Gender Equity and Diversity

In the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, we’re actively working to achieve equal opportunity and representation across genders, and to support cultural diversity—for you, us, and our community.

Gender equity and cultural diversity, in every aspect of life, benefits us all. Our students gain an enhanced sense of community and belonging, and a greatly enriched environment and education. Our staff enjoy greater wellbeing, through inclusive and flexible family-friendly work practices. Our University benefits from a greater range of perspectives, delivering broader research success and impact.

That’s why we’re absolutely committed to enabling, supporting and celebrating it within our faculty and throughout the University.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Gender Equity and Diversity Committee

Three students sitting and chatting

In 2014, we established our faculty's Gender Equity and Diversity Committee (GED), with representatives from across the faculty. The committee works with the University’s GED Committee and is an interactive forum for discussing, developing, implementing and disseminating positions on gender, equity, and diversity issues as related to the faculty's staff and students.

Our GED’s mandate is to encourage positive change across the faculty through such actions as:

  • establishing faculty-wide gender equity and diversity goals, and monitoring their achievement
  • considering and making recommendations to the Executive Dean and Faculty Board on GED-related organisational priorities
  • promoting a culture of aspiration towards improved representation of women and people of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other backgrounds
  • considering and recommending ways to remove impediments to equality of opportunity
  • disseminating GED best-practice to staff
  • contributing to the faculty’s marketing and recruitment strategies
  • providing a link between the faculty and the University’s GED Committee and Indigenous Education and Engagement Committee.

The faculty’s GED Committee meets six times a year and reports directly to our Faculty Board. It includes academic representatives from each of the schools in the faculty, as well as professional staff representation and senior faculty managers. It also includes:

  • the Director of the Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit
  • designated Fair Treatment Contact Officers, who act as first points of contact for anyone experiencing workplace bullying, harassment and/or discrimination
  • members of the University's Ally Network, who support an inclusive and respectful University environment for people who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer.

So what has our GED Committee achieved?

The faculty’s GED Committee has implemented a number of initiatives that are making a significant, positive difference for staff and students. Some examples include:

  • consulting on and drafting the Dornwell Framework, the University’s first gender equity strategy
  • drafting our faculty’s Dornwell Framework Action Plan (pdf file)
  • introducing Dependent Travel Grants for staff with caring responsibilities
  • reviewing the faculty’s Timetabling Policy (2017) to ensure that academic staff are given sufficient workplace flexibility
  • collaborating with Pride in Diversity (external link) to further enhance our faculty’s commitment to creating a safe and supportive environment for staff and students who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex or queer
  • developing faculty-wide activities as part of Reconciliation Week
  • providing support for women considering promotion, through participation in the Academic Women’s Forum and the Women’s Professional Development Network
  • supporting Indigenous course enrichment projects across the faculty
  • increasing parenting facilities and access to amenities in existing and planned infrastructure
  • contributing to the faculty’s response to the University’s Tarrkarri Tirrka Integrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy.

Supporting carers with the Dependant Travel Fund

Each year the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences offers a Dependant Travel Scheme to support female and male staff who have caring responsibilities to participate in a conference held overseas or within Australia. Funding support may be made available to eligible staff as a contribution to the travel costs of the dependant relative or carer, or to employ a carer at the conference location.

The Executive Dean will consider requests for the funding once the conference travel is approved. The number of awards made available is subject to faculty budgeting, and Executive Dean and Faculty GED Committee approval.

Need the committee’s support, or like to get involved?

Whether you’re a student or staff member, please don’t hesitate to contact our GED Committee, or any individual members.

Staff are also encouraged to provide feedback on organisational culture and GED-related matters through the Your Voice survey, and other similar staff sounding boards.


Dr Shona Crabb
Associate Dean (Gender Equity and Diversity)
Phone: +61 8 8313 1686

Clinton Kempster
Deputy Associate Dean (Gender Equity and Diversity)
Phone: +61 8 8313 8279

Associate Professor Joanne Bowen
Deputy Associate Dean (Gender Equity and Diversity)
Phone: +61 8 8313 1374

Award-winning research

Our researchers are recipients of the Academic Women’s Research Excellence Awards (WREA). Read more about their research below.

Developing alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs post organ transplant

Kisha Sivanathan is leading the way to develop an alternative to heavy reliance on pharmaceutical drugs post organ transplant with her intensive stem cell research. Since completing her PhD in August 2016, Kisha has not only received the WREA award for her discoveries, but also recently received her first independent project grant to extend the scope of her studies in stem cell research, immunology and transplantation.

Read more

Exploring mental health and wellbeing amongst vulnerable groups

Clemence Due is currently working on a range of disparate projects involving refugees, extending to dealing with the implications of parents who’ve experienced pregnancy loss in non-normative family types like single parents and lesbian couples. She also has research underway about access to primary health services for those with psychological distress, and teaches across first, second and third years of the Bachelor of Psychological Science.

Read more

Improving health in disadvantaged communities

Zohra Lassi’s keen interest in nutrition bought her all the way from Pakistan to delve further into research, completing her PhD at the University of Adelaide where she focused on seeking out methods which could help disadvantaged communities in Australia and beyond.

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Supporting Aboriginal women’s health

Alice Rumbold's work is particularly focused on Aboriginal women’s health, particularly infertility and the care they receive when pregnant. After completing her PhD in 2005, Alice moved to the Northern Territory to conduct a range of projects for women in the remote communities in the area.

Read more