media technology has had a significant influence on expanding the visual economy of women who fight and the reach of international sporting cultures. Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand, offers a rich and textured case study to explore the multiple forces that are entangled within the sport-gender-media nexus, as well as the complexities embedded within transnational sporting cultures. This project draws on my experience as a practitioner and coach and aims to build upon previous research engaging a feminist politics within the emergent interdisciplinary field of physical cultural studies. This research seeks to extend a Feminist New Materialist approach to further a generative analysis of women’s physically active moving bodies, and the formal and informal governance structures that enable (and impede) particular subjectivities. Through an exploration of the physical-digital practices of Muay Thai this research aims to illuminate how objectification and bodily relations work and importantly, how such coercive practices might be disrupted within and beyond sport.

Supervisors: Prof. Simone Fullagar and Dr Adele Pavlidis

Sport and Gender Equity Research Events

Each year the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management hosts a range of events to discuss current issues and research related to gender equity in sport.  These aim to bring together leading sport academics, industry professionals and advocates to explore avenues for change.

Previously held Women in Sport Symposia
The 2020 Symposium details will be announced and shares via Twitter @GriffithUniSAGE

Research Seminar Series Convenor Dr Adele Pavlidis

Podcasts you will love

The Outer Sanctum - Taking Up Space

Celebrating footy upsets, caretaker coaches and diverse athletes who are taking up space. Adele Pavlidis from Griffith University shares her research and anonymous insights into the experiences of AFLW players.

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The Gender Card in Sport

Today we look at how gender plays out in sport, and how that affects the society in which we live. Dr Adele Pavlidis is a Griffith University social scientist and specialist in the politics of gender.

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Roller Derby, Feminism and Affect

Adele Pavlidis from Griffith University in Brisbane discusses roller derby and why it matters as a site for both feminist politics and the politics of sport.

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A Remarkable Tale

In this episode of Remarkable Tales, Fiona McLarty tells us about her newly created role as the Gold Coast SUNS Head of Women’s Football, and is revelling in establishing a culture and work ethic for her AFLW team.

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Women in sport

Recently there has been a shift in women’s sport. We are seeing more visibility in the media and more discussion on social media about women’s sport, equal pay and women on boards.

Watch this clip to hear from the researchers who are lifting the lid on the barriers that exist across the sporting spectrum.