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To: Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Members of the Flinders University Council, the Chancellor, and Vice Chancellor

Support Women’s Studies at Flinders University

Support Women’s Studies at Flinders University

Rethink the plans to reconfigure Women’s Studies in consultation with its staff and students.
Support Women’s Studies to flourish by maintaining the strong leadership, experience and expertise that current staff represent.

Why is this important?

The unique qualities that Flinders University can demonstrate stem from our history as an institution with a focus on social justice. This focus is at the core of our local and global reputation and this reputation must be protected and maintained as we move forward into the future. The strength of institutions is in its people and Flinders University is recognised for its forward thinking, world leading, change making academics and students.

Flinders University has been undergoing major changes as part of an ongoing restructure. The next phase is an academic restructure that is proposed to reconfigure teaching and research positions and will consequently change the shape of many disciplines at Flinders University, including Women’s Studies.

Since Women’s Studies was established, more than 30 years ago, it has pioneered intersectional feminist research that has produced innovative work across gender, class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and global location. This work has filtered through to local and international governments through the community service and consultancy work that the dedicated staff take on. This discipline is an incredible example of academic work that impacts far beyond the classroom.

Women’s Studies consists of three core staff who are recognised internationally and well respected for their research, teaching, and service to Women’s and Gender Studies. The proposed changes to Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences would downgrade the capacity of the hard-working Women’s Studies discipline by removing 2 of the 3 existing positions and adding one less experienced staff member.

We do not believe that this change is a viable model for supporting Women’s Studies to flourish into the future. We ask leadership at Flinders University to rethink changes to Women’s Studies and develop an alternative plan that supports this trail-blazing program to grow into the future. Women’s Studies sends graduates into every corner of the workforce and these graduates represent Flinders University all over the globe. We stand with Women’s Studies and reject any proposal to diminish this essential discipline.

-Flinders WMST Collective, a group of students and alumnus of Women’s Studies at Flinders University

How it will be delivered

Once enough signatures have been obtained, this petition will be sent to the Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and members of the Flinders University Council for their immediate consideration.

It will be made clear that the petition comes from the broader community in support of Women’s Studies, feminist scholarship, and the important teaching and research that this dedicated unit of staff add to Flinders University.

Reasons for signing

  • This is the age of #metoo! We need Women's Studies and Flinders University has a long, proud history of being at the forefront of this important area of study.
  • This is not a time to be reducing Women’s Studies scholarship. High quality research and teaching are vital to highlighting the complexity of the lives of women.
  • The Women’s Studies Program at Flinders Uni epitomises the innovative spirit of the University & has a proud history of research & education that benefits our wider community & society!


2019-03-08 16:11:09 +1100

Unfortunately, Semester 1 has begun with the loss of 2/3 Women's Studies staff and students have been advised that their topics offering have been cut.

We need your help to continue to put pressure on university leadership to provide a plan for how feminist scholarship will be supported at Flinders University into the future following the loss of the teaching, research and supervision expertise provided by Dr Heather Brook and Associate Professor Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes.

It is also necessary to support gender diversity in teaching and research across the university. We want Flinders University to provide a gendered breakdown of the impact of the restructure so that the effect on women, non-binary, and trans folk can be identified and addressed. So far, I have not received any useful information through repeated requests for details of the plan to support the growth on Women's Studies that has been cited in multiple emails from College leadership.

2018-12-21 13:25:51 +1100

1,000 signatures reached

2018-12-16 07:59:02 +1100

500 signatures reached

2018-12-14 17:28:43 +1100

100 signatures reached

2018-12-14 16:06:57 +1100

50 signatures reached

2018-12-14 15:11:10 +1100

25 signatures reached

2018-12-14 14:45:48 +1100

10 signatures reached