Current SaGR Research Projects

ACON Western Sydney LGBTIQ Wellbeing and Inclusion Research Project

There has been considerable research that has looked at the lived experiences of LGBTQ people. This project will explore the issues arising from the literature in the context of the experiences of LGBTQ people in Western Sydney, focusing more on identifying and prioritising strategies to improve the wellbeing and resilience of members of the LGBTQ communities in the region, which is currently a gap in the research. The project also focuses on identifying strategies to help build capacity amongst LGBTQ community leaders in order to better support their communities. The inclusion of relevant service providers in this study, will provide the opportunity to identify best service provision practices in order to work more effectively with the diverse LGBTQ communities in the region. Funded by ACON.

Researchers: Kerry Robinson, Peter Bansel, Nida Denson, Jacqueline Ullman, Cristyn Davies, Cris Townley, Michael Atkinson, Kai Noonan

Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Schools: Parental Experiences

This project aims to analyse parents’ perspectives regarding the inclusion of gender and sexuality (G&S) diversity in school curriculum across Australia and to understand how parents of G&S diverse children navigate their child’s experiences in schools. It is anticipated this combined data will inform the development of a performance ethnography as a training resource for pre/in-service teachers. Teachers are reluctant to broach G&S diversity for fear of parental backlash despite the on-going marginalisation of these students. The intended outcomes of the research include policy and curriculum development and training resources as well as increased support for parents of G&S diverse children. Funded by ARC DP180101676 (2018 - 2020)

Researchers:  Tania Ferfolja, Jacqueline Ullman, Tara Goldstein.

Keywords: gender and sexuality diversity (GSD); LGBTQI+; parents; curriculum; equity

‘Game to Play?’ Exploring the experiences and attitudes towards sport, exercise and physical activity amongst same sex attracted and gender diverse young people

Research highlights that same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people (SSAGD) are at significantly greater risk of mental ill-health than their cisgender peers, largely due to discrimination, bullying and prejudice based on homophobia and transphobia they experience on a daily basis in families, in schools, at work, in the health care system, in sports, and in the broader community more generally. Initially we conducted a pilot study with same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people (SSAGD) aged 12-24 in NSW in order to contribute to positively addressing the increased inclusion of SSAGD young people in sport and physical activities. The research was undertaken by Western Sydney University (WSU) in collaboration with Twenty10 incorporating Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service NSW (GLCS).

Young SSAGD people in this research experienced numerous forms of discrimination in sport and exercise, but especially in PE at school. It is critical that steps are taken to address the violence and discrimination that SSAGD young people experience in sport and exercise environments, including tackling homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexism.   The sporting sector can help make a difference to the health and wellbeing of SSAGD young people by providing equitable and safe access for every young person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. If young people have positive and affirming experiences in exercise, sport and PE, this can lead to healthy lifelong habits around sport and exercise, and can inspire a new generation of people to play sport.The report can be found here and the video of the launch of the report here.

We are now conducting an Australian wide survey of the participation rates and experiences of young SSAGD people in sport.

Keywords: sport; youth; sexuality and gender diversity (SGD); LGBTQI+;

Researcher: Ryan Storr, Kerry Robinson, Lucy Nicholas, Cristyn Davies, Jacqueline Ullman, Anneke Collison, Cris Townley,

Development of a gender-based violence prevention program in Western Sydney secondary schools

Project Partners: Western Sydney Wanders, Parramatta City Council, Sexualities and Genders Research/Western Sydney University

This project, instigated by and in conjunction with the Western Sydney Wanderers , seeks to develop a school-based program for secondary students in Western Sydney dedicated to challenging the drivers of gender-based violence / violence against women and girls.

Researchers: Professor Kerry Robinson, Associate Professor Lucy Nicholas, Cris Townley, Assoc Professor Jacqueline Ullman, Dr Ryan Storr, Associate Professor Michael Salter, Dr Peter Bansel, Associate Professor Susanne Gannon

Keywords: gender-based violence; schools; Western Sydney; equity; football; sports-based programs

Understandings and responses to domestic violence in the African Great Lakes communities of Western Sydney

Project Partners: Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development (GLAPD Int.) and Western Sydney University

This project will examine understandings of domestic violence amongst Great Lakes community members, and will document the lived experiences and views of community members and health and welfare workers delivering health services to the Great Lakes community. This approach will enable the research team to develop policy and practice recommendations to improve the access of Great Lakes community access to health and welfare services when they are impacted by domestic violence. Funded by GLADPD (Inc.).

Researchers: Dr Nadine Umutoni Wa Shema, Mr Emmanuel Musoni, Dr Jean Pierre Abega, Mrs Aimee Gwiza, Mr Ken Mufumbiro (GLADPD); Dr Selda Dagistanli, Cris Townley, Dr Ryan Thorneycroft, Professor Kerry Robinson, Dr Kate Huppatz, Dr Peter Bansel (SaGR)

Negotiating Mothering and Academic Work: A Mixed Methods Intersectional Feminist Study

This study examines the negotiation of parenting and academic work - exploring the normative gender practices that render this negotiation particularly acute for women who are mothers. The study moves beyond a focus simply on white coupled heterosexual mothers – a focus that has hitherto neglected the diversity of experience of mothers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, of lesbian, bi-sexual and queer (LBQ) mothers, and single mothers in academia. Funded by VC Gender Equity Grant.

Researcher: Emilee Gilbert

Keywords: intersectionality; sexualities; genders; post-structural feminism

Plain Tobacco Packaging: A Qualitative Feminist Examination of Young Women’s Cigarette Smoking, and Anti-Smoking Policies

In this study I broadly examine young women’s construction and experience of cigarette smoking and plain tobacco packaging. Using Post-Structuralism and Intersectionality, I unpack how gender, social class, cultural, and sexual identities shape smoking practices and responses to anti-smoking policies. Funded by WSU Researcher Development Grant.

Researcher: Emilee Gilbert

Keywords: class identities; sexuality; gender; women’s health.

Constructions, Experiences, and Negotiations of Workplace Flexibility for Australian Fathers

This study addresses how gendered and classed identities shape workplace flexibility for men, and the impact of flexible working practices on men’s experiences of, and participation in, fathering.

Researchers: Emilee Gilbert and Alina Ewald (PhD candidate)

Keywords: masculinities; work practices; class identities.

Gender Matters: Changing gender equity policies and practices

This research presents a fresh evaluation and redesign of gender equity policy for schools, informed by the experiences and perspectives of young people and teachers on issues that impact on learning and wellbeing. A critical review of past policy approaches to gender equity will be brought together with new strategies for working with gender-based issues in secondary schools, including those of contemporary concern in wider society. It will contribute to socially just futures for young people, for whom gender remains a complex axis of identity, and provide new tools and resources for educational practitioners and policy makers. Funded by ARC Discovery (2019-2021)

Researchers: Susanne Gannon, Kerry Robinson, and a PhD candidate

Keywords: secondary schools, gender, education policy, Gender Equity Framework

Breastfeeding and return to work in nursing and teaching

Funded by: Western Sydney University - Women's Fellowship Award – (awarded to Elaine Burns)

Researchers:  Elaine Burns with Susanne Gannon

Free2Be (Yet)?: The second national survey of Australian sexuality and gender diverse secondary students

The Free2Be? project (Ullman, 2015) investigated sexuality and gender diverse high school students’ experiences of secondary school in an effort to understand how perceived school climate was related to critical schooling outcomes, including academic self-concept and educational aspirations. Free2Be (Yet)? re-deployed items from the original 2013 online survey in order to ascertain changes in the student experience across this five year period, as well as validate an original multidimensional scale measuring students’ perceptions of their schools’ ‘gender-climate’.  Data analysis is taking place over 2019 with a report released later this year. Funded by Western Sydney University.

Researcher: Jacqueline Ullman

Sexual Health and Attitude of Australian Prisoners

Researchers: Nicole Asquith, in conjunction with Kirby Institute (Basil Donovan, Juliet Richters, Jocelyn Jones, Lorraine Yap; Azar Kariminia)

CALD LGBTIQ+ People’s Relationships to Family

Researchers: Nicole Asquith, Anneke Collison, Eloise Layard (ACON), Kai Noonan (ACON)

Funded by: City of Parramatta

Keywords: Family violence, CALD, family

Family Exile

Researchers: Nicole Asquith, Angela Dwyer, Deborah Dempsey, Paul Willis, Christopher Fox Nicki Bath (National LGBTI Health Alliance), Paul Simpson, Jain Moralee (Twenty10), Marnee Shay, Justin Canty, Annaliese Constable (ACON), Kai Noonan (ACON)

Funded by: Pilot funding from UTas; NHMRC Partnership grant proposed for early 2020

Keywords: Family violence, homelessness, young people