A group of diverse people having a working group in the UOW library

Equity, diversity and inclusion

Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Acknowledgment of Country

We Acknowledge that Country for Aboriginal peoples is an interconnected set of ancient and sophisticated relationships. The University of Wollongong spreads across many interrelated Aboriginal Countries that are bound by this sacred landscape, and intimate relationship with that landscape since creation.

From Sydney to the Southern Highlands, to the South Coast.

From freshwater to bitter water to salt. From City to Urban to Rural.

The University of Wollongong Acknowledges the Custodianship of the Aboriginal peoples of this place and space that has kept alive the relationships between all living things.

The University Acknowledges the devastating impact of colonisation on our campuses’ footprint and commit ourselves to truth-telling, healing and education.

Strategy – Circles, Connections and Collectives


Our 2021 strategy acknowledges the rapid changes and unprecedented transformation of many dimensions of working lives. No staff member has been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  2020 highlighted the inequalities in our working lives and the importance of working towards an inclusive culture sustained by trust, shared values, transparency and communication. Within the context of change, The Arts, Social Science and Humanities (ASSH) Associate Deans (AD), Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) Strategy signals the Faculty’s commitment to a more equitable and inclusive future which is underpinned by a commitment to social diversity. 

Our ADI (EDI) strategy provides a map towards a more diverse and inclusive Faculty that seeks to complement school initiatives. The 2021 EDI strategy is complemented by rather than set by various UOW Plans and reporting frameworks.

Guiding Principles 

Six principles guide the ASSH EDI priorities and initiatives: 

  1. respect of personal and professional difference
  2. recognition of all achievements
  3. routine that allows cross Faculty contacts and sharing
  4. responsibility of each individual to enable positive change
  5. reciprocity ​ - helping self through helping others
  6. reflection - on actions, professional goals and values

Our UOW Initiatives 

Working collectively with AD EDIs

Aim:  To work collectively with AD, EDIs to advocate for EDI within UOW plans. EDI is central to several UOW strategic initiative including the Reconciliation Action Plan, Civic University, and Athena Swan Action Plan (Women & Science).

Outcomes: To bring to the fore EDI commitments in UOW plans. To prioritise UOW’s commitment to the RAP. To work against the creation of new hierarchies that can emerge through UOW policies. 

Our Faculty Initiatives

Awareness and impact

Aim:  To raise the profile of EDI through the creation of a Faculty EDI website
Outcomes: To increase awareness of EDI as the responsibility of everyone in the Faculty

Social cohesion

Aim: To build Faculty social cohesion & connections
Outcome: Stronger sense of identity as Faculty

Supporting academic diversity – Mentoring 1: My career 

Aim: To encourage self-reflection on short- and long-term career goals.
Outcomes: To encourage self-reflection, to support diverse career pathways, to help staff establish clear career goals that are aligned with their values and aspirations.

Thickening connections between schools

Aim: To provide an opportunity to learn how each school works, what schools do and build connections between schools through two panel events. In the first panel, a representative for each school provides insights into their school in a 5-minute presentation. In the second panel, the school representative offers insights to the potential synergies between their school and other units.
Outcomes: Strengthen the Faculty through a shared understanding of how each school works, what they do to facilitate points of connection between ASSH colleagues.

Collectives - Network building across Schools

Aim: To facilitate and deepen professional connections between schools by creating early career and mid-career academic networks
Outcome: An Early-Career Academic (EC) Collective and Mid-Career Academic (MC) Collective.  The EC and MC Collectives will facilitate conversations amongst colleagues across Schools. The EC and MC Collectives will report on a monthly basis to the AD (EDI) on concerns and actions within each collective. To work towards generating recognition, shared responsibilities and social cohesion that cross disciplinary boundaries. Working towards reciprocal relationships that sustain future teaching and research synergies.

Mentoring 2: Mentorship Circles

Aim: To provide mentorship for EC & MC colleagues within a cross disciplinary, peer-to-peer circle, led by a level D or E mentor.
Outcomes: Strengthening the Faculty through mentorship and supporting colleagues’ professional development 

EDI and Research Opportunities

Aim: To support the Associate Dean of Research, Faculty Research Team and Heads of Research/ Research Networks work towards integrating EDI in research, as required.
Outcomes: Working towards EDI within internal research schemes (EDI priorities), PhD Scholarships (EDI criteria) and Faculty seminar series – research connections

Dr Lisa Slater

Appointed July 2020
MA, PhD, University of Sydney

Biography: Lisa is a white, settler colonial Australian, born and raised on Bundjalung Country, Kyogle (northern NSW), who now lives and works on Dharawal County, Wollongong. She is a senior lecturer in Cultural Studies, in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry. Lisa is a critically engaged and empirically grounded cultural studies scholar, who analyses the complexity of Australian Indigenous-settler relations. A question that drives her research is how are solutions to social problems, wellbeing and the future differently imagined? Her projects have a strong focus on remote and rural Australia. Latest monograph, Anxieties of Belonging in Settler Colonialism, 2019, Routledge.

Professor Gordon Waitt

Appointed July 2020 
MA, PhD, Geography, University of Edinburgh 

Biography: Professor Gordon Waitt is a geographer. His research focuses on everyday experiences as entry point to better understand social inequalities and sustainability. He is a white settler colonial Australian migrant, born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is a chief investigator on several ARC grants. Gordon Waitt currently leads research projects on cycling, powered mobility devices and online sports gambling applications. He is the author of over 200 publications, cited 10000+ times, including books on the subject of gay tourism, household sustainability, and the gendered dynamics of the beach.