Dr Lee McGowan | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Lee McGowan

PhD Qld. UT, M Research Qld. UT

  • Senior Lecturer, Creative Writing
  • School of Business and Creative Industries
+61 7 5456 5749
Office location
Sunshine Coast

Dr Lee McGowan is a researcher, writer and teacher. His primary research interests are in the intersections of creative writing, sport, and community engagement. He’s recently completed co-authorship of two books, Women’s Soccer in Oceania (Routledge 2024) and Beach Soccer Histories (Routledge 2024), with support from the Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research (ACPIR). Dr McGowan also co-edited an anthology on Intersections of Creative Writing and Sport (Springer 2024). In 2019, he published two books, Football in Fiction: a history (Routledge) and Never Say Die: The Hundred Year Overnight Success of Australian Women’s Football (New South).
As a practitioner researcher, Dr McGowan has a keen interest in community stories, in their telling and their presentation. He regularly attracts grant funding and produces traditional and non-traditional research outputs with his publications including journal articles, book chapters, a digital history, an exhibition, fiction, creative non-fiction and locative literature.
Dr McGowan is a Senior Fellow (HEA) and teaches Creative Writing and Publishing within UniSC’s School of Business and Creative Industries. He has designed, delivered and coordinated programs and courses in higher degree research, postgraduate coursework and undergraduate programs. He has accumulated 19 HDR completions to date (including two at UniSC). He is a core researcher at ACPIR, currently working on community capacity building and interdisciplinary creative practice research projects with the Creative Team and their partners in the UniSC Maker Space.

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research
  • Football Collective
  • Australian Society of Authors
  • Sports Literature Association


  • Queensland Community Male Champion for Women’ Football, 2019
  • BCC Lord Mayor's Helen Taylor Community History Award, 2017
  • Senior Fellow of the High Education Academy, 2015
  • QUT Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence, 2014
  • QUT Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Thesis, 2012
  • QUT Dean’s Award for Deans Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Teaching, 2012
  • Varuna Fellowship, 2011
  • QUT Postgraduate Writing Prize, 2009

Professional Social Media

Research grants and commissions

Grant / project name 


​Funding body and A$ Value  



Women’s football (soccer) in Oceania

Lee McGowan, Kasey Symons,  Yoko Kanemasu, Liz Ellison and Emma Evans.

ACPIR: $4,800


History of women’s soccer in the Pacific Islands and current challenges for the sport.

2021 Arts Queensland Arts Showcase program

Lee McGowan, Leah Barclay, Andy Ward, Tricia King, Briony Luttrell and Megan Williams

Arts Queensland: $49,200


In residence (UniSC): Interdisciplinary practice and creative exchange in Regional Queensland

2018 QUT Engagement Innovation Award in partnership with Football Queensland Lee McGowan, Tracy Grierson, Greya Wright-Brough and Alex Philp. QUT and FQ: $50,000 2018 Oral and digital social history of Women’s football in Queensland

2017 Lord Mayor's Helen Taylor Community History Award

Lee McGowan

Brisbane City Council: $21,580


History of Women’s Football in Brisbane, through a digital narrative

Senses of Community

Sandra Gattenhof with Donna Hancox, Lee McGowan, Nathan Sibthorpe and Sorin Oancea.

QUT Creative Industries Faculty: $15,000


CIF Creative Lab Studio 110 seed funded project on place-making and digital narratives through embodied practice

2016 Arts Queensland Individual Award

Lee McGowan

Arts Queensland: $5,371


Developing generative or living histories to capture women’s sports heritage

Peer-Learning and professional outcomes project

Elizabeth Ellison, Lee McGowan, Ruth Bridgstock and Bree Hadley.

QUT CIF Learning and Teaching Grant: $5,750


The facilitation of peer learning and professional outcomes through informal communities of practice in creative arts programs

Developing Reusable Learning Objects

Christy Collis, Lee McGowan, Lindy Osborn and Sean Mee.

QUT CIF Learning and Teaching Grant: $8,500


Defining factors for the successful integration of digital online content in tertiary teaching environment

Research areas

  • Creative writing – fiction and non-fiction
  • Football (soccer) and sport related research
  • Practice as Research
  • Genre Studies
  • Narrative and community engagement

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students:

  • Creative writing - fiction and non-fiction
  • Football writing and sports related research
  • Genre Studies
  • Practice as Research
  • Narrative

Teaching areas

  • Creative Writing
  • Football Writing
  • Digital and Generative Narratives
  • Community Engagement
  • Genre Studies
  • McGowan, L., Kanemasu, Y., & Symons, K. (2024). Women’s Football in Oceania. Routledge.
  • McGowan, L., Ellison, E., & Lastella, M. (2024). Beach Soccer Histories. Routledge.
  • McGowan, L., & Symons, K. (Eds.) (2024). Intersections of Sport and Society in Creative Writing. Springer
  • McGowan, L. (2019). Football in Fiction: A History. Routledge.
  • Crawford, F. & McGowan, L. (2019). Never Say Die: The Hundred Year Overnight Success of Australian Women’s Football. New South.


Articles and chapters
  • Hoey, P. & McGowan, L. (2024). Don Davies & Hugh McIlvanney: the literary football reporters who elevated British sports journalism. In L. McGowan, & K. Symons (Eds.) Intersections of Sport and Society in Creative Writing. Springer.
  • McGowan, L., Symons, K. & Fiedler, A. (2024) Beyond the box score: Reflecting on the intersections of sport and society in creative writing. In L. McGowan, & K. Symons (Eds.) Intersections of Sport and Society in Creative Writing. Springer.
  • Symons, K., & McGowan, L. (2022). Re-viewing the woman as fan: an examination of the narrative framing of the women in cinematic adaptations of Nick Hornby’s fever pitch. Sport in Society, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2022.2125804
  • Hoey, P., McGowan, L., & Forrest, D. (2022). Subverting the inverted pyramid: Kevin McCarra and the revolution in British football journalism 1988-2020. TEXT26(Special 67). https://doi.org/10.52086/001c.37826
  • Forrest, D., & McGowan, L. (2021). Behind the goal: Exploring the football (soccer) goal net through object biography and creative non-fiction. TEXT, 25(Special 63). https://doi.org/10.52086/001c.29721
  • Wright-Brough, F. & McGowan, L. (2021). Kicking, not screaming: an examination of football (soccer) and female footballers in Australian screen-based narratives. In: S. Millar, M.J. Power, P. Widdop, D. Parnell & J. Carr (Eds.), Football and popular culture: singing out from the stands. Routledge.
  • Lastella, M., Escobar, L., Lovell, G. P., Scanlan, A., Ellison, E., McGowan, L., & Guy, J. H. (2020). An exploration of goal scoring strategies in an elite beach soccer tournament. Science and Medicine in Football4(3), 192–195. https://doi.org/10.1080/24733938.2020.1758759
  • McGowan, L., Ellison E., & Lastella M. (2020). Australian Beach Soccer: Tracing Paradoxical Narratives. In: E. Ellison & D. L. Brien (Eds.) Writing the Australian Beach. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • McGowan, L., Ellison E., & Lastella M. (2020). Sea-level playing fields: an exploration of the histories of beach soccer and its practices within one specific context, the Australian beach, Soccer & Society, 21(3), pp. 289–298, https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2019.1620212.
  • McLay, G., McGowan, L., Moyle, G., & Frossard, L. (2020). Building Fields of Play: An examination of the use of notational analysis to reinterpret dynamic and sequential movement from Rugby Union to inform the creation of a new dance work. Choreographic Practices, 11(1), 163–185. https://doi.org/10.1386/chor_00017_1
  • Philp, A., Jeffery, E., & McGowan, L. (2020). Collaboration and its discontents: Considerations for creative writing hdr students collaborating on traditional research outputs. TEXT24(59). https://doi.org/10.52086/001C.23482
  • McGowan, L. (2019). ‘Women’s association football (soccer) in Brisbane, Queensland 1921–1933: new perspectives on early competition’. Sport in History, 39(2), 187–206. https://doi.org/10.1080/17460263.2019.1602075
  • Gattenhof, S., Hancox, D., McGowan, L., Sibthorpe, N. & Oancea, S. (2019). ‘Senses of Community: Place- making and digital narrative through embodied practice’. Social Alternatives 38 (1): 21–29.
  • McGowan, L., Hancox, D., & Philp, A. (2019). ‘Dirty Hands: Community Engagement through practice as Research’. Social Alternatives 38 (1): 3–4.


Co-edited Special Issues
  • McGowan, L. & Symons, K. (2022). ‘Creative Writing and Sport’. Special Issue 67. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses.
  • Philp, A., Jeffery, E. & McGowan, L. (2020). ‘Creating Communities: Collaboration within Creative Writing and Research’. Special Issue 59. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses.
  • McGowan, L. & Hancox, H. (2019). ‘Dirty Hands: Community Engagement through practice as Research’. Special Issue. Social Alternatives 38(1).


Non-academic publications

Dr Lee McGowan's specialist areas of knowledge include football (soccer), the women’s game, football in fiction and most recently football communities; creative writing fiction and non-fiction; practice as research; genre studies; and narrative as a mechanism for community engagement.

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