Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to discuss any research projects related to Health and Physical Education, sport, physical activity, inclusion, and/or professional development.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Laura's research generates new knowledge related to health and physical education in primary, secondary, tertiary and community settings in Australia and beyond. Across these contexts, her work has led to shifts in policy, partnerships and practice that support inclusive and impactful health and physical education.

She publishes widely in top-ranking international journals and has won awards for both high quality authorship and reviewing.

Laura is on the Editorial Board for Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education, Sport Education and Society, and the Journal of Teaching Physical Education. She is also on the International Advisory Board for European Physical Education Review and the College of Reviewers for Sport, Education and Society. She works closely with ACHPER (Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation) and is on the ACHPER Tertiary Engagement and Research subcommittee.

Across 2021/2022 Laura been awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion (for decolonising pre-service teacher education), the Dean's Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (for significant contributions to student learning through  influencing, motivating and inspiring students to learn), and the Jeff Northfield Memorial Award for Excellence in Teacher Research (for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to excellent teacher research). Laura has also been nominated for a Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award (for outstanding contributions to student learning) and has been awarded a competitive Advancing Women's Success Grant which is awarded to “high potential academic women.”

Laura is an affliliate of the:

  • Monash Sustainable Develpment Institute;
  • National Center for Healthy Ageing; and
  • Monash Addiction Research Centre 

Research interests

Laura's research focuses on Health and Physical education (HPE), sport, active recreation and physical activity contexts, and the ways which policy, professional learning and practice contribute to inclusive and educative experiences for everyone. Her research attends to three of the five Faculty of Education research themes, namely 'Transforming Teaching and Learning', 'Educating for Diversity and Inclusion' and 'Enhancing Health and Wellbeing'.

Over the past 15 years, Laura has developed expertise in a range of innovative research methods, and has experience working with children, young people, teachers, coaches, not-for-profit organisations and policy-makers. In the past 10 years, Laura has attracted over $1.5 million in research funding.

Broadly, Laura's research interests include:

  • Health and Physical Education curriculum, pedagogy and assessment
  • Transforming teaching and learning
  • Policy 
  • Supporting diversity and inclusion in education and community settings (e.g. active recreation, physical activity)
  • Youth voice and co-design
  • Enhancing health and wellbeing

Recent publications include:

Alfrey, L., & O’Connor, J. (2022). Transforming physical education: an analysis of context and resources that support curriculum transformation and enactment. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.

Alfrey, L., & Jeanes, R. (2021). Challenging ableism and the ‘disability as problem’ discourse: how initial teacher education can support the inclusion of students with a disability in physical education. Sport, Education and Society.

Alfrey, L., Burke, G., O'Connor, J., & Hall, C. (2021). Learning about health through ‘intergenerational arts-led pedagogies’ in health and physical education: exploring pedagogical possibilities. Sport, Education and Society26(8), 815-830.

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 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

Editorial Board, Journal of Teaching Physical Education

2023 → …

Editorial Board, Sport, Education and Society

2023 → …

Editor, Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education

2019 → …

Tertiary Education and Research Portfolio - Subcommittee of Board, Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER Inc)

1 Dec 2018 → …

International Advisory Board, Independent Consultant - United Kingdom

2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • Health and Physical Education
  • Teachers
  • Professional development
  • Inclusion
  • Sociology
  • Sport and Physical Activity
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Policy

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or