Seminar on Domestic Violence - Thursday June 6 2024, 2 - 3pm

"Contested narratives: Victimhood, neoliberal discourse, and intergenerational domestic violence"

Dr Rachel Hogg

The seminar will be facilitated by our Gender Network member Dr Rachel Hogg.

Rachel will unpack neoliberal discourse of self-empowerment culture that tells women they are individually responsible for solving their problems, placing pressure on women to manage their distress and survive domestic violence in socially acceptable ways. In this context, victims of violence or injustice might be expected to demonstrate certain types of behaviour or recovery patterns to be acknowledged and supported.

These narratives are often reinforced by the systems of psychology and marginalize those who do not fit the accepted narrative of a "deserving victim." Rachel will explain why mental health diagnoses can be weaponised to undermine credibility and autonomy within a neoliberal climate of self-empowerment. These issues are accentuated in rural and regional Australia and recent research has found that interpersonal violence in adolescent romantic relationships is also an issue in the regions.

How to join the event

You will need to have the Zoom installed on your computer or device to join this event.

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Members’ meeting 13 April 2023

Members and friends of the Gender and Feminist Studies Network, please join us for a members’ meeting. We’ve set the meeting for the first week of the semester break in the hope the meeting doesn’t interfere with teaching. The meeting is scheduled for 13 April 2023 at 4 pm.

The agenda is:

  1. A warm welcome to new members in the co-lead role - Cliff Lewis, Sonja Maria & Elizabeth Wulff and thanking previous leadership, Chelsea Litchfield, for her role in 2021-22.
  2. Reflection on our past achievements and where we want to go in the future:
    1. Discussion about rebranding – proposed name “The Gender Network (Gender, feminist and queer studies)
    2. A call for volunteers for the radio show
    3. Regular writing group meetings starting on Fridays – ideas to support writing and volunteers to run sessions

Suggested regular meeting slots for member contributions:

  1. Presentation schedule for regular meetings – “Research and scholarship” presentations and “Work in progress” presentations
  2. Success stories – bring your success stories and let us know about your wins and challenges
  3. Opportunities for collaboration – where members advance ideas for projects, ask for collegial support and/or involvement in related projects.

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International Women's Day March 7 2023 #Cracking the Code

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Gender and Feminist Studies Network International Women’s Day Seminar.

Our speakers:

  • Professor Megan Smith – Dean of Science and Health,
  • Dr Stacey Jenkins Executive Director, Safety, Security and Wellbeing
  • Dr Emma Rush – School of Social Work and Arts

contributed thought-provoking and candid perspectives on some compelling issues facing the university.

Watch the presentation

A Critical View of the Post-Gay in an Australian Context: A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Cliff’s presentation topic  is inspired by his book chapter in our book Gender, Feminist and Queer Studies: Power, Privilege and Inequality in a Time of Neoliberal Conservatism’

About the presentation

Presented March 30 2022

Various theorists explain the post-gay as an era where diverse sexual orientations are normalised within the mainstream; and thus, people with diverse sexualities experience less discrimination marginalisation and prejudice.

This presentation critically explores the notion of post-gay within the current conservative Australian context drawing data from newspaper articles on the same-sex marriage vote focusing on narratives from The Australian and The Guardian.

International Women's Day (IWD)

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is celebrated on March 8.

IWD marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, to celebrate women's achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. This is so that collectively, we can #BreakTheBias and create a gender equal world that is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

To celebrate IWD, Charles Sturt  hosted a zoom session featuring our Vice-Chancellor,  Renee Leon as well as guest speakers Dr Bomikazi Zeka and Rebecca Glenn.

Download event presentation

November Meeting of the Gender and Feminist Studies Network

This meeting featured presentations by members of the Gender and Feminist Studies Network – Joy Wallace and Susanne Francisco.

Joy Wallace, a scholar of women’s literature and feminist literature, recently published the special issue “War, gender and reflective Australia: Capturing the shape and form of war experience” and talked about gender and feminist studies in this perspective. This was an invaluable presentation for anyone who wants to include national and/or international scholars in a creative or research endeavour and those who want to start a new endeavour in the area of gender studies.

Susanne Francisco talked about “Writing, Editing, Publishing and Making the Most of SSP”. Susanne shared advice on the Special Studies Program (SSP) how to secure this highly competitive opportunity AND how to manage the period of time successfully. During this talk Susanne also shared insights on book writing – particularly working with colleagues, co-authors and co-editors. I encourage anyone with book aspirations or SSP aspirations to come and ask Susanne questions.

View the recording

October Meeting of the Gender and Feminist Studies Network

This meeting featured presentations by members of the Gender and Feminist Studies Network – Sophie Meredith and Alisha McFarlane.

Alisha McFarlane recently presented at the “Women in Defence, Enforcement & Emergency Services Leadership Summit 2021” about gender issues in paramedicine and will be bringing us a condensed version of that talk. This presentation covers equity, inclusion and diversity issues. Alisha’s current research is about gender equity and sexism in paramedicine. Alisha McFarlane is a Lecturer in Paramedicine at Charles Sturt University in Australia. She has been an intensive care paramedic for 18 years and is now focussed on researching the experiences of women in paramedicine; specifically experiences of sexism, harassment and gender inequality. Her current research investigates “The everyday sexism experiences of female paramedics in Australia” and uses Joan Acker’s gendered organisational theory. Alisha is chair of the clinical standards committee of the Australasian College of Paramedicine (ACP) and a member of the ACP women in paramedicine committee. She has published in the area of paramedicine in pre-hospital care and applied paramedic law and ethics and has contributed high profile media commentary about women in paramedicine through ‘The Women’s Agenda’.

Sophie Meredith will be talking to us about “writing gender”. Sophie is a creative writer and is currently doing research about non-binary and gender LGBTQ+ experiences in sport. She will be presenting a follow up from the WSU workshop on writing gender and teaching us about what she learned. Dr Sophie Meredith is a lecturer in Sports Sociology and Sports Media at Charles Sturt University, and lecturer in Professional Evidence in Health at the University of Canberra.  Dr Meredith has a Phd in public health from UTS that was part of a national sociological study on the self-care (including physical activity and exercise) of women.  She has published peer-reviewed epidemiological investigations of self-care and physical activity use for older women with sleeping problems through analysis of two of Australia’s largest datasets for health. She has published in The Journal of Aging and Health and Sleep, Science and Practice. Her research is concerned with barriers to well-being and physical activity for marginalised groups and uses an intersectional lens.

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Decolonising Ecologies: Yindyamarra Winhanganha, Indigenous Data Sovereignty, and Indigenist Standpoint Pedagogy

Peta Jeffries 8th September 2021

This presentation highlights processes of silencing, the art of colonisation, and what exists beneath the dominant narratives of nationhood and identity formation. Through a hybrid and situated methodology, which addresses my own positionality and privilege, this ethnographic history prioritises once silenced and erased voices. This presentation will highlight the significance and relevance of Indigenist Standpoint Pedagogy and Indigenous data sovereignty in ‘natural’ and social science research and practice.

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Webinar - Violence against Women in Regional and Rural Areas

14th July 2021

Rates of domestic and family violence in Australia are alarmingly high. It is estimated that one third of all women in Australia have incurred physical assault and a fifth have been subject to sexual assault. Intimate partner violence is higher in Australia than in other western democracies. In Australia one woman each week is murdered by her partner or ex-partner. In recent years there has been more understanding of the links between gender inequality and domestic violence. This seminar will grapple with the issue of high rates of violence against women in regional and rural areas. Please join us to hear from our esteemed presenters and to engage in a panel discussion where questions from the audience will be encouraged.


Arlia Fleming is the Centre Director/Principal Solicitor at the Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre (formerly Elizabeth Evatt CLC). Arlia has worked in the community legal sector for 16 years, in State-wide services and in RRR communities, mostly working with women in prison and Aboriginal women who have experienced family violence and/or sexual assault. Arlia is also the Chair of Community Legal Centres NSW and the President of the Central West Women’s Health Centre in Bathurst.

Lorraine Murphy is a Generalist Counsellor practicing at the Central West Women’s Health Centre in Bathurst NSW.  Lorraine has over 25 years of experience working as a Domestic and Family Violence specialist. In her work with clients who have experienced domestic and family violence Lorraine has offered a range of services such as Victims Support, group work and delivering Managing Strong Emotions programs. Lorraine has used her extensive experience to write models of practice for DV service delivery and education programs.

Jenny Rolfe is President of the Wagga Women’s Health Centre where the centre was instrumental in the implementation of a survey about attitudes to domestic violence. The high rates of domestic violence in Wagga combined with the concerning attitudes revealed in the survey resulted in the formation of “theDVproject:2650”. The project aimed to raise awareness and educate about the causes of violence against women and children and to promote gender equality and respect. Jenny is an education specialist with a commitment to gender equality and the financial wellbeing of women.

Kevin Jones is the Manager Uniting Aboriginal Permanency Support Programme Dubbo. Kevin has almost 20 years work experience working throughout regional NSW in the field of high risk offender management. He has undertaken intensive management, programming and leadership oversight of domestic violence / abuse offenders, working with domestic violence offenders to understand abusive behaviours and support in the development of respectfully relationships principles. Kevin has worked hard to tackle the domestic violence pandemic and make a real positive impact by facilitating and delivering dynamic interventions in various areas.

Tracey Willow has worked in the area of violence against women for 30 years. Tracey uses community development frameworks to facilitate women’s access to justice. Tracey has worked across rural, regional and metropolitan communities including the Hawkesbury, Lismore, Broken Hill and the Blue Mountains and Lithgow. She has been the CEO of Elizabeth Evette Community Legal Centre and the Far West Community Legal Centre. She is currently working in Social Work education at the University of Wollongong and as a change management consultant for rural and regional NGOs.

View the recording :

Gender and Feminist Studies Network Mid-Year Meeting

22nd June 2021

Official launch and first meeting of: The Gender and Feminist Studies Network at Charles Sturt University

17th February 2021

A new network was launched at Charles Sturt University last week to make gender and feminist studies at the University more visible, and encourage and support research students working in the field.

Find out more