SBS Story on a Bridge Across Skating, Academia and Vietnamese Community

Thanks to SBS News #myaustralia series and Naveen Razik for breaking stereotypes and doing this story on skateboarding, Asian Australian academic and Viet adoptee communities and how me and others carve a sense of home and belonging in them. Posted 25 Jan 2020 on first day of Vietnamese New Year. Article link here / SBS Radio Audio link here /  Video here on Twitter with captions in English language supplied.
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Meet the awesome communities am so fortunate to be a part of at:
Girls Skate Brisbane GSB – Co-founded with Evie Ryder, Tora Cordelia and OGs earlier on Sophia Ross and Amanda F.  + Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) Facebook Group Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) Historical Web Page + Consent is Rad. Special shout out to some amazing womxn who have inspired me for a long time to be strong, practice gratitude and contribute in our own ways: Sarah Huston, Izy Duncombe, Kim Woozy and Yullin Oliver.
Acknowledgement of Country

Girls Skate Brisbane is based in Meanjin and acknowledges the people who are the traditional custodians of the land,  the Turrbal and Jagera First Nations owners, pays respect to the Elders, past and present, and extends that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Photos below by @brem_gnar_the_creative


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Art Fundraiser for Oz Bush Fires Appeals

Werewolf Cats Skating Fundraiser

Werewolf Cats Skating Fundraiser – painting of Joshua Stanley of Folklore and Trilogy Skateboards in Canberra doing a front side nose blunt on the picnic table. Acrylic on canvas. $25 sale goes direct to cause.


Joshua Stanley in Canberra

Joshua Stanley of Folklore and Trilogy Skateboards in Canberra doing a front side nose blunt on the picnic table.

The past couple of months Australia has been facing a national emergency due to an unprecedented number of bush fires right across the country.  In January I am selling art works to raise money for two organisations – The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and the Australian Red Cross.

If you see an artwork identified for sale at Werewolf Cats Skating at Instagram: @werewolfcatsskating make an offer. If it’s available I will accept payments via screenshot of your direct donation to one of the above organisations of your choosing. $25 each (all goes to the cause) + postage in Australia (see below for example of non-sensitive information identifying donation) .

Thanks to those brave Fire Fighters and volunteers out there on the frontlines out there trying to save human lives, homes and wildlife as well as important Aboriginal Sacred Sites and Countries.


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Pushing Boarders article 2 for Yeah Girl

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The second article (part 2 of 3) I wrote up featuring the perspectives of womxn and non-binary individuals who were at Pushing Boarders in Malmo, Sweden is now up at Yeah Girl. Photos by Norma Ibarra. Edited by Sarah Huston.

‘Get By, Get Through, Get Rolling: Pushing Boarders Reflections 2’. Yeah Girl Media. Visit here:

The focus is on mental health, mentors and what keeps us rolling. Interviewees range from pro-skaters to skate development workers, skate industry veterans to grassroots community leaders as well as photographers, filmmakers, artists, writers, educators and researchers and many many more people who attended Pushing Boarders.

Most thankful to all the individuals who shared their insights and reflections, and particularly the voices of those who are often overlooked by skate media and mainstream journalism.

Part 1 can be read here:

‘The Evolution of Skateboarding and Why Pushing Boarders is a Sign of the Times’. Yeah Girl Media. posted 10 October. Downloaded from URL:

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Pushing Boarders Videos of Talks Released – University of Skate: Support Your Local Academic

All the videos and audio of the talks at Pushing Boarders – an academic skateboarding conference held in Malmo, Sweden in August 2019 – have now been released. Was such an honour to be invited to talk on the Panel ‘The University of Skate: Support Your Local Academic’ as part of an emerging new cohort of scholars in skateboarding research. You can catch it on YouTube here

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‘The University of Skate: Support Your Local Academic’, Chaired by Dr Sander Holsgens and Stuart Maclure with Luke Cianciotto, Dr Dani Abulhawa, Dr Adelina Ong, Dr Indigo Willing and Sophie Friedel. Talk given 18 August, published 22 November 2019 at URL: 

What an amazing event, all the more remarkable given it was run by volunteer efforts. The organisers made the conference free for all to attend, and also had it professionally documented so it is free to view for all those who could not attend. Keeping its aim for a more ethical world in skateboarding and beyond, Pushing Boarders has set a good example in so many ways for other academic conferences to learn from in terms of implementing more equitable ways for individuals to participate and observe, particularly in an era of gig economies and casualisation in the workforce. Big thanks to ReVerb Skateboarding, Skate Pal, Long Live South Bank, Skateism, Bryggeriet High School, The Skate Room, Skateistan, GoodPush Alliance, Vent City, The Smithsonian and many more who got the show on the road behind the scenes.

All the talks cover such important themes and topics and feature such insightful and interesting individuals from around the world talking about skateboarding. It is going to be a lot of fun to revisit all of them. The Globally Stoked panel was one of my favourites! You can also read Part 1 of a 3 part series I’m writing about Pushing Boarders for Yeah Girl Media featuring interviews with womxn and non binary skaters who attended here – Part 2 out soon. Stay tuned 🙂

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Skate or die – or do research. What a time to be alive


Jenkem article on academia 2019

Jenkem article on academia 2019


It seemed somehow fitting and was also one of the best birthday surprises ever that some sociological research I co-wrote about ageing skaters popped up in a Jenkem Magazine article on skate academia on 14 October 2019, just a couple of days before my 48th.  There are many topics I care and write about, but skateboarding is quite special. The feeling skateboarding gives skaters is very hard to pin down into words, even for writers who skate. It is at times urgent and the need is certainly regular. And, with every push and moment we are on our board, or in the air about to greet it with our feet, is an anticipation we might be rewarded with an indescribable joy that money, reputation, connections and clout can’t deliver. To know is to know – skating delivers you into a zone, a state of grace, a place of purity, and rhythm that is all consuming, difficult to stop yet also beautifully ephemeral.

We have reached interesting times where people who skate bring all kinds of things to the table. Jenkem Magazine noted in an older 2016 article that the world of boards and books aren’t always separate and don’t need to be. Post Pushing Boarders Conference 1 and 2 it has never been so easy to see and meet skateboarders who are dedicated to changing the world and this includes through research.

It makes sense to me that skateboarders, with their creative, quick-thinking minds, the sharpest eyes for detail (particularly when seeing street spots) and love of history (talk skate parts and see how skaters have a memory as strong as a library-catalogue) become drawn to the world of academia.  Most skaters also have street smarts as well as book smarts and therefore also bring a much more grounded and adaptable approach to research and learning, Skateboarders often also draw on remarkable lived experiences as well as their unstoppable determination, wills of steel and a skill for abstract thinking (e.g. all tricks appear impossible at first and  imagination, physics and much more unfold).   

So if you’ve ever been interested in taking your love of skating over to studying and research have entire faith in yourself – I do.

I believe you have what it takes and then some.

Thank you Alexis Castro for reviewing my co-authored paper with colleagues Professor Andy Bennett, Mikko Piispa and Dr Ben Green and for not being too ‘tired’ reading a sociological study about Tired Skateboards.  Also happy face and an embarrassingly big excited shout out to my friends and peers Christopher Giamarino and his co-researcher Chihsin Chui (reviewed by Larry Lanza),  Dr Adelina Ong (paper reviewed by CK) Dr Dani Abulhawa (reviewed by Claire Alleaume)) and Dr Sander Holsgens (reviewed by Nic Dobija-Nootens)


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New article about Pushing Boarders in Yeah Girl Media

New article about Pushing Boarders I wrote for Yeah Girl Media is now live – read here with photos by legend Norma Ibarra

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Pushing Boarders article in Yeah Girl Media by Indigo Willing with photos by Norma Ibarra

There’s an ethical turn in skateboarding and Pushing Boarders, the world’s first and largest academic skateboarding conference, illuminated that. The inaugural event was in London, UK last year and this year it was hosted in Malmo, Sweden. It felt so incredibly fortunate and surreal to be there as speaker on ‘The University of Skate: Support Your Local Academic’ Panel to talk about some of my emerging skateboarding research, as co-founder of Girls Skate Brisbane and to facilitate the launch of Consent is Rad. This was one of those ‘experiences of a lifetime’ that I am forever grateful for and especially for the many new friends, collaborators, mentors and inspirational people I met.

Post event I caught up with over 30 attendees to talk about their perspectives and reflections on the event. In this article (part 1 of 3) the Pushing Boarders ‘class of 2019’ talked about how skateboarding has changed from the past to now, why it is a sign of the times and what were some of the biggest learning experiences they had. In Part 2 the focus will turn to looking at what kind of mentors and networks arise from the world’s only skateboarding conference. The conference’s theme of mental health will also be considered, and what advice people at Pushing Boarders have on how they have overcome issues of self-esteem and anxiety about skateboarding, from individuals who are pro-skaters to people just starting to roll. Part 3 then will ask ‘how far has skateboarding still got to go’ in terms of being ‘for everyone’ and concludes by asking advice from this amazing group of womxn, non-binary and non-conforming gender diverse group of individuals from around the globe ‘how skaters can change the world’? Stay tuned…

Thanks PB organizers, all the amazing interviewees talking skating ❤️ & editor/YG founder @thesarahhuston

*womxn is used in a range of contexts to signify a more inclusive category that recognises intersectionality e.g. Trans Women and People of Colour

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Consent is Rad in Skateism Mag

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Thank you Skateism Magazine for writing an article about Consent is Rad, a no naming, shaming or blaming collaborative project with a focus on expressions of care, education and the promotion of consent as a positive part of how we interact in the skateboarding community. Co-founded and co-developed by various individuals and groups including us at Girls Skate Brisbane (co-run by Evie, Tora and me), the campaign was launched during my visit to the Pushing Boarders conference in Malmo Sweden with the support of Skateism and the Reverb Skate Research group.

The Consent is Rad project encourages skaters and skate groups from around the world to take photos, videos or create art with the simple message #consentisrad which is then shared on our collectively developed campaign’s social media on Instagram @consent_is_rad and Facebook @consentisrad.  So far there has been overwhelming support from skateboarders of various backgrounds including skate group leaders, academics, journalists, professional skateboarders, artists and filmmakers. This includes Bing Liu who was nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary skate film ‘Minding the Gap’ in 2019 which addresses issues of racism, mental health, domestic violence and alcohol dependency in the skate scene. Rick McCrank, a former pro-skater and TV documentary maker (Vice’s Abandoned series and Post Radical) is also featured as well as contributions from skaters based in countries as far apart as Peru (Layla G Leon from Concrete Jungle Foundation) to Norway (Peach Sorenson from Doyenne Skateboards) and the USA (Natalia Krishnadas the LasChicAZ Team, Exposure Skate).

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Imke Leerink, Layla G. Leon, Kim Woozy, Tora Waldren, Evie Ryder, Indigo Willing and Kristen Ebeling featured in the Consent is Rad campaign

We know a campaign like this is limited in what it can do and does, but it is certainly a conversation starter and hopefully makes consent seem like a positive and important thing to integrate into how skaters interact with each other at parties, road trips, mentoring situations, dating and so on, no matter what genders and sexualities.

As we state in the article, put together by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue, “There’s nothing better in skating than when everyone is being rad to each other. As part of that, cheering on someone who’s had a great run is rad. Being stoked when someone gets a new trick is rad. That feeling of just arriving at the skatepark and skate spot with friends and getting ready to shred is rad. Going to that skate party or skate premier to have a great time is rad. Going on road trips is rad. Getting drinks together after a skate is rad. Being mutually attracted to someone in these contexts is rad. Taking that attraction further is rad. Consent is rad. Stay safe, mingle ethically and have fun!”


Indi Consent is Rad


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