Lightning Talks: smashing myths at Logan


Photo of Griffith University, Logan Campus sign.

The first in our series of Lightning Talks at Logan campus library went off with a bang!

Over 40 people gathered in the Lounge area to hear three accomplished speakers share their journeys into higher education and their research passions.

Professor Lesley Chenoweth spoke candidly about being first-in-family to attend university. She also passionately discussed Logan Together; a project whose vision is ‘to offer every child in Logan, whatever their circumstances, every opportunity to grow and reach their potential’.

Dr Abdi Hersi followed with a very enlightening talk about Muslims and the Islamic faith. He put to bed some myths surrounding their integration into Australian society.

Did you know, for instance, that Muslim Australians come from all over the world? According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Muslim Australians are not a homogenous group.

They come from a variety of countries; from Lebanon and Turkey to Bangladesh and Fiji. And interestingly, over a third are Australian-born (that’s around 100,000 people).

The final speaker, Dr Adele Pavlidis, questioned why so many people, women in particular, drop out of playing sport in adulthood. Only three or four audience members indicated that they still currently played a sport!

She spoke about the role of sports in community building and challenged our thinking about the norms of gender segregation in Australian sport. By the end of her talk, she had many of the audience members itching to get back on the court or sports field.

The Lightning Talks at Logan broke down some ivory towers and allowed very important research to be communicated to a broader audience.

Dr Pavlidis said it was ‘so great to be able to share some of my research with a broader audience and see it resonate – you just don’t get the same kind of feedback from journal reviewers!’.

And it wasn’t just the academics who benefited from the event. ‘I did enjoy the talks yesterday, something’s I could relate to fully,’ said one of the students. Another student said the Lightning Talks were inspirational and they were looking forward to the next round.

Will there be a next round? We’ll keep you posted.