Global recognition for gender diversity and inclusion: Gender Education Association Conference hosts

8 MARCH 2023

Global recognition for gender diversity and inclusion: Gender Education Association Conference hosts

Charles Sturt has won a bid to host the 20th Gender Education Association Conference in Port Macquarie in 2024.

Charles Sturt University has again been recognised as a leader in diversity and inclusion by winning a bid to host the 20th Gender Education Association Conference in 2024.

The international conference will be held at Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie in partnership with the Gender and Education Association (GEA) and will bring together education practitioners from all levels and backgrounds to increase diversity and inclusion in education, improving equal opportunities for all.

The event will explore local, national and global inequalities in education, breaking down the one-size-fits-all approach and analysing systemic and structural barriers that have led to disadvantage among different groups.

The Co-Chairs of the Conference,  Associate Professor Cate Thomas from the Charles Sturt School of Social Work and Arts and Charles Sturt Director of External Engagement in Port Macquarie Ms Kate Wood-Foye, are proud the University has been selected from the global stage to host this event.

“The conference theme of ‘Be the change’ aims to be a catalyst for discussion and action to address global and institutional inequality through the power of education and knowledge,” Dr Thomas said.

“It is the first time the event will be hosted outside a major capital city, in a regional Australian location such as Port Macquarie, which offers far-reaching economic and social benefits for local communities,” Ms Wood-Foye said.

The conference is expected to attract more than 200 people internationally with the format offering a range of presentations from a vast array of educational experts from the academic, community, government and private sectors.

“It is a tremendous opportunity for Charles Sturt to be hosting such an important conference,” Dr Thomas said.

“There’s never been a more important time to recognise the critical need for more acceptance and understanding of gender diversity in the workplace and community in general.

“The power of education as a tool to breakdown and overcome gender inequality is key. For example, women and girls of all ages in all countries should have the right and ability to access inclusive education which helps deconstruct inequality.”

Ms Wood-Foye noted some of the recent accolades Charles Sturt has received with respect to the role it is playing raising the profile on diversity and inclusion.

“The University received a Bronze Award in the 2021 Australian Workplace Equality Index rankings, and in 2022 Charles Sturt was awarded an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality from the Commonwealth for the third year in a row,” she said.

“We are honoured to be hosting this internationally significant conference at our Port Macquarie campus.”

Professor Vanita Sundaram from the University of York and Dr Jessica Gagnon from the University of Manchester (GEA Co Chairs) said they were delighted to support the next GEA conference to be hosted by Charles Sturt University.

“We are so pleased that the next GEA conference will be hosted by Charles Sturt University,” Professor Sundaram said.

“The conference theme is especially timely and the focus on gender diversity and equality is crucial at a time when the rights of marginalised communities are under attack.”

“The theme of ‘Be the Change’ is a call to action that will bring teachers, researchers, artists, and activists together to tackle inequalities locally, nationally, and globally,” Dr Jessica Gagnon said.

The 20th Gender Education Association Conference will be held on 17-20 June 2024 at Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie.

For more information on attending the 20th Gender Education Association Conference visit the GEA website.


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Kate Wood-Foye or Dr Thomas please contact Trease Clarke at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0409 741 789 or via

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