Collaborating for change: Addressing gender equity in sport through research-policy-practice dialogue

The third instalment of the Women in Sport symposium will explore the landscape of research collaboration with professionals and academics who are working on advancing gender equity in sport.

This year's theme is: 'Collaborating for change: Addressing gender equity in sport through research-policy-practice dialogue'. 

We are hopeful that the outcome of the symposium will be a better understanding of how we can work across different organizational cultures, develop research ideas, use research findings in practice and create partnerships to effect change in and through sport.


The day will include discussions of 'the good, the bad, and the ugly' when it comes to academic-industry partnerships, including insight into specific processes and outcomes.

Four themes the symposium will cover are:

  • Achieving a better understand of the workings and needs of industry/ government to encourage engagement with academic researchers
  • Sharing insights about the range of research methodologies being used in universities that could support innovative industry/government directions
  • Enhancing research capacity to address gender equity and knowledge translation in a changing world
  • How can we understand and address the backlash against women in sport?


Kate Palmer CEO

Kate Palmer, CEO - Keynote speaker

Kate Palmer is the CEO of Sport Australia and is passionate about sport and believes unquestionably in the power of sport and physical activity to reflect the very best in our culture to be a powerful vehicle for change. Kate is driven by a shared purpose to contribute to improving health and well-being of Australians and making communities stronger through sport and physical activity.

Adele Pavlidis

Dr Adele Pavlidis

Adele Pavlidis was conferred her PhD in 2013 by Griffith University where she currently works in the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research as a Research Fellow. Her work focuses on affective-discursive relations and the ways health and wellbeing are enabled or impeded by a range of sport and physical cultural practices.

In 2018 she began her ARC DECRA fellowship which explores the ways Australian sport culture is changing, focused particularly on women in contact sports.

She has published two monographs, Sport, Gender and Power: The Rise of Roller Derby (with Simone Fullagar, 2014, Routledge) and Feminism and a vital politics of depression (with Simone Fullagar and Wendy O'Brien, 2019, Palgrave) as well as articles in internationally recognised journals in sport, sociology, cultural studies, and leisure studies.

Dr Ruth Jeanes

Dr Ruth Jeanes

Dr Ruth Jeanes is an Associate Professor within the Faculty of Education and Director of Initial Teacher Education. Ruth is a social scientist whose research interests focus on the use of sport and active recreation as a community development resource, particularly to address social exclusion amongst acutely marginalised groups. Ruth is the lead investigator on a recently awarded ARC Linkage grant 'Informal sport as a health and social resources amongst diverse young people'.

Professor Murray Drummond

Professor Murray Drummond

Murray Drummond is a Research Professor and the Director of the Sport, Health, Activity, Performance and Exercise (SHAPE) Research Centre at Flinders University in South Australia. His research interests are based around qualitative sport and health research with a particular interest in gender and sports, including women and sport and men, masculinities and body image. Murray's current research includes three significant research projects on girls, women, and the LGBTIQ+ community in sports. He also has a book soon to be published titled: Boys’ Bodies: Sport, Health and Physical Activity (Palgrave Macmillan).

Clare Hanlon

Professor Clare Hanlon

Clare Hanlon is the Susan Alberti Women in Sport Chair and research fellow in the Institute of Health and Sport at Victoria University.

Her research is focused on building organisational capacity and growing opportunities to advance women in sport and physical activity. Clare is driven to create change and as Chair of the Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group, looks forward to the implementation of priorities soon to be announced by this Group.

Clare is also Director of Gymnastics Australia and the Oceania Union, and a member on the VicHealth Physical Activity Taskforce.

Stephanie Langton

Stephanie Langton

Stephanie Langton is a Sport and Recreation Planner with Logan City Council. Exploring Logan women’s participation in sport on and off the field reinforces her passion to promote physically active and healthy local communities.

Stephanie is excited to roll-out Logan’s new program that will actively advance the number of women in the Logan sporting community. The program, Game on for Women is based on findings from industry, academic and Logan based research.

Indigo Willing

Dr Indigo Willing OAM

Dr Indigo Willing OAM is a sociologist, war orphan, adoptee, mum, skateboarder and community volunteer who is currently a Research Fellow at the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research.

She is also the co-founder of Girls Skate Brisbane network with Evie Ryder and Tora Waldren, and co-founder of Consent is Rad, an internationally collaborative campaign promoting messages about healthy communication in the skateboarding scene.

Indigo is a researcher and sports journalist who has published work on the topics of skateboarding and issues of social inclusion. She also has a number of journal articles and book chapters on migration, youth identities and diversity. She was awarded an OAM for her volunteer work with the Vietnamese community.

Simone Fullagar

Professor Simone Fullagar

Simone Fullagar, FAcSS, was appointed as Professor of Sport Management at Griffith University in mid 2019. She leads the Women and Girls in Sport research group that aims to contribute to greater equality in all aspects of sport.

She has published widely on the sociology of health and diverse sport and leisure cultures, including publishing the first academic book on the rise of roller derby in Australia (with Adele Pavlidis) and papers on cycle touring, parkrun, family practices, dance and the role of active embodiment in mental health. Her latest book is Feminism and a Vital Politics of Depression and Recovery (with Wendy O’Brien and Adele Pavlidis, Palgrave).

Simone was previously Chair of the Physical Culture, Sport and Health research group at the University of Bath, UK for five years and was appointed as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK (2019)..

Dr Millicent Kennelly

Dr Millicent Kennelly

Dr Millicent Kennelly is a senior lecturer in the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University.

Millie's research and teaching focuses on sport and event management, with a particularly emphasis on sport event participation, stakeholder management, and outcomes.

Presently, Millie is researching the social legacies of sport events across a range of projects aimed at understanding the positive and negative outcomes communities can experience through large-scale sport event hosting, and the challenges of designing legacy strategies that work.

Fiona McLarty

Fiona McLarty

Fiona McLarty is a professional sports administrator with 18 years’ experience in the AFL industry. Fiona is currently the Head of Women’s Football at the Gold Coast SUNS, overseeing the build of the AFL Women’s program in preparation for entry into the AFLW competition in 2020.

Having studied a Bachelor of Exercise Science she went on to complete her Masters in Sports Management and a Masters in Sports Coaching. As a recipient of a grant and scholarship under the Australian Sports Commission Women in Sports Leadership program, Fiona has had the opportunity to attend the AFL’s leadership program at Mt Eliza and courses at the Disney Institute in Leadership Excellence and Customer Service.

Dr Sandy O’Sullivan

Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan

Dr Sandy O’Sullivan is an Aboriginal (Wiradjuri) Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the School of Creative Industries at the University of the Sunshine Coast. For 27 years they have taught and researched across gender and sexuality, the body, performance, and modalities, often in relation to First Nations’ identity/ies. Sandy recently completed an internationally-focused Australian Research Council program examining the representation and engagement of First Nations’ Peoples across 470 museums and keeping places that in part focused on First Nations’ sports engagement in these public spaces, including skateboarding, First Nations-developed sports including Lacrosse, and other public performances of sports that intersect with cultural activity.

They work with Museum Queeries in Winnipeg as a central activity of the Thinking Through the Museum Collective across Canada. Sandy is also working on both an ARC Linkage mapping creative practice across the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory, and an Australia Council for the Arts commissioned report on the state of First Nations’ performance across theatre and dance. Across Sandy’s current work they are considering the ways that Queer First Nations’ arts and artmaking influence, resist and challenge reductive approaches to identity.

Kim Crane headshot

Kim Crane

National High-Performance Director, Surfing Australia.

Kim is a sporting high-performance specialist who has a lifelong connection with the ocean through surfing, outrigger canoe racing and stand up paddle-boarding and who is also a former member of the Australian Women’s Hockey Team, accepted the position of Surfing Australia’s National High-Performance Director, further bolstering Australian surfing’s Olympic gold medal ambitions heading into the 2020 games in Japan.

Her recent role as the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Performance Manager has been the perfect primer to her new role. At the AIS, she was responsible for leading the engagement of key internal and external partners to develop high quality, effective high-performance plans and strategies in order to increase the likelihood of achieving and sustaining performance targets.

Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro

Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro

Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro is a resident adjunct research fellow at the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University. Her works focuses on the intersections of decoloniality, feminisms and rurality.

She was recently awarded the Academy of the Humanities Travelling Fellowship to expand on her visual participatory research with rural women in her home country, Colombia.

She is also currently collaborating in various publications with ARC Fellow Dr Adele Pavlidis and Dr Millicent Kennelly exploring the intersections of sport, feminisms, anti-racism, loss, and media cultures.

Diti Bhattacharya

Dr Diti Bhattacharya

Dr Diti Bhattacharya is resident adjunct research fellow with the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research.

Her research expertise includes various intersections between human geography, feminist and food geographies, visual culture, migration studies and postcolonial and subaltern studies.

Her current research focuses on the various material, affective, sensorial, human and non-human interactions within the space through the experiences of migrants and women of colour.

Donna Little

Dr Donna Little

Donna has 20+ years’ experience working across, within or through the sport and recreation sectors. This has included roles as an instructor, trainer, manager, lecturer, researcher, CEO and consultant. Across these experiences she has been inspired by women who have confidently assumed their place in the workplace, play space or interpersonal space; and empowered by the confidence, self-reliance and expectation of women young and old, to expect equal opportunities for all, to call out inequalities where they see them, and to build bridges to where they want to be.

Donna is not the first to do anything, she is not the smartest in any room, and nor is she an athlete of any kind. She is however, someone who has striven to level the playing fields she could influence, who will challenge unfairness where she sees it, and who values the opportunity to enable other women and girls to set and realise their achievements in whatever space they choose.

Deb Savage

Deb Savage

Deb Savage is Lead Physical Preparation provider with Surfing Australia’s National High-Performance Program. Deb has a 16 year career history with the Australian Institute of Sport, and senior experience working with a range of Olympic, World Championship, Commonwealth Games athletes including Swimming, Triathlon (Able and Para), Athletics, BMX, Kayak.

Deb’s primary responsibilities are providing performance support in the area of Physical Preparation to individual athletes as a part of both HP Program activity delivery and any identified Coach/Athlete hub ‘integrated’ performance team, Implementing and driving a collaborative approach to planning, preparation and performance that optimises expertise to close ‘gaps’ to performance.

'Racism, Sport and Genders: Moving Together and Beyond Binaries'

Public lecture co-convened by Dr Indigo Willing OAM and Dr Adele Pavlidis, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research

More collaborative workshop than lecture, this special event will incorporate insights from various individuals working in the areas of sport, diversity and inclusion, Indigenous Studies, critical race theory and themes of intersectionality. The public are welcome to participate in an interactive discussion of skills sharing and brainstorming to further strengthen strategies and resources that address issues of racism in sport from women's and non-binary individuals perspectives.

The following academics will be speaking at the public lecture:

  • Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan
  • Dr Adele Pavlidis
  • Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro
  • Dr Diti Bhattacharya
  • Dr Indigo Willing OAM


Griffith Library, Level 4 Learning Commons (G11_4.29), Gold Coast campus, Parklands Drive, Southport, 4215


9 am

Registration (tea, coffee, fruit and pastries available)


9.30 am

Welcome to country


9.35 am

Welcome to Griffith

Associate Professor Sue Trevaskes

9.45 am

Welcome to Women in Sport Symposium III – focus on collaborating for change

Dr Adele Pavlidis

9.50 am


Kate Palmer, CEO Sport Australia

10.20 am

Q&A for keynote

Chair: Dr Adele Pavlidis

10.30 am

Snapshots and springboards – different approaches to addressing gender equity research in sport

Professor Simone Fullagar

Dr Millie Kennelly

Dr Indigo Willing

Dr Adele Pavlidis

11 am

Morning tea


11.20 am

Lessons learned through industry collaboration – academic perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for change,

Chair: Professor Simone Fullagar

Professor Ruth Jeans

Professor Murray Drummond

Professor Clare Hanlon

1 pm



1.45 pm

Conversations with industry practitioners about research collaboration – priorities, pitfalls and possibilities for enabling women in sport

Chair: Dr Adele Pavlidis

Fiona McLarty

Donna Little

Stephanie Langton

Deb Savage

Kim Crane

2.30 pm

Interactive session: Identifying research priorities and approaches to transform gender inequities in sport

Chair: Dr Millie Kennelly

3.30 pm

Official Close

Afternoon tea will be provided and we encourage all to stay to continue conversations from the day and meet new people.

4 pmPublic lecture: 'Racism, Sport and Genders: Moving Together and Beyond Binaries'

More collaborative workshop than a traditional lecture, this special event will incorporate insights from various individuals working in the areas of sport, diversity and inclusion, Indigenous Studies, critical race theory and themes of intersectionality. The public are welcome to participate in an interactive discussion of skills sharing and brainstorming to further strengthen strategies and resources that address issues of racism in sport from women's and non-binary individuals perspectives.
Convenors: Dr Indigo Willing OAM and Dr Adele Pavlidis, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research

Women in Sport III

Registrations open now