Associate Professor Jorge Knijnik

Photo of Jorge KnijnikAssociate Professor Jorge Knijnik is a lecturer in the School of Education and a researcher in the Institute for Culture and Society. A/P Knijnik is an inaugural committee member of Women in Football Australia, a national association whose mission is to support gender equity within the Australian sports context. His task in this board is to create a research philosophy among all sport participants - communities, NGOs, players, industry and football bodies – thus endorsing an ethos of evidence-based decision making in the arena of sports, education and gender equity.

A/P Knijnik has wide understanding of industry partnerships that promote practical research endeavours. His current research develops procedures that offer clear evidence to industry and governments on where to focus their expenditures to increase youth wellbeing and educational outcomes. He played a leading role in an academia/industry/government network that examined psychological and social topics associated to communal fitness programs delivered to middle-aged men by the state government in Sao Paulo (Brazil).

A/P Jorge Knijnik has a high level of accomplishments in promoting pioneering and relevant theoretic and practical approaches to the intersections of educational results, gender equity, social cohesion, social activism and sports participation, going back to his PhD dissertation which looked at gender diversity and human rights within the Brazilian sports realm. Jorge has a rich know-how - demonstrated by domestic and global accolades - in developing and assessing pedagogical transformative hands-on experiences within super-diverse environments, that respect each participant’s complex mix of identities including gender, physical capacities, philosophies and cultural practices, towards positive educational, community and health results.

Jorge has a verified capability to produce research with communities that have an actual impact on community members. The results of his action-research that saw the win of civic society against the developers who sought to build a shopping mall in one of Rio de Janeiro's most iconic heritage areas during the 2007 Pan-American Games were described in a Q1 journal paper that has been cited over 100 times worldwide. Jorge’s research findings have impacted international public policies, such as the UN WOMEN 2014 report “Envisioning women’s rights in the post-2015 context” and the 2014 UNICEF report on social inclusion, sport and youth vulnerability. A/P Knijnik is the leader of the ‘Gender in sports community’ of the Sports Virtual Centre, the world’s largest online sports-research community for Portuguese and Spanish speakers.


  • Doctor of Social Psychology, 2006, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Master of Physical Education, 2001, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Teacher's Certificate and Bachelor (Honours) of Physical Education, 1991, University of São Paulo

Research Focus

  • Positive youth development health and well being promotion programs
  • Gender equity in sports and education
  • Sport, globalisation and society
  • Critical pedagogy in higher education
  • Curriculum development and democratic schooling

Selected Awards and Recognition

  • 122,705.00 USD from the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Award for Sports Research; Project: The perceptions of young Saudis and other key actors about the limits and possibilities for participation in physical activity and sport
  • 6,000 AUD from Centre for Educational Research and Fair Play Publishing; Project The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup: human rights legacy and impact for the Australian grassroots sports gender equity agenda
  • Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Educational inequalities at the pandemic context: diagnosis and propositions for public policies
  • 2018: AU$ 17,403 from the Economic and Social Research Council (UK): Project Ritual, Community and Conflict [via University of Oxford]
  • 2018:AU$ 10,000 (with Ryan Storr) from Victorian Cricket Association: Project Developing LGBT+ Inclusive Supporter Groups in the Big Bash Cricket League
  • 2014: Office for Learning and Teaching Australian Award for University Teaching: Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2013: UWS Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Award for "Excellence in Teaching"
  • 2009: Building the Gender Equality – Awarded by the Brazilian Research Council, Brazilian Ministry of Education and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Selected Publications

Knijnik, J. and Garton, G. (2022) Si nos permiten jugar: Constructing a feminist football in Latin America In: Jorge Knijnik and Gabriela Garton (eds). Women’s football in Latin America: Social Challenges and Historical Perspectives (opens in a new window) (volume 2, Hispanic Countries), Palgrave MacMillan. (pp. 289-302)

Xu, W.; Knijnik, J. (2022). Teaching the English Language in Chinese higher education: Preparing critical citizens for the global village. (opens in a new window) Teaching in Higher Education: critical perspectives.

Knijnik, J 2021, To Freire or not to Freire: educational freedom and the populist right wing ‘Escola sem Partido’ movement in Brazil (opens in a new window). British Educational Research Journal, 47(2), pp. 355-371

Knijnik, J.; Hunter, J. (2022). The pedagogy of courage: critical Aboriginal football education in Australia’s Northern Territory (opens in a new window). Critical Studies in Education. 63 (3)371-86

Knijnik, J.; Luguetti, C. N. (2021). Social Justice narratives in academia: challenges, struggles and pleasures PETE educators face in understanding and enacting critical pedagogy in Brazil (opens in a new window). Sport, Education and Society. 26 (5), pp.541-53.

Knijnik, J 2018, The World Cup chronicles - 31 days that rocked Brazil (opens in a new window), Fair Play Publishing, Balgowlah Heights.

Knijnik, J 2018, 'Imagining a multicultural community in an everyday football carnival: chants, identity and social resistance on Western Sydney terraces' (opens in a new window), International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 471-89.

Knijnik, J & Spaaij, R 2017, 'No harmony: football fandom and everyday multiculturalism in Western Sydney' (opens in a new window), Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol.38, no.1, pp. 36-53.

Knijnik, J 2013, 'Visions of gender justice: "untested feasibility" on the football fields of Brazil' (opens in a new window), Journal of Sport and Social Issues, vol. 37, pp. 8-30.

Curi, M, Knijnik, J & Mascarenhas, G 2011, 'The Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro 2007: consequences of a sport mega event on a BRIC country', International Review for the Sociology of Sport (opens in a new window), vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 140-156.

Knijnik J., Horton, P. & Cruz L. (2010). Rhizomatic bodies, gendered waves: Transitional femininities in Brazilian Surf (opens in a new window) Sport in Society, 13(7/8), 1170-1185.

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