ASA IDEA Workshop 2017

ASA IDEA Workshop 2017


IDEA Workshop 2017

Macquarie University | 28 - 29 September, 2017


Welcome to the website for the 2017 Diversity in Astronomy Workshop, to be held 28-29 September on the campus of Macquarie University in Sydney.

This year's workshop asks how we can reach those most reluctant to engage. Featuring talks and interactive sessions by veterans of the UK's flagship Athena SWAN Project, the programme aims to highlight practical and evidence-based lessons on what has worked (and what has not) in inspiring change. Addressing an issue that continues to affect the international astronomical community, the workshop will tackle the question of how we can reduce harassment in our workplaces, featuring experienced panellists who will share their learned techniques for managing bullying and harassment. Building on the IDEA Chapter's commitment to Diversity above and beyond gender equity, the workshop will also turn the spotlight on cultural awareness, highlighting the experiences of under-represented cultural backgrounds, and providing attendees with practical training on cultural sensitivity.

Programme Highlights

Why Diversity Matters: An Evidence-Based Toolkit for Inspiring Change

The recent media coverage of the "Google manifesto" has highlighted just how much confusion and skepticism still exists regarding the need for diversity initiatives in STEM. Our words often do not reach those who have most power to instigate change, or who may resist the idea that there is a significant problem in the first place. This year's IDEA workshop aims to break those barriers, and send attendees back out into the world as ambassadors for change, equipped with an evidence-based toolkit on the nature of the problems, and what works and what doesn't when inspiring individuals (and institutes!) to challenge their views.


Harriet Jones (SAGE Project Manager, Macquarie University):
What is the problem and why should we care? An evidence-based toolkit (Title TBC)

Alison Rodger (Head of Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University):
Inspiring Institutional Change: Lessons from Athena SWAN

Panel Discussion: Addressing Harassment in the Workplace

Many people have gained valuable experience in the workplace in how to communicate effectively what constitutes harassment, and how to manage their workplace environment to illuminate and thus reduce poor behaviour by others. This panel discussion, led by experienced panellists from industry and academia, will explore useful techniques and shared experiences for reducing bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Panel Members:

Coming soon...

Focus on Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural awareness workshop. Details coming soon...

Astronomers' Stories

Members of the Australian astronomical community share their personal career stories and experiences.

Confirmed speakers

Dr Devika Kamath (Lecturer, Macquarie University)
Prof Sarah Maddison (Acting Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor (FSET), Swinburne University)

Full programme will be coming soon.

Speaker/Facilitator bios


Harriet Jones (SAGE Project Manager, Macquarie University): 

Harriet has been working on Athena SWAN in the UK for the past 4 years; first working at the University of Exeter supporting the implementation of their Bronze action plan, and then at University College London. At UCL Harriet was responsible for 40+ STEMM departments applying for SWAN awards, as well as managing the successful university Silver application. She has a background in Sociology specialising in gender, sexuality and social science research methods.


Alison Rodger (Head of Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University):

Alison has just moved to Macquarie after over 20 years at the University of Warwick. She has been a champion of gender equity in STEM via her involvement in Athena SWAN and SAGE, and is also committed to supporting the career development of early career researchers. Her research focuses on understanding the structure and function of biomacromolecules and their assemblies.

More coming soon...


To register to participate in the Workshop please click on the following link:

Students can apply for travel support and should contact us if interested

Remote Participation

Live streaming and remote participation info coming soon.


Free on-site childcare will be provided by Faeriestorm Nanny Service (

Brenda and her nannies provide a wide variety of activities to keep kids entertained, including music, books, games and puzzles.

Parents must provide their own food (feeding kids on the conference food is fine!), and may provide additional toys if desired. 

The nanny service is booked through the workshop registration page.

Registered Participants

Registered Participant list for 2017 IDEA workshop.

Getting Here

Workshop Location: Building C5C Forum, 17 Wally's Walk, Macquarie University, NSW 2109

Public Transport

Getting to and from Macquarie University is easy. We have our own Train Station on campus, and it is a short walk to the host building for IDEA2017.

More information on Sydney's Transport system can be found here:

Along with a handy website on how to get to Macquarie University:


Parking on campus will be free in designated areas due to the Graduation taking place on campus during the workshop.


Macquarie University has many Accommodation options available.

Temporary accommodation options range from on-campus residential colleges, off-campus student accommodation, serviced apartments to hotels and youth hostels/backpackers. Suburbs close to Macquarie University include North Ryde (the area of Macquarie University), Marsfield, Epping, Macquarie Park, Lane Cove, and Chatswood.

Please see the following website for the options available.

Contact Us

IDEA is the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Astronomy Chapter of The Astronomical Society of Australia.

The LOC can be contacted at

Local Organising Committee:

Dan Zucker (MQ)

Joanne Dawson (MQ)

Wilfred Gee (MQ)

Richard McDermid (MQ)

Campus Map

The Campus Map can be found here.

The Workshop will be held in the C5C Forum, located on the map below:


Thanks to the following sponsors, and the Dick Hunstead Fund for Astrophysics, for supporting the ASA IDEA 2017 workshop:










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