WiA Workshop 2012

The second ASA women in astronomy workshop was held over 10-11 October 2012 at Swinburne University. The meeting was attended by more than 100 people, including over 30 people streaming online.

A brief report on the content and outcomes of the workshop is now available.

Follow the links in the program below to access the talks, and follow this link to tweets posted during the workshop.

Women in astronomy workshop, held 10-11 October 2012 at Swinburne in Melbourne. (Credit: Adrian Malec)

2012 Women in Astronomy Workshop
10-11 October 2012
Swinburne University, Melbourne

The second ASA Workshop in Women in Astronomy will be held 10-11 October 2012 in Melbourne.  This 2-day workshop will focus on how unconscious biases in our professional and personal lives affects women’s leadership and participation in the workplace. Over the two days there will be both presentations as well as workshop sessions.  These will cover some of the issues and obstacles that women face during their astronomy careers, and strategies that both women and men can use in overcoming them. Descriptions of new approaches and schemes implemented over the past 18 months, by individuals and institutions, to help improve the status of women in astronomy will be examined. Guest speakers include Mary Crooks, Executive Director of the Victorian Women’s Trust.  A (non-subsidised) dinner will also be organised on the 10th to provide further opportunity for discussion.

Workshop Goals:

  1. To raise awareness of general issues that impact on the decision of women to continue in a research focused career.
  2. To illustrate the validity of the many career paths for astronomers.
  3. To highlight how institutions can help women succeed in our field.
  4. To recognize and combat unconscious biases.

Workshop Program – Day 1:

9:00 Intro & welcome Sarah Brough (AAO)
Linda Brown (Swinburne)
9:15 Setting the scene: Sarah Maddison (Swinburne)
Kate Gunn (CAASTRO)
9:40 Leadership: Mary Crooks (Victorian Women’s Trust)
10:30 Morning Tea  
11:00 Varied career paths: Anne Green (Sydney)
Alicia Oshlack (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Yeshe Fenner (AAL)
Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer (UNSW)
12:15 Lunch  
1:30 How institutions can help: Matthew Colless (AAO)
Barbara Dalton (Monash Equity & Diversity Centre)
Renu Sharma (ICRAR) **
Cathy Trott (Curtin/CAASTRO)
3:15 Afternoon Tea  
4:00 Discussion Panel: Lisa Harvey-Smith (CASS); John Storey (UNSW); Tamara Davis (UQ)
4:45 Summary and closing comments Sarah Brough (AAO)

Workshop Program – Day 2:

The second day will include a series of facilitated workshops to help you overcome barriers at work and move ahead, and getting the support you need at home, including: recognising and combating unconscious biases in the work place; the importance of family support to your career; and lobbying techniques to raise your profile.  Workshop facilitators include Suzanne Mercier and Kate Higgs (click here for more information).

9:30 Unconscious biases (part I): Suzanne Mercier (Liberate Leadership)
11:00 Morning Tea  
11:30 Unconscious biases (part II): Suzanne Mercier (Liberate Leadership)
1:00 Lunch  
2:00 Managing partnerships: Kate Higgs (Coactive Coaching)
3:30 Afternoon Tea  
4:00 Lobbying: Krystal Evans (WEHI), Kate Gunn (CAASTRO)
5:00 End  

Download the workshop poster here.


There is no registration fee to attend the workshop. For catering purposes, please email Sarah Brough (sb@aao.gov.au) to indicate your attendance, no later than 10 September 2012.  If you require assistance with childcare during the workshop, please contact Sarah Maddison (smaddison@swin.edu.au).


The workshop will be hosted at Swinburne University, Melbourne, in the TAFE Building room TD121 of the Hawthorn Campus.  The Hawthorn Campus of Swinburne University is located about 10km east of the Melbourne City Centre, and is is well serviced by public transport with trains and trams.

Swinburne Hawthorn campus map

You can also download a PDF version of the Swinburne campus map. For information about using Melbourne public transit and to plan your trip, visit Public Transport Victoria. Note that Melbourne transport is switching toa new ticketing system called myki throughout 2012, but visitors to Melbourne can still use 2-hour or daily Metcards.


Should you be requiring local accommodation while in Melbourne, we suggest the following:

  • Glenferrie Hotel – very close to Swinburne (1 min walk!)
  • Amora Hotel Riverwalk – nice hotel in Richmond on the Yarra River, just a 15 minute tram ride from Swinburne.
  • Richmond Hill Hotel – cheaper option in Richmond. Great location close to train and trams, about 15 minutes from Swinburne.

You can also try wotif.com

Organising Committee:
Sarah Brough (AAO)
Kate Gunn (CAASTRO)
Virgina Kilborn (Swinburne)
Sarah Maddison (Swinburne)
Steven Tingay (ICRAR)

Swinburne LOC:
Helga Denes
Sreeja Kartha
Sarah Maddison
Genevieve Shattow
Anna Sippel
Catarina Ubach


Registered Participants:
Rebecca Allen (Swinburne)
Amanda Bauer (AAO)
Christina Blom (Swinburne)
Eli Boera (Swinburne)
Shari Breen (CSIRO)
Mita Brierly (AAL)
Kate Brooks (CSIRO)
Sarah Brough (AAO)
Michael Brown (Monash University)
Graeme Carrad (CSIRO)
Kate Chow (University of Sydney)
Yanett Contreras (CSIRO)
Matthew Colless (AAO)
George Collins (Swinburne)
Camila Correa (Melbourne University)
Warrick Couch (Swinburne)
Mary Crooks (Victorian Women’s Trust)
Darren Croton (Swinburne)
Barbara Dalton (Monash Equity & Diversity Centre)
Tamara Davis (University of Queensland)
Helga Denes (Swinburne)
Alina Donea (Monash University)
Valentina D’Orazi (Macquarie University)
Sally Eastoe (Swinburne)
Kim Dorrell (CAASTRO)
Krystal Evans (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute)
Ilana Feain (CSIRO)
Yeshe Fenner (AAL)
David Floyd (Monash University)
Chris Fluke (Swinburne)
Lisa Fogarty (University of Sydney)
Anne Green (University of Sydney)
Kate Gunn (CAASTRO)
Lisa Harvey-Smith (CSIRO)
Alex Hill (CSIRO)
Tanya Hill (Melbourne Planetarium)
Andrew Hopkins (AAO)
Natasha Hurley-Walker (Curtin)
Akila Jeeson Daniel (Melbourne University)
Sreeja Kartha (Swinburne)
Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer (UNSW)
Virgina Kilborn (Swinburne)
Kate Lee (Sydney Observatory)
Kitty Lo (University of Sydney)
Tracy Ly (Melbourne University)
Katherine Mack (Melbourne University)
Sarah Maddison (Swinburne)
Juan Madrid (Swinburne)
Sarah Martell (AAO)
Marie Martig (Swinburne)
Christina Magoulas (Melbourne University)
Guido Moyana Loyola (Swinburne)
Michael Murphy (Swinburne)
Paola Oliva (Swinburne)
Alicia Oshlack (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Simon O’Toole (AAO)
Jill Rathborne (CSIRO)
Michelle Ridsdale (Swinburne)
Andrea Ruff (Melbourne University)
Emma Ryan-Weber (Swinburne)
Stuart Ryder (AAO)
Raquel Salmeron  (ANU)
Renu Sharma (ICRAR)
Genevieve Shattow (Swinburne)
Anna Sippel (Swinburne)
John Storey (UNSW)
Steven Tingay (ICRAR)
Chris Tinney (UNSW)
Cathryn Trott (Curtin University)
Catarina Ubach (Swinburne)
Willem van Straten (Swinburne)
Kathrin Wolfinger (Swinburne)
Richard Williams (Swinburne)
Fang Yuan (ANU)