Equity and Diversity Committee

The School of Physics is committed to providing support and resources to create an equitable environment for all members of the department, including students at all levels and visitors. This has been demonstrated through a number of initiatives over the history of the school and now through the formation of the Equity and Diversity committee.

About the Committee

The priorities of the School of Physics and the initiatives driven by the committee include:

  • Equitable recruitment of new staff
  • Improving the understanding of unconscious bias and its impact through training
  • Working with the Faculty of Science and University of Melbourne Diversity and Inclusion committees to create and implement University and Faculty wide initiatives
  • Growing the Women in Physics group
  • Developing a diversity policy and code of conduct to ensure appropriate behaviour of all members regardless of gender, ethnicity or origin, culture, language, relationship status, pregnancy, sexuality, medical conditions or disability, age and political or religious belief
  • Understanding the department’s need in Diversity and Equity to explore further policies, programs and resources that may be required on a regular basis
  • School of Physics Climate Survey PDF, 640.61 KB.

Contact us

If you are interested in becoming involved in the School of Physics Equity and Diversity Committee activities or wish to know more about our initiatives, please feel free to contact the committee chair, Jacinta den Besten (jacinta.den@unimelb.edu.au), or Head of School, Stuart Wyithe (swyithe@unimelb.edu.au).

Join the University of Melbourne Women in Physics Facebook page for updates from the Committee.

Members of the Committee

  • Jacinta den Besten – Chair
  • Stuart Wyithe – Head of School
  • Fiona Munro
  • Rachel Webster
  • Nicole Bell
  • Jude Prezens
  • Laura Wolz
  • Cate MacQueen
  • Daniela Nunez
  • Innes Bigaran
  • Geena Glass
  • Ammar Aldaoud
  • Srivatsa Badariprasad
  • Josephine Stevens – Executive Officer

Equity and Diversity Policies

Our commitment to Equity and Diversity in the School of Physics has resulted in the creation of a number of policies aligned with the University of Melbourne and tailored to the School.


Join the University of Melbourne Women in Physics Facebook page for updates on our events.

Women in Physics Camp

Each year we offer a two night retreat for the females in the department to attend talks, mentoring and networking activities and workshops to understand and develop strategies towards combatting the gender equity issues. In 2017, we were joined by Swinburne University and the camp hosted over 45 students, staff and guests. Read more about the Camp.

The Women in Physics Camp 2018 will take place from 27-29 April.

Women in Physics Panel (Physics Student Society)

This annual panel discussion is hosted by the Physics Student Society and talks about being a woman in physics to high school students.

Regular catch up and networking events

Join us for coffee or dinner on one of our regular social events.

In conversation with…

This is a new program we will be starting in 2017, where prominent leaders and scientists will be invited to have a round table discussion with the research students to impart their wisdom, and craftiest methods, to tackle inequality in the profession.


If you are looking for support or advice related to Equity and Diversity, feel free to contact Jacinta den Besten (jacinta.den@unimelb.edu.au) or Laura Wolz (laura.wolz@unimelb.edu.au). The following links may be helpful. Please note that some require internal access to the University's intranet.


We compiled a list of our favourite resources if you are interested into how diversity and inclusion can affect institutions and want to learn about more practical ways to engage.

  • The Institute of Physics lists information on their Diversity initiatives here and advice for teachers on addressing gender imbalance in the class room here
  • The language decoder for Job ads
  • The Pleiades Awards and SAGE awards recognize Astrophysics or STEMM institutions respectively for their efforts in diversity and gender balance.
  • The Women in Astronomy blog by the American Astronomical Society Committee on the Status of Women contains many interesting blog posts and links to useful resources.
  • Article on gender equality and how to improve the status of women