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UC welcomes leaders in sport management to Canberra for annual conference

Kailey Tonini

28 November 2023: The University of Canberra will welcome leading sport management academics and professionals to its Bruce campus as it hosts the 2023 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ) Conference from Wednesday 29 November to Friday 1 December.

This year’s theme, Facing the Future – Academic Research Supporting Industry Practice, is designed to explore practical outcomes and solutions driven by evidence that will allow stakeholders to face future possibilities and challenges together. With this mind, the four keynote presentations have been split equally between academics and industry executives, with the aim of showcasing collaboration from both sides.

The three-day conference will offer over 90 keynotes, talks, panels, workshops and activities on topics including sustainability, Indigenous sport, sports integrity, media and marketing, sport development and more, from elite levels to community grassroots.

The University’s incoming UCRISE (Research Institute of Sport and Exercise) Director, Professor Aaron Smith, RMIT’s Professor Tracy Taylor and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) CEO Professor Kevin Thompson will each be delivering a keynote address.

Experts and representatives from 11 countries, Australian universities, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA), the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) and peak sports bodies will attend.

The first day of the conference has been designated HDR (Higher Degree by Research) Student Day – over 40 research students, who are the future of the industry, will discuss their research projects and engage in various workshops, panels and industry discussions.

Stirling Sharpe talking on the University of Canberra's Bruce campus.

“As one of the leading sport universities in Australia, the University of Canberra is excited to host SMAANZ members and guests for the Association’s 29th conference. SMAANZ is highly regarded in the sport management industry and brings together experts looking at sport through lenses of governance, policy, sustainability, ethics and integrity, media, development and more. Researchers and industry collaboration is critical to ensuring the success of Australia’s golden decade with the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said SMAANZ Chair and University of Canberra Lecturer in Sport Management, Stirling Sharpe.

Various University of Canberra academics and HDR candidates representing the Faculty of Health and Faculty of Business, Government and Law will speak at the conference:

  • Stirling Sharpe, Conference Chair
  • Associate Professor Tracey Dickson
  • Adjunct Professor David Pyne
  • Associate Professor Catherine Ordway
  • Associate Professor Julie Cooke
  • Hannah Campbell-Pegg
  • Charles Mountifield
  • Genevieve Lim
  • Richard Vaughan

Conference registrations close Tuesday 28 November. For more information and the whole conference program, visit the SMAANZ website or email