Diversity and Inclusion at QAAFI

QAAFI values the contribution of our staff and students from around the world, who undertake high impact science in tropical agriculture and food production. To support diversity and inclusion across QAAFI’s operations, a Diversity and Inclusion Committee has been established​.

Bronze logo for the SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN

UQ is a proud recipient of the Bronze Institutional Award of the SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN.

The University of Queensland is excited to be a part of the national SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN program to address and improve gender equity in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines. 

Our aims

  • Develop and implement diversity and inclusion goals, strategies and targets with the aim of implementing best practice in QAAFI
  • Monitor the ongoing success of these initiatives and identify impediments to progress 
  • Provide a forum for broad discussion and consultation around diversity and inclusion at QAAFI
  • Contribute to the communication and reinforcement of shared values around diversity and inclusion to support a culture of inclusiveness at QAAFI
  • Raise awareness for issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion through seminars and other relevant events
  • Make recommendations to the QAAFI Management Team on issues relating to diversity and inclusion for staff and students at QAAFI
  • Work in partnership with other diversity and inclusion support groups across the University to share best practice, and ensure alignment with University-wide initiative

If you have any items that you would like addressed at a QAAFI Diversity and Inclusion Committee meeting, or would like to submit any feedback, please contact qdic@uq.edu.au


UQ value and are committed to the diversity of gender, sex, and sexuality among our staff, as demonstrated in the UQ Strategic Plan.

Our initiatives include:

Learn more about workplace diversity and inclusion at UQ

Many high-profile conferences, events, task forces and media outlets lack gender balance, despite there often being no shortage of qualified women to contribute.

To help address this, the Panel Pledge initiative encourages academics and professionals to commit to requesting gender equity as a condition of participation on any panel or conference.

The concept was originally developed through a partnership between Women’s Leadership Institute AustraliaMale Champions of Change and Chief Executive Women.

At UQ, we have tailored this to create an initiative known as The Merle Pledge.

The Merle Pledge is an effort to substantially improve women’s representation in public and professional forums.

We encourage academics and professional staff from all backgrounds and genders to take the pledge, and join the worldwide movement to advance gender equity in academia and other occupations.

More Information on The Merle Pledge.

Women in Agricultural Research

The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is showcasing incredible female scientists. Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. UQ is actively working to lead the way, inspiring young women to become active in science and help build a better world.

QAAFI Diversity and Inclusion news

  • In this episode of the Women Finding Success podcast, UQ's Professor Neena Mitter talks about her journey and career as a researcher from Delhi to Australia, her respect for food and agriculture, and the impact her research has on sustainable solutions for food supply and crop protection.
  • The Illuminata podcast series is produced by QAAFI PhD students Charlotte Rambla and Emily Mantilla.  The series highlights the important role women in agriculture play as part of the STEM community. Interviews share real life stories about women working from the University of Queensland and how they are making an extraordinary difference to agriculture and food research. 
  • Women in Science is a podcast series featuring interviews with inspiring researchers who are breaking barriers in their fields and making remarkable contributions to science.

    The University of Queensland’s Dr Kirsty Short chats to them about the science they love and their unique journeys as scientists.
  • An Indigenous fruit which is one of the earliest known plant foods eaten in Australia could be the next big thing in the bush foods industry.
    The University of Queensland research team is led by bush foods researcher Associate Professor Yasmina Sultanbawa, who said the green plum not only tasted delicious but contained one of the highest known folate levels of any fruit on the commercial market.
  • QAAFI PhD student Selina Fyfe shares her experience visiting the Gove community in East Arnhem land as part of her involvement with the ARC Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods.
  • Blog post by Shannon Landmark on being awarded the Zanda McDonald Award, Less than 24 hours later she was driving to the hospital to give birth to her son Fred.
  • In this presentation, Dr Heather Smyth discusses her work researching the human sensory experience of Australian foods, finding new pathways for adding distinctive Australian qualities to our home-grown food and beverage products.
  • Global leader in agricultural biotechnology wins Australia India Science, Research & Development Award 2019 at the 2019 India Australia Business & Community (IABC) Awards.
  • Shannon Landmark, joint winner of the 2019 award considers herself lucky not to have a 9 to 5 job every day. As coordinator of the Northern Genomics Project at the University of Queensland, her work focusses on improving genetic selection and reproductive technology, and sees her working with beef producers, beef extension officers from state governments, consultants and vets, and university researchers and scientists.