COVID has had a clear impact on promotion success for women.  During this promotion process I have been mentored via Strategic Promotion Advice and Mentoring (SPAM) in Faculty of Science, for this I am enormously grateful.  The recent 2022 data show that, whilst SPAM initially impacted the % of women gaining promotion, gains for women have not been sustained. In 2019 (pre-COVID) 43% of women applicants were promoted to Level E. In 2020 (during COVID), this fell to 29%, and 2021 (during COVID) this fell further to 20%. Save for 2017 (9%), last year’s rate of success (20%) was the lowest rate of promotion for women since the SPAM was implemented in 2014. It is likely that COVID is in part responsible as the literature (2020 – current) points to women carrying a substantial mental load related to administration and teaching during COVID with implications that this work is still under-valued.


Outputs July – October 2022
Journal articles (submitted)

Quinnell, R., Motion, A., Illingworth, S., Calyx, C., Bray, H., & Borda, A. (submitted). Citizen science in Australian higher education: emerging learning and research communities. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education. 

Pattison, A., McGee, K., Birch, J., Saunders, K., Ashby, R., Quinnell, R., Bell-Anderson, K., & Way, A. (submitted). What do we know about threshing traditional grains in Australia? Journal of Ethnobiology. 

Ritchie, R., Quinnell, R., Howell, D., & Nakphet, S. (submitted). Arsenic toxicity in a Photosynthetic Bacterial Symbiont of Wolffia arrhiza. Microbiology. 

Conference papers (forthcoming)

Lys, I., Wragge, K., Morgan, B., Weyand, P., & Quinnell, R. (2022). Building digital literacy, cultural competence and connections across the curriculum, the campus and the community. 2022 National Students as Partners Roundtable, University of The Sunshine Coast, Queensland 22-23 November. 

Schmid, S., Motion, A., Masters, A., Rutledge, P., Wilkinson, S., Birch, C., & Quinnell, R. (2022). An Inclusive Australian Chemistry Curriculum. Paper presented at the Indigenous Higher Education Curriculum Conference, UTS, Sydney 29 – 30 November. 

Quinnell, R. (2022). Connecting Universities Australia Indigenous Strategies on to curricula. GARABARALA. Sydney Indigenous Research Network Sydney. 24 – 25th November. 

Lys, I., Wragge, K., Morgan, B., Weyand, P., & Quinnell, R. (2022). Students as co-creators of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage gardens and interactive maps. ascilite 2022, UTS, USYD 4 – 7 December. 

Quinnell, R., Evans, G., Chan, G., Cross, R., & Troy, J. (2022). Emotional value of human-plant interactions in learning. Nature Feelz, Sydney Environment Institute Sydney 6 – 7 December. 

Grant applications

Cross, R., Quinnell, R., & Moore, K. (2022). Decolonising rural places: stewardship, story and connection. University of Sydney: Sydney Environment Institute. Seed funding. Successful

Quinnell, R., Pao, S., Cross, R., Howell, D., & Tan, D. (2022). Agricultural Futures in Cambodia: Empowerment via Higher Education. Sydney South East Asia Centre, The University of Sydney. (Pending)

Non-traditional research output

Quinnell, R., & Bell-Anderson, K. (2022). Native Plant Identification: a series of annotated graphics to support ‘Grasslands for Grains’. The University of Sydney, Copyright Disclosure (Approval pending). Australia. 


Quinnell, R. (2022). Acacia  – Response to State of the Environment report [Opinion]. Sydney Environment Institute, The University of Sydney.


Contributions since July 22.

My contributions offers tangible outputs focused on valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing ‘place’ by co-leading the implementation of Aboriginal Heritage assessments and development of Indigenous Cultural IP protocols for the Faculty of Science (governance), leading four conference submissions (research), and offering an opinion piece that speaks to Indigenous Science. These are critical contributions for Australian Higher Education. 

ONE PAGE UPDATE (as offered in promotion portal):

For the past three years University operations have been subject to major disruption due to the impacts of COVID. This is half of the time since my promotion. Recent data from Faculty of Science indicates that COVID has negatively impacted the promotion success of women (SPAM data: Level D to E, 2011 – 2021)**. 

In this final update, I report that in the mid-year break and into semester 2, I embraced the opportunity to teach field botany in an intensive field ecology unit of study. It was really fun to get back into the field with students.🥾🥾 ☘️🍃🌿 In these past three months, I have enhanced the upward trajectory of my research portfolio. My contributions to governance locally, nationally and internationally are transforming the HE sector “for good”.

My research portfolio has seen further growth and consolidation 

Recognition and reward – Internationally & @USYD

  • Recognition for supporting research students personally and professionally: SUPRA’s 2022 Supervisor of the Year award nomination). 
  • Recognition by Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) “Growing Community: App-based tools support botanical literacy and citizen science”. The CampusFlora App is featured: here I have drawn on students-as-partners approach to offer a mobile app to support botanical literacy and to champion the Sydney (Gadigal) Language. (Motion, A. 2022

Growth and consolidation

    • 2 new research students: one new Honours student (SOLES), one new PhD student (with FASS: SCA).
    • **research outputs: 3 journal manuscripts, 4 conference papers, 1 NTRO. Much of my research is themed to “inclusivity via democratisation in and decolonisation of science and science education”. 
    • “Decolonising” research:
      • Decolonising rural places: stewardship, story and connection. Successful SEI grant. 
      • ARC Laureate Fellowship research team member, 2023. I bring my expertise in decolonising Australian botanical landscapes (in prep & confidential).
    • Higher education research and development:
      • HEIP WorldBank AgroEcology project, Cambodia (My role: Lead). 
        • Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Workshop for National University of Battambang (NUBB) staff. August 8 – 10.  My roles: design, facilitation and evaluation.
        • Delegation from NUBB visit to USYD’s city and rural campuses (Sept 11 – 18). My roles: design itinerary, host visit including driving the minibus to Narrabri)
      •  Exploring academic identities in the face of disruption (paper in prep.); this research is transforming practice at UTS via the central strategic academic unit.

My contributions to Governance and transforming University practices

Indigenous Strategy and Services: Project updates.

  1. Aboriginal Heritage assessments at two of the University rural locations: Narrabri and Camden. This work is founded in my highly productive partnerships with professional staff (Central Operations Services) which will transform operations in rural precincts through strengthening relationships with LALCs. Narrabri Heritage assessment complete. Camden pending. 
  2. Indigenous Cultural IP protocols for Faculty of Science (consultation with Terri Jenke & Co). These protocols are foundational for transforming our  “research” and “teaching” practices. A sister project is underway in School of Business. I am working across both organisational units to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students, academic and professional staff colleagues. (See also upcoming conference paper: detail via website link). 
  3. Offered insights in supporting Indiginous enterprises via video resource commissioned by University Procurement. 

Sustainability strategy:  Updates.

  • Living Lab’ Community of Practice has been finalised. I am the Chair.
  • Mapping biodiversity is fundamental to the University’s biodiversity strategy.  
  • I led the University participation in the Global HE bioquest for the fourth year (April, August). USYD received 6 awards, more than any other participating university.
  • ~ 300 trees at USYD’s  Narrabri campus are offered via CampusFlora app – this work in collaboration with Guy Roth and Dalyell students.

Leadership  Recognition (international, national)

  • Judge (invited) Internationally recognised QS Wharton  REImagine Higher Education award. Specialist category:Access, Diversity & Inclusion Award’.
  • 2022 Green Gown Award Finalist. Quinnell, R., COS & Sustainability Strategy, USYD. Curriculum Garden. (result pending)

Leadership, Mentoring 

  • Mentor/MenteeFaculty of Science’s program
  • Assessor HEA International Fellowships (USYD)