Bring to the workshop

For one of the interactive sessions, participants will be asked to answer a series of questions via either SMS, or web-browser (phone-sized one is fine). Participants are encouraged to bring a 'device' of some sort (not nuclear), and preferably one that is web-enabled.

Before the workshop

Homework #1

In preparation for Malcolm Fialho's session "Engage, empower, enact", we encourage all workshop participants to read the following documents:
Curse of Australia’s silent pervasive racism by Waleed Aly
Racial Autobiographies

The Waleed Aly piece refers to the everyday racism that we have ‘normalised’ and, to a large extent, goes unnoticed and unchallenged. These micro-aggressions can have a serious impact on the lived experience of racial, cultural and religious minorities in contemporary Australia. While reading the article please consider the following two questions:
(a) Pick one sentence that you connect with/resonates for you.
(b) Why did it resonate? Think of an example if you can.

The five autobiographies aim to provide a deeper understanding of the multiple lived realities of Australians from different racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. Please consider the following when reading the autobiographies:
(a) Pick one insight you gained/a-ha moment you experienced when reading the stories.
(b) Can you ‘connect’ your own racial story to any of the autobiographies?

Homework #2

Harvard has created a revealing series of online implicit association tests that we suggest WiA workshop participants try prior to the meeting, if they have not already done so before. This is a self-study of our unconscious bias in various categories determined through randomised, anonymous quick testing. Typically only lasting 10 minutes, provided you can ensure no distractions in this time, it can be an eye-opening experience.

For the meeting we suggest participants consider undergoing at least the Gender-Science IAT, Gender-Career IAT, Sexuality IAT, Disability IAT and Race IAT that can be selected from the website:

However, all IATs are useful to explore, and time permitting you should try to attempt them all.

Remember, this is not an exercise in being branded as sexist / racist, etc., but is instead designed to raise awareness of any potential unconscious bias that can then be overcome to ensure behaviour is as fair and equitable as possible.

This is a private test and we will not be discussing the results on a person by person basis. For an IAT to result in an honest and statistically accurate manner, the test needs to be done in complete confidentiality. However, we will speak generally about the tests, raising issues of bias (both overt and subtle examples) in the "Role Playing Around Tricky Situations" session moderated by Prof Brian Schmidt; having an awareness of our own issues will be critical to the success of this session.

Homework #3

Top consultancy firm McKinsey has a reputation for delivering world-class thought leadership and has commissioned a series of studies to track and investigate changing diversity in Fortune 1000 companies. We have highlighted two of their recent reports which bring together best practice from some of the largest global corporations. These contain suggestions of how these companies have succeeded in creating a culture of diversity, as well as remarking on general steps that can be undertaken by any organisation (making these findings applicable to our own universities & research centres).

As a possible homework we suggest reading these two reports:
Women Matter: Making the breakthrough
Lessons from the leading edge of gender diversity

and to consider the following questions while doing so...

  1. Which of the problems discussed in the reports is most relevant to Australia’s astronomy community?
  2. Do you think that any of the initiatives suggested in the reports would be particularly valuable, and why?
  3. What do you think is the best way to implement your favourite initiatives from the reports?
  4. Based on this discussion, what are the top 5 things to change in the Australian astronomy community, and how would you go about changing them?

During the workshop


Parking permits will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, at the University House reception desk.

In the event that parking permits and/or University House parking spaces run out, parking on the ANU campus near University House may prove to be difficult, and it will certainly be expensive. Parking in non-authorised spaces is strongly discouraged as fines are likely to occur. We therefore strongly encourage participants to carpool, walk, ride a bike, or otherwise use taxis or public transport to reach the venue.

More information about car parking on the ANU campus and alternate transport is available here.

Lunch Options

Various lunch options are available on campus, as shown on the ANU campus map, where University House is at map location C2 (building #1).

  1. University House has the Boffins restaurant and the Fellows Bar and Cafe. Unfortunately it is quite likely that the workshop's relatively short lunch breaks will not make it possible for all participants to finish their lunch there within the break duration.
  2. Closest (1 to 2 minutes) to University House are the Gods Cafe @ Hedley Bull (map location D2, building #130) and the University General Store (map location C3, building #64B).
  3. Second closest (3 to 5 minutes) are the Vanilla Bean Cafe in the John Curtin School of Medicine (map location C4, building #131) and Chat's Cafe in the ANU School of Art (map location E2, building #105).
  4. Third closest (7 to 9 minutes) are the Biginelli Espresso on level 5 of the School of Music (map location F2, building #100) and As You Like It in the Street Theatre (map location F2).
  5. Not that much further away (~10 minutes) there are several fast and cheap options near the ANU student union (map location F3, buildings #17 and #20).
  6. There are some more options (mainly Asian food) near University Lodge (Childers St, map location G2).
  7. A fairly complete listing of the options on the ANU campus can be found here.
  8. The New Acton Precinct has a number of options,including the TwentyOne Cafe & Groceries store at 21-23 Marcus Clarke St. (just off the ANU campus map at E0).


Check here for an updated list of venues for the workshop dinner and post-dinner drinks. Additional information will be provided at the workshop to those who have registered for the conference dinner.

Internet Access

The University House is on ANU campus, and as such several wireless networks are available: ANU-Secure, ANU-Access and eduroam. For those who do not have eduroam, a conference wireless network will also be available. Details will be provided at registration time.

Remote participation and offline viewing

Remote connection and sessions recording for off-line viewing will be available.

  • As per WiA 2013, we are using Google Hangout, which provides both the broadcasting and recording capabilities. However, Google Hangout has a limit of 10 remote connectons, so if you plan to set-up a remote connection, please let us know as soon as possible (email to Because of the limitation on the number of connections, we strongly encourage you to try to get together and establish only one connection per institution (notwithstanding that this will be more convivial on the remote side).
  • We will organise a remote connection test on Wednesday 27, 3:00PM, ACT time. To be invited, please befriend "wia astron" on Google+ (sorry about the name, Google needs a first name and a last name and does not authorise numerals in the names), and let us know at
  • To use Google Hangout, the only requirement (beside having a computer with internet access) is to install the Google talk plugin. We strongly encourage you to use the Google chrome browser which should provide for a much smoother experience with Google Hangout calls.
  • During the workshop, unless you ask a question or otherwise participate to the discussion, please mute your microphone. You should also enable the chat plugin within Hangout, so that we can exchange messages quietly about any audio/video/connectivity issue, or if you plan to ask a question. Beside video feed from the other people attending remotely, we are planning to have three main video feeds: One with the presentation (powerpoint/keynote/pdf), one with a view of the speaker, and one directed toward the audience. You may select any one feed at any time.
  • In addition to the remote connection, Google Hangout will post a live feed to youtube. This live feed becomes a regular youtube movie when the session finishes. We will provide links to these movies as they become available.