Research activity per year

Personal profile


Karen is a Senior Lecturer of Health and Physical Education in the Faculty of Education on Monash Peninsula campus. Her research interests lie in gender, sexuality, place, health education, and teaching pedagogies. She gained her PhD from the University of Wollongong in 2006 via an exploration of the ways in which sexual identity and place may be considered mutually constitutive.

Karen is an experienced health and physical education teacher, lecturer and professional presenter having held teaching positions at the University of Sydney, Ottawa University and University of Western Sydney. She has established a strong professional profile in Australia by exploring the ways in which pedagogical change associated with the Australian Curriculum is being taken on board and implemented at all levels of teaching. As a keen pedagogist, environmentalist and creative thinker Karen is eager to explore the ways in which health, bodies and movement education can be sustainable, equitable and socially just.

Research interests

Karen's research interests lie in:

  • gender and sexualities studies
  • place and sense of place
  • qualitative research methods
  • poetic forms of representation
  • critical theory
  • youth health
  • mental halth and wellbeing
  • embodiment, embodied pedagogies and embodied learning
  • HPE and sport
  • HPE curriculum policy
  • HPE teaching pedagogies

Karen identifies as a queer poststructural feminist theorist and critical pedagogist. Drawing on concepts from policy enactment, feminist geographies and embodied pedagogies she seeks to interrogate hegemonic practices and policies in health, physical education, and sport that discriminate based on gender and/or sexuality. Her work answers big questions like, ‘why does Health and Physical Education (HPE) and sport continue to be a space for the reproduction of discourses of hegemonic masculinity, social exclusion and inequality?’ and ‘how can I challenge the exclusions in HPE and sport through my research and pedagogical innovation?' Through this work Karen promotes herself, her colleagues and the Faculty as Victoria’s leading team for gender and sexuality based sports research that aligns with the Faculty research agenda to enhance health and wellbeing, and educate for diversity and inclusion, and with Focus Monash (2015: 7) mission to ‘meet the (health) challenges of the age’.

Monash teaching commitment

EDF2075 Planning, tecahing and learniing in health and physical education

EDF3091 Health, wellbeing and sustainability in global contexts

EDF3092 Contemporray youth health issues

EDF4096 Senior secondary health education


Community service

Karen is a keen and active volunteer for animals, vegetables and disadvantaged youth. She is currently an SES volunteer in Victoria. Past volunteering experiences in 2008 and 2010 include:

  • Botshobelo school and orphange (South Africa)
  • Merazonia animal refuge (Equador)
  • IntiWari Yasi animal refuge (Bolivia)
  • Travellers not Tourists school (Peru)
  • WWOOFER (Hawaii, Spain)
  • Jhongli English Village (Taiwan)
  • Elephant Nature Park (Thailand)


Association of Independent Schools NSW (2014, 2018)

Hudson International (2014)

Teacher Training Australia (2013-2015)


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research area keywords

  • gender
  • sexuality/LGBTIQ
  • queer theory
  • poetic representation
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • poststructural feminist theory
  • pedagogies in HPE
  • gender/sexuality and sport
  • embodied pedagogies
  • place
  • qualitative research methods
  • Health and Physical Education
  • equity, diversity and inclusion
  • mental health and resilience

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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