Women’s Soccer in Oceania Community Resource Development Project | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Women’s Soccer in Oceania Community Resource Development Project

Project background

Women have been playing football (soccer) in the Pacific Islands for almost 50 years and yet their game’s heritage is largely unknown. The development and presentation of this history improves knowledge and fosters community capacity building. Alongside project partners, the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and Women’s Development Officers (WDOs), this project seeks to record and document the heritage of women’s football in the Pacific Islands and work with and learn from those women who play and participate in the world’s most popular sport. The first stage of the project is complete, a significant academic publication (in-press). We will be working with OFC staff to design and develop resources that present stories gathered and enable further knowledge sharing.

In this project, you will be part of a research team working to develop football (soccer) community resources for Women’s Development Officers in a small number of Pacific Islands nations, including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Cook Islands. These resources are a practical community engagement tool to facilitate further data gathering and analysis and support meaningful research dissemination. The resources will be informed by and in turn inform strategic planning development for the women’s game in the Region.

There is flexibility in the days/times that the student can work, and this will be negotiated at the start of the ACPIR SRS.

Background information that may be useful for students considering this project:

You can learn more about the OFC Women’s Football here: 


Primary Supervisor: Dr Lee McGowan

Lee’s primary research interests are in the intersections of football, culture and community engagement. He’s currently working on two books, Women’s Soccer in Oceania (Routledge 2023) and Beach Soccer Histories (Routledge 2023).

HDR Student Mentor: Amanda Fiedler

Amanda’s research explores the sociohistorical intersections of fact and fiction in screen media ecologies, with a focus on gender and genre. She recently published the journal article, ‘Contradiction, corporeality, and conformity in Grace and Frankie’ (2020) in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies.

External collaborators: Associate Professor Yoko Kanemasu (USP, Suva, Fiji) and Dr Kasey Symons (Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia) and Emma Evans (Women’s Football Development Manager, Oceania Football Confederation, Auckland, New Zealand).

Students will be asked to assist the workings of this project in several ways, with tasks such as:

  • Reviewing literature
  • Assisting with the development of a tool to assess school food environments in the Pacific Islands region
  • Consulting with stakeholders
  • Developing a manuscript for publication

Deliverables will include

  • Contribution to a review of school food environment assessment tools (used globally)
  • Contribution to draft school food environment assessment tool
  • Contribution to a draft manuscript
  • A final presentation of the work undertaken

This project would suit a student with background understanding of, and an interest in, a range of elements including but not limited to: creative writing, women’s sport, history, communication, community engagement.

  • Personal attributes: collegiality, integrity, teamwork skills, reliability, attention to detail, critical thinking and showing initiative.
  • Preference given to students with an interest in conducting research /working in alignment to an ACPIR research area.
  • Intention/motivation for ongoing study/research and pursuit of a Higher Degree by Research (HDR)


*Applicants are required to submit a brief (max. 500 word) statement outlining their interest in the project and how this project fits with their career/research aspirations.

Please note that applicants may be invited to take part in an interview as part of the selection process.