WiA Workshop 2013

2013 Women in Astronomy Workshop
Pathways to Success

11-12 September 2013
ICRAR, Perth, WA


The ASA Women in Astronomy workshops conducted over the past two years have explored the important issues of unconscious biases and leadership development for women. The workshops have encouraged astronomy institutions in Australia to support and implement policies and systems to ensure that women can fully participate and excel in their academic careers and also help with their family and work-life balance.

This trend was further strengthened in the third workshop held on 11-12 September in Perth.  The 2-day workshop was hosted by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and co-sponsored by many other astronomy institutions. It focussed on “Pathways to Success” for women in academic and alternate careers and  further unpacked issues that hold women back from progressing in their careers. This was also an opportunity  for courageous conversations about gender and women’s leadership, and all were welcome (and encouraged!) to attend.

Eminent guest speakers from academia and industry addressed the workshop, which  had a mix of talks and interactive sessions.

Workshop Goals are to:

  1. Explore pathways to success for women and identify strategies to help women follow these pathways.
  2. Provide professional development opportunities to enhance leadership in academia and beyond.
  3. Highlight multiple career pathways for astronomers.
  4. Understand how institutions can help women succeed in astronomy research careers.
  5. Work though the hidden issues of unconscious biases, gender and race.


Workshop Program – Day 1, Wednesday 11 September:

9:30 Registration & morning tea  
10:00 Welcomes Renu Sharma (ICRAR); Peter Quinn (ICRAR); Lisa Harvey-Smith (CASS)
10:15 Astronomy landscape Sarah Maddison (Swinburne) [slides]
  Session One   
10:30 Pathways to success in science Brian Schmidt (ANU); Lyn Beazley (WA Gov.); Robyn Owens (UWA); Cathy Foley (CSIRO)
  Session Two  
12:00 Pathways to success: lessons from industry Sharon Brown (Sharon Brown & Assoc.) [slides]; Denise Goldsworthy (Rio Tinto) [slides]
12:40 Announcement Peter QuinnICRAR Visiting Fellowship for Senior Women in Astronomy
12:45 Lunch  
1:30 International perspective Phil Diamond (SKA)
  Session Three  
1:50 Pathways to success for women in astronomy Carole Jackson (Curtin) [slides]; Virginia Kilborn (Swinburne) [slides]; Toner Stevenson (Sydney Observatory) [slides]
3:00 Afternoon tea  
3:30 A new scheme for astronomy Lisa Harvey-Smith (CASS)
3.45 Panel discussion: best practices for organisations Lisa Harvey-Smith (CASS); Bryan Gaensler (CAASTRO); Nuria Lorente (AAO); Craig Burnett (Melbourne); Marilyn Renfree (Aust. Academy Sci.)
5:15 End  

There will be a (self-funded) workshop dinner at the Captain Stirling Hotel in Nedlands.

Workshop Program – Day 2, Thursday 12 September:

The second day will include a series of facilitated professional development sessions presented by the HAY Group to help you achieve your pathway to success.

9:00 Arrival coffee  
9:10 International perspective Nicolle Zellner (AAS CSWA)
  Session Four  
9:30 Courageous Conversations about unconscious bias, gender and race
Malcolm Fialho (UWA)
10:30 Morning tea  
  Session Five  
11:00 Pathways to Success in Alternate Careers Jess Moore (Bright Spark Speakers) [Video unsaved by request]; Jacqueline Davidson (NASA) [slides]; Holly Sims (BOM) [slides]
12:00 Workshop 1: Building Your Personal Brand and making it work for you HAY Group
1:00 Lunch  
  Session Six  
1:45 Workshop 2: Leading Effective Teams  HAY Group
3:15 Summary and the way forward  Kate Brooks (CASS) [slides]
3.30 Afternoon tea  

For information about our speakers, follow this link.

The conference poster can be found here.


There is no registration fee for the workshop.  However, for catering purposes please register here no later than 10 August 2013.

Efforts will be made to assist in finding suitable childcare during the workshop. If you require this assistance, please contact the organisers ASAP.

Currently registered participants are listed here.


The venue for the workshop is the University Club, University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth, which is building 107 on the campus map:

The Perth Domestic and International airports are about 11 km and 16 km north-east of the CBD, respectively. It is easily accessible by car, taxi, and bus.  Taxi ranks are outside the terminal buildings, and fares are ~$30-35 from the domestic airport to CBD.  The Perth Airport City Shuttle has several convenient pick-up points located near hotels, motels and hostels across Perth.  Transperth Bus 37 departs outside the Virgin arrivals terminal, travelling to Perth city centre via St. Georges Terrace (transfer time ~40 mins).

Perth is separated into concentric travel zones centered on the CBD. All CAT buses and trains travel within the CBD are free, however travel to UWA or Fremantle will cost about $2-$3. Bus numbers 23, 78, 79, 102, and 107 run through the Esplanade Busport and travel along Mounts Bay Road and Stirling Highway past UWA. The 107 continues on to Fremantle. “Circle Route” buses 98 and 99 travel in opposite directions around a large loop which includes stops at UWA and Fremantle train station (but not in the CBD). Bus 103 goes between East Perth and Fremantle via UWA, while the 97 goes between the Fairway at UWA and Subiaco train station.


There are a number of other excellent hotels in the Perth CBD and along Mount Street. Following are some suggested lodgings for your visit to Perth. When searching for accommodation, please note that Perth CBD, Subiaco and Nedlands are the most conveniently located areas for daily travel to the University of Western Australia.

Budget accommodation options:

Organising Committee:
Renu Sharma (ICRAR) – Chair
Kate Gunn (CAASTRO)
Lisa Harvey-Smith (CASS)
Louise Howes (ANU)
Sarah Maddison (Swinburne)
Stuart Ryder (AAO)

Bi-Qing For
Leanne Goodsell
Kirsten Gottschalk
Laura Hoppmann
Natasha Hurley-Walker
Minh Huynh
Kathy Kok
Divya Palaniswamy
Hayden Rampadarath
Cathryn Trott
Giovanna Zanardo

Perth Convention Bureau