Philippa Collin speaks at Women's Day event

On Thursday 7 March, the eve of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited the University of Western Sydney to join women from across the region in a celebration of the achievements of women past and present.

UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid hosted the event which was attended by previous winners of the Women of the West and Young Women of the West awards, along with nominees for the 2013 awards, local Aboriginal elders and senior University staff.

Dr Philippa Collin, from the Institute for Culture and Society, was a speaker at event. Speakers focused on the important and inspiring contribution that women make in the community – from positions of leadership to grassroots and community caring.

Dr Philippa Collin speaking at the Women's Day celebration.

Above: Philippa Collin speaks at the event.

Phillippa highlighted how her experience as a researcher ‘has been characterized by working with and for both great female leaders and everyday “ordinary” young women’.

She describes: ‘At UWS – led by a female Vice Chancellor – I am located within an internationally acclaimed institute led by Distinguished Professor Ien Ang, and have a joint appointment in the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) – led by CEO, Associate Professor Jane Burns. I, and my Institute for Culture and Society colleague, Dr Amanda Third, are two of three female research program leaders in the CRC – a major research initiative that involves young people – especially young women – in everything from the governance of the organisation to the design and delivery of research projects themselves.

So whether I'm being advised by young women in the Youth Brains Trust of the Young and Well CRC – a body that sits alongside the Scientific Leadership Council advising the CRC research teams, executive and board on research foci, design and relevance to youth experience – or running a workshop at the Parramatta Public Library with a dozen young people from Western Sydney to co-design a social media campaign for respectful online behaviour, I'm working with young women who care about social issues and who want to contribute and make a difference.

The research I do – on the role of new media technologies for youth citizenship, mental health and wellbeing – is not possible without cross sector, cross-disciplinary collaboration and, most importantly, working directly with young people. At a grass roots level, working with young people – conducting research with young people, particularly young women in Western Sydney – is about building a culture of participation and fostering a generation of young women who are involved, and know they are heard, in the research efforts and decision making processes of communities, corporations and governments.’

Dr Philippa Collin talking to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Above: Philippa with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Below: Dr Amanda Third (middle) and Distinguished Professor Ien Ang (right), ICS Director, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Dr Amanda Third and Professor Ien Ang.

15 March 2013