Dr Bonnie Pang

Dr Bonnie Pang is a Lecturer in Health and Physical Education in the School of Health Sciences. She is recognised for her research in the (critical) socio-cultural aspects of Health/Physical Education (H/PE), and physical culture, specialising in Chinese youth experiences, diversity and critical pedagogy, and healthy and inclusive communities. She is currently the principal investigator of a number of research projects, and a recipient of numerous scholarships/awards (funding received: a total of approximately AUS $130,000). As a Hong Kong born Chinese-Australian, she is particularly concerned with fostering diversity and inclusion of Chinese youth, family and community voices and experiences in health and physical culture. She specialises in qualitative research, but also employs a range of research methods to gain a better understanding of complex and emerging socio-cultural issues.

She has an academic background in Education (H/PE) (UQ, CUHK), Cultural Studies (USYD), and Global Health (UEDIN) which informs her core ideas in research, teaching and governance nexus. While she thinks of education (H/PE) as an intellectual home base, her work also speaks to a variety of social science fields that work towards realising the goals of engagement, equity and empowerment in people's lives. Dr Pang's research has created new knowledge about young Chinese Australian students' needs, experiences and perceptions of HPE and physical activity (HPEPA); constructed a 'heuristic of difference' model that aims to move beyond the Euro-American theoretical knowledge and structures of understanding Chinese students in HPEPA, and advanced our knowledge in the effectiveness and innovativeness of drawing on a synthesis of research methodologies (i.e., critical interpretive ethnographic methods, participatory visual methods, and an integration of Chinese and western theoretical perspectives) in HPEPA research. In particular, Dr Pang's research has challenged the often taken-for-granted and deficit discourses related to Chinese students in Australia's HPEPA, and advocated a strengths-based approach to understanding the students' assets, identities and experiences within their fluid and diverse socio-cultural environment in HPEPA. The results have great impact on how we represent, position and research with Chinese students in HPEPA, thereby how they engage and perform their identities in HPEPA in westernised contexts. The research outcomes aim to inform local education and health policies as well as children's and women' rights as articulated in the UN Convention, and intercultural education as stated in the UNESCO.

Overall, Dr Pang's research aligns with UWS 2015-2020 Strategic Plan (Global Futures and Securing Success) and Australian National Curriculum in HPE in meeting the needs of diverse young people in HPEPA, and thus will continue to create regional, national and global impact (that will benefit diverse and Chinese young people in westernised countries) in the field. Dr Pang specialises in the teaching areas of 'Youth Health and Wellbeing', and 'Physical Cultural Studies'. Educating young people to become reflective, critical and holistic healthy persons, thereby enacting meaningful lives and changes in sites of inequality in HPE and physical culture, is also a key focus of her work.


  • Master of Cultural Studies, 2016, The University of Sydney
  • PGDip in Global Health: NCD, 2014, University of Edinburgh
  • PhD (Health and Physical Education), 2012, University of Queensland
  • MPhil, 2008, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • BEd (Hons), 2006, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Honours and Awards

  • 2016: Leeds Beckett University (Centre for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Visiting Scholar
  • 2016: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science), Visiting Scholar
  • 2016: Western Sydney University Academic Development Program
  • 2015: University of Western Sydney Early Career Researcher Grant
  • 2014: University of Western Sydney Vice-Chancellor's Professional Development Scholarship
  • 2011: AIESEP Young Scholar Award
  • 2008-12: UQ Research Scholarship
  • 2008: Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship
  • 2007: Thomas HC Cheung Postgraduate Scholarship
  • 2005: Kunkle and Pommerenke Grand Scholarship

Selected Publications

Pang, B 2016, 'Conducting research with young Chinese-Australian students in health and physical education and physical activity: epistemology, positionality and methodologies' (opens in a new window), Sport, Education and Society, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1242065.

Pang, B & Hill, J 2016, 'Rethinking the "aspirations" of Chinese girls within and beyond Health and Physical Education and physical activity in Greater Western Sydney' (opens in a new window), Sport, Education and Society, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1217517.

Pang, B & Soong, H 2016, 'Teachers' teaching experiences with young Chinese Australians in health and physical education', Teaching and Teacher Education, vol. 56, pp. 84-93.

Pang, B & Macdonald, D 2015, 'Understanding young Chinese Australian's (dis)engagement in Health and Physical Education and School-Sport' (opens in a new window), Physical Education Sport Pedagogy, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 441-458.

Pang, B, Alfrey, L & Varea, V 2015, 'Young Chinese Australian's subjectivities of "health" and "(un)healthy bodies"' (opens in a new window), Sport, Education and Society, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 1091-1108.

Pang, B & Macdonald, D 2015, 'Recognising young Chinese Australian's perceived resources within and beyond schooling' (opens in a new window), Pedagogy, Culture and Society, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 435-453.

Pang, B 2014, 'Promoting physical activity in Hong Kong Chinese young people: factors influencing their subjective task values and expectancy beliefs in physical activity' (opens in a new window), European Physical Education Review, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 385-397.

Pang, B, Macdonald, D & Hay, P 2013, '"Do I have a choice?' The Influences of family values and investments on Chinese migrant young people's lifestyles and physical activity participation in Australia' (opens in a new window), Sport, Education and Society, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 1048-1064.

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