Centre History and Governance

Centre Director, Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher
Centre Director, Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher

Centre Background:

The Centre was a University Gazetted Centre established in 1987, as a result of sustained efforts by Faculty of Arts staff. The remit of the Centre was to foster and support feminist scholarship and women’s equality in all spheres. The Centre was one of the first University level Centres focused on feminist scholarship and teaching established in any Australian university.

Centre Structure and Governance:

  • At the time of establishment, the Centre operated as a research and teaching clearing house for feminist scholarship across the Faculty of Arts.
  • The Centre was initially staffed by fractional secondments and Centre operations were supported by an Advisory Board drawn from across the Faculty. The role of Director was generally undertaken by a senior staff member from another area. But the growing importance of feminist scholarship supported greater resourcing of the Centre and its contributions to research and pedagogy.
  • In 1997, the Centre saw its first direct staff establishment position: additional appointments were made in 2000 and 2007.
  • The Centre has proved to be an excellent environment for the advancement of feminist scholars: in the period from 2000-2011, all of female staff appointed to the Centre achieved promotion to Associate Professor or beyond.
  • From 2012, the Centre is located within the Sociology Program in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University.

Centre Research

  • The Centre operates as a key focus for gender scholarship in the Faculty.

Centre Pedagogy:

  • In response to student demand, an independent major in Women’s Studies was offered from 1999 onwards. This major became a gender studies major in 2008, achieving significant growth in unit enrolments and the inclusion of many more male students in classrooms. Centre staff have taught into the Sociology, Criminology and Politics majors, bringing gender expertise to all these fields.
  • From 2014, gender studies teaching units will be embedded within the Sociology major, strengthening its outreach.
  • Postgraduate demand in the field of gender studies has remained strong across the course of the Centre’s history and is a key part of the feminist outreach of the Centre. Recent graduate achievements include Dr Karolyne Quinn (Women’s Studies 2011) winning the Mollie Holman University Medal for doctoral Excellence in Arts (Supervisor: Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher).