Youth, Sport and Health Research Network members

Faculty members

Member Biography

Network convenor

Associate Professor Jenny O'Dea

Jenny's research achievements include conducting two large, national studies of health status, nutritional patterns, attitudes towards physical activity and overweight and obesity among 5000 Australian schoolchildren in 2000 and 9000 in 2006. This three-year ARC Discovery grant has provided the most recent national data on obesity as well as associations between weight status, gender, social class, ethnicity and geographical location.

Jenny is also a CI on another large five-year ARC Discovery project on the prospective change in sports participation among children, adolescents and young adults. She has served on the editorial board of Health Education Research, a well-respected, international journal since 2000 and in 2005 she was appointed as an associate editor. In 2006, Jenny was awarded the Emerald Literati International award for best research paper for her article titled "School-based health education strategies for the improvement of body image and prevention of eating problems: an overview of safe and effective interventions." Health Education, 105(1), 11-33.

Dr Wayne Cotton

Wayne has an extensive background in outdoor education, recreation and leisure pursuits across a wide range of physical and cultural settings. He has completed his PhD on ICT and was appointed as a lecturer the Human Movement and Health Education program where he teaches in physical education pedagogy with a focus on outdoor education. Wayne is interested in the impact of physical activity in wilderness settings on the social and personal development of young people and upon their attitudes toward the environment as well as an interest in the part that participation in sport and leisure activities has on the development of adolescents.

Christina Curry

Christina teaches in professional practice in the Human Movement and Health Education program and was previously head of the PDHPE department at Blakehurst High School. She is undertaking a PhD investigating teacher responses to the processes involved in the systematic adoption of a game-sense approach to teaching for a large PDHPE department in an independent Sydney High School.

Christina has been invited to deliver a paper on quality teaching and a practical demonstration of game-sense teaching as part of the 2008 International Society for Comparative Physical Education and Sport (ISCPES) World Congress preconference TGfU Workshop in Macau.

John Evans

John is a third year PhD student in the faculty. He teaches the unit of study, Indigenous Sport and Education and for the faculty and, for the Faculty of Health Sciences, he lectures on Indigenous health. John's PhD thesis investigates the impact of game-sense pedagogy on elite-level rugby coaching in Australia and New Zealand within a theoretical framework provided by the analytic concepts of Lave and Wenger.

John received the 2006 Indigenous Staff Scholarship from the Australian government. The award was presented in person by Federal Education and Training Minister Julie Bishop. He has also received an Endeavour Indigenous Fellowship from the Australian Government, and was awarded the Thomas and Ethel Mary Ewing Scholarships in Education for 2008.

In addition to his PhD research, John he is interested in the role of sport in Aboriginal communities. He has a long history in coaching and participation in elite-level sport as a player and a coach.

Dr Steve Georgakis

Steve is program director of the faculty's Human Movement and Health Education program. His research achievements include More than 20 publications in peer-reviewed books, journals and conference proceedings. Steve's research focuses on sports history, sociology and physical education pedagogy. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which traces the history of sport at the University of Sydney and which is one of the first attempts to theorise sport at a tertiary institution.

Associate Professor Donna O'Connor

Donna lectures in the Human Movement and Health Education program (exercise physiology, fitness training: theory and practice) and is the course coordinator of the new postgraduate program in coach education.

Dr Donna's research and conference presentations cover athletic profiling, science and football, optimising performance, injury prevention and coach education. She is a highly experienced fitness and strength conditioner working with elite level teams in rugby league and basketball in particular where she is conditioning coach for the Opals (Australia's women's basketball team).

Dr Kate Russell

Kate researches in the area of gender identity and body satisfaction as a consequence of sport and physical activity participation. Her research highlights the impact the school context can have on perceptions of femininity and masculinity and body image concerns of young people. Her publications include three articles and a book on a research project completed for the Football Association in the UK, in the area of evaluating child protection strategies in a sporting context.

Kate has a background as a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and an interest in the socio-cultural aspects of physicality. She was awarded the NZ-UK Link Foundation in association with the Academy of Learned Societies for Social Sciences travel award in 2003 to spend six weeks in New Zealand researching female rugby player's body satisfaction.

Dr Rachel Wilson

Rachel is a lecturer in Research Methodology in the faculty. Her research interests include higher education (physics and university outcomes); and early childhood (kindergarten child health, value-added educational attainment and SES, BMI and educational attainment).

Dr Wilson has published a number of research articles related to research methodology, health and scholarship of teaching. She is responsible for the development of research skills in postgraduate research students and in this particular network will make a valuable contribution mentor beginning academics and PhD students in research methodology, both quantitative and qualitative.




Honorary members

Member Organisation
Dr Andrew Bennie University of Western Sydney

Professor Hajime Hirai

Shiga University, Japan

Dr Walter Ho

University of Macau, China

Melanie Nash

University of Melbourne

John Quay

Youth Studies Research Centre, University of Melbourne

Professor Nathalie Wallian

IUFM, University of Franche Comte, France

Associate Professor Wataru Yasaki

Tokyo University of Science, Japan