New sexes in the city?: current gender challenges and possibilities

Sociology Public Lecture 2017

This event brings together national and international experts on contemporary gender fluidities. Each panelist will contribute their own insights to changing experiences of gender, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q & A.

Transgender negotiations of university space Professor Peter Hopkins, Newcastle University UK



Queering Gender in Activism: Busting Binaries in Human Rights Practice Jacob ThomasQueen’s Young Leader and Human Rights Advocate



Learning to be queer: Connecting and finding community through social media Dr Brady Robards, Sociology, Monash University



LGBTIQ+ Youth in Tertiary Education: Lateral Violence, ‘Authentic’ Queerness and Exclusion Dr Andrea Waling,   La Trobe University

Kirsten McLean 

Contributing Chair  Dr Kirsten McLean, Sociology, Monash University


When: 5 October 2017     Time: 12-2 pm     Where: State Library Victoria

New sexes in the city? Monash Sociology Flyer

Speaker biographies

To register 


ARC Discovery Project on Antibiotic Resistance

A team led by Associate Professor Mark Davis (Sociology) with Professor Andrea Whittaker (Anthropology), Associate Professor Mia Lindgren (Media), Professor Monika Djerf-Pierre (Journalism, University of Gothenburg) and Professor Paul Flowers (Health Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University) has commenced work on their ARC-funded project: ‘Building the Australian Response to the ‘superbugs’ crisis.’ The project will examine media and communications on antibiotic resistance and the lived experiences of antibiotic consumers in Australia.


Sustainable Futures and the importance of Gender

Centre for Women’s Studies & Gender Research, Sociology Public Lecture 2017

When 17 August 2017    Time 12-2 pm   Where State Library Victoria

Sustainable Futures and the importance of Gender

The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals identify gender equality as a key goal for sustainable futures. This panel of experts examines the importance of gender, globally, nationally and locally, as we develop social and political structures to achieve long term sustainability. The panellists interrogate the critical role of gender interventions as personal, communal and global.

Watch the Event

Sustainable futures and the importance of gender flyer

Janelle Weissman, Executive Director, UN Women National Committee Australia

 What’s gender got to do with it?  The SDGs and the 2030 Agenda

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a roadmap for every country in the world to advance peace, prosperity and to protect the planet. Different to the MDGs, gender is central to each of the 17 goals. Ms Weissman will speak about the importance of and substance behind the standalone gender goal, and why applying a gender lens to the achievement of each of the SDGs will be critical to our success, locally, nationally and globally.

Professor Margaret Alston, OAM, Monash University

Gender, Sustainability and Climate in Australia and the Asia Pacific

Using recent research on water restructuring in the Murray Darling Basin, Professor Alston will explore impacts on affected dairy communities and the ways in which complex and precarious gendered livelihood strategies are emerging. She highlights the importance of gendered analyses of climate change and disaster situations in order to understand critical impacts and challenges in environmental and social change.  

Dr Yolande Strengers, Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT

Plugging the Wife Drought: Smart homes and gendered futures

Sustainable futures and the importance of gender’ relates to how futuristic global visions of the smart home are romanticising and reproducing traditional gender roles (aiming to fix Annabel Crabb’s ‘Wife Drought’, whilst simultaneously generating new forms of domestic labour that are, ironically, more likely to be performed by men. They are also reproducing masculine ideals of sustainability, such as automated appliances and detailed consumption feedback designed for ‘Resource Man’. The key challenge is ensuring that we bring women’s voices to the technology table.

Moderator: Associate Professor Jo Lindsay,Sociology, Monash University


Speaker biographies 

Janelle Weissman, Executive Director, UN Women National Committee Australia

For the past twenty years, Janelle Weissman has worked to strengthen social justice organisations tackling issues from empowering women through to supporting people with HIV/AIDS. Since joining the team at UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia in 2014, funds raised to support UN Women programs to empower and protect women have substantially increased. Under her leadership, UN Women NC Australia is positioned to increase its annual contribution to $1.7 million by 2020.

Prior to her work with UN Women NC Australia, Janelle was Director of Communications and Development at Family Planning Queensland, a sexual and reproductive health, education and training organisation. Before relocating to Australia, she was Executive Director of two philanthropic foundations and a venture philanthropy giving circle. Janelle completed her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado USA, as a Colorado Trust Fellow, in 2001, and her Masters in International Studies at the University of Queensland, as a Rotary World Peace Fellow, in 2009.

Margaret Alston Professor of Social Work and Head of Department at Monash University.

At Monash University Professor Alston has established the Gender, Leadership and Social Sustainability (GLASS) research unit which has attracted an extensive number of PhD students. Previously she was at Charles Sturt University for 21 years, most recently as Professor of Social Work. In 2010 she was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to social work and to rural women.

She is a past-Chair of the Australian Heads of Schools of Social Work (ACHSSW) and was appointed a Foundation Fellow of the Australian College of Social Work in 2011. She is currently CI on an ARC project on social sustainability in the Murray-Darling Basin area and on the ARC Invisible Farmer project with the Victorian Museum to develop awareness of rural women’s contribution to Australian society.

Dr Yolande Strengers, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT

Dr Strengers is a sociologist of design and technology specialising in visions of and everyday lived experiences with smart technology. As co-leader of the Beyond Behaviour Change Program at RMIT University’s Centre for Urban Research, Dr Strengers leads a program of applied research oriented towards achieving sustainability outcomes and energy consumption reductions in households. Her book on ‘Smart energy technologies in everyday life’ (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) revealed a gendered vision for the smart energy consumer – or Resource Man – who is imagined as a tech-savvy and data-driven energy user. She currently holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher  Award on ‘Automating the Smart Home’, where she is uncovering further gendered implications of future sustainability visions.

Moderator: Associate Professor Jo Lindsay, Sociology, Monash University 

Associate Professor Jo Lindsay is in the Sociology discipline in the School of Social Sciences (SoSS). Jo specialises in the sociology of families, consumption and the environment.At Monash Jo leads the Research Impact Portfolio in the School of Social Sciences and is on the executive of Monash Infrastructure.  Nationally, Jo is on the board of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and as past president of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) she has a long term commitment to the association. Internationally, Jo is on the academic organising committee of the EcoCity world Summit 2017 and the International Sociological Association World Congress planned for 2022.


Sociology PhD publishes her first book

Prof JaneMaree Maher (Monash University) with Dr Fiona MacDonald at her book launch

Dr Fiona MacDonald (Sociology PhD 2014) has just published a book drawing on her thesis research with Palgrave Macmillan. Entitled Childhood and Tween Girl Culture: Family, Media and Locality the book explores the ways in which notions of childhood are being influenced by a rapidly expanding consumer-media culture in the 21st Century. It focuses on the everyday social worlds of Grade 6 girls and offers a critical account of the concept ‘tween’ in their lives.

Fiona now works at the Mitchell Institute, Victoria University on projects focused on social inclusion in schools. 



Testing times: new research project looks at expectations in healthcare testing


PewDiePie, new media stars and the court of public opinion


Let’s talk about sex: inclusion in the classroom and beyond with Dr Kirsten McLean


Kirsten McLean recognised in 2016 Vice Chancellor’s Teaching awards


Alan Petersen elected to the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences

Professor Alan Petersen who has recently been elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK. This is a very prestigious appointment, with fellows including academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the world. Alan was the only Australian and one of only two non-UK people elected.
See the list fellows here.
As the Academy notes: ‘The new Fellows are drawn from across the spectrum of academia, practitioners and policymakers. They have been recognised after an extensive process of peer review for the excellence and impact of their work through the use of social science for public benefit. This includes substantial contributions and leadership in higher education, government, public health and social policy, funding councils, charitable foundations and think tanks.’


Youth research

Our youth research focuses on the ways young people respond to – and create – new conditions of social and economic life in the 21st century. We explore the meanings and impacts of globalisation, new media and technology, the new transitions environment and shifts in work/study patterns, relationships and self-identity and citizenship for youth today.

Dr Steve Roberts researches and publishes on how social class and gender shape, influence and constrain young people’s experiences of and aspirations for education, employment, housing, consumption and the domestic sphere. His most recent research projects include investigations into the shifting nature of youthful masculinities and also a study of youth homelessness in a relatively affluent suburb of Melbourne.

Internationally recognised in the sociological study of youth and young adulthood, Steve is often called upon to advise on methods and findings from policy-related research and to offer commentary on international youth-related issues. Recent examples include advice to the UK’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on research into youth employment destinations, advocacy for the charity World Vision and also analysis of the challenges facing the ‘millennial generation’ for eFM Radio South Korea. 

Dr Helen Forbes-Mewett is developing new research avenues in response to Australia’s diverse and changing international student population. She holds an ARC Post Doctoral Fellowship and is undertaking a project entitled International Student Safety from Crime.  Helen’s work has recently been presented to the Australian Government House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment, Parliament House. She is co-author of International Student Security (Cambridge University Press) and has a forthcoming book (with McCulloch and Nyland) entitled International Students and Crime (Palgrave MacMillan). 

Associate Professor Jo Lindsay  researches young people’s consumption and leisure practices, and has also undertaken major research projects on young workers and health risks in their social lives, and youth sexual health knowledge and practices. She is currently working on a large national project on young people and alcohol consumption

Dr Kirsten McLean researches issues surrounding inclusion and diversity in higher education, and has an ongoing research interest in young people and sexualities.

Professor Zlatko Skrbis is undertaking a large-scale ARC-funded longitudinal study into the Social Futures and Life Pathways of Young People in Queensland, known as the ‘Our Lives’ project, and holds an ARC Linkage grant for a project on Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia.