Support Black Skateboarders

Skateboarders, many faces from many places. See @ryan_lay original post for fundraisers for bail for protesters for Black Lives Matter

This has been a hell of a year and now is the time to be energising to support and stand up for Black Lives Matter and against systemic racism and acknowledging Black excellence and initiatives led by African American and other Black people including African diasporas and Indigenous Peoples. This should be a priority for other non-Black People of Colour including Asians. We were also backed up by many during the corona virus racism at us and many times as refugees and beyond. This year (and every year) remember to show solidarity and to support. We are not always going to get it right but that’s no excuse not to do the work, listen and learn, then keep doing the work. There is also a striking disparity of representation in the skateboarding industry of skaters who are Indigenous, Black African American and from African Diasporas. There’s great things happening and being led by Black skaters, of all genders, that must no longer be sidelined or ignored and so much to support and respect. This is just a glimpse and in no way a comprehensive list:-

  • The Black List of African American and Black owned skatebrands in the US by Patrick Kigongo: Open Doc here
  • Article: Behind the Black List: A Growing Guide of Black-owned Brands, Retailers, and Organizations in Skateboarding Complied by Patrick Kigongo. Posted by Anthony Pappalardo here
  • Article: In Mel Magazine focused on Black Skaters and Black Lives Matter by Andrew Fiouzi here
  • Article: In Jenkem Magazine ‘Skateboarders Guide to Attending a Protest’ by Latinx writer Christian Kerr here
  • Article: In Dazed Magazine focusing on Women of Colour skateboarders here
  • Media: Quell recording discussion racism and skateboarding with Kava Garcia Vasquez and Jillean Liao of Heavy Discussion here
  • Article: Interview in Jenkem Magazine with Beatrice Domond by Morely Musick here
  • Video: By Douglas Miles Senior, Founder of Apache Skateboards. Synopsis – Travel with a Native family as they move to support Black Lives Matter in Downtown Phoenix AZ on June 6, 2020. One young boys journey into the reality of America. See here
  • Article: Stories about Nick Hayes, an Aboriginal Arrernte Man and founder of Spinifex Skateboards and Skate School at Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) NT on NITV here and in an article here
  • Documentary: The Spades: A History of African American Skateboarding documentary FB here and trailer here
  • Videos: Youtube videos of panel talks at the Pushing Boarders academic skateboarding conference in Malmo 2019 featuring speakers such as Briana King, Kava Garcia Vasquez, Lee Smith, Ayanda Mnyandu and more here
  • Also Alphonzo Rawls has just issued a re-release of this hoodie and shirt design listing the names of many Black skaters (originally as part of Black History Month 5 years ago). When the lack of women skaters was raised by Atita Verghese in one of his posts calling for ideas I also added a comment to add the names of several Black women skaters. He made the effort to send me a DM, was keen for the suggestions, did the research and added them. This road is intersectional and womxn and all genders are a part of skate history. Atita and Alphonso, much power and love to you, you both rule 🙂 See below for one of his draft versions and visit his Insta to see the updated version here



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Black Lives Matter – overseas and on Aboriginal Land

Black Lives matter

Black Lives Matter in the USA, globally and also locally and it is important to identify and dismantle systemic racism and enduring forms of colonialism at all levels of society and big institutions. Over at Twitter @aaffn the network has been regularly re-tweeting and sharing petitions, fundraisers and protests to direct Asian Australians in our community to listen to and support First Nations communities, activists, health professionals, psychologists and academics sharing about related issues. It is also good to remember so many who have been behind us during the corona virus racism and as refugees and more, including from First Nations and African Australian leaders and community groups. We are thankful and dedicated to anti-racism, pushing for justice and offering solidarity. We must do the work, listen, learn, and then do more work. We also urge our community to follow First Nations media, journalists and writers. The below is just a glimpse and in no way a comprehensive list:

Indigenous X

98.9FM Brisbane

ABC’s Bridget Brennan. on ABC’s The Insiders here

Associate Professor Chelsea Bond on The Drum here

Meyne Wyatt monologue from his play City of Gold on ABC’s QandA here

Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan has also provided a comprehensive list of articles written by Indigenous experts from various professions and academic fields on their Twitter account here and they then added more on FB here

Other sources (there are many more):

ABC Indigenous


Black Deaths Inside Database and Story in the Guardian

Sisters Inside


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SAGE Network Launched: Includes Equity in Skateboarding Research

SAGE Section on Skateboarding

Joining the Sport and Gender Equity Network (SAGE) at Griffith University this April promoting equity in skateboarding

This year has been full of unforeseen changes and challenges but also some fresh and adaptive approaches to continue things we are all passionate about. For me, this includes continuing to promote skateboarding as both an increasingly inclusive activity and valuable field of research. This April I am delighted to announce that I will be joining The Sport and Gender Equity (SAGE) Network at Griffith University. SAGE was launched by Professor Simone Fullagar with the integral contributions of Research Seminars Convener Dr Adele Pavlidis at the beginning of April 2020 online. SAGE involves a range of research projects and researchers. The purpose of the research hub is to lead innovative and impactful research that advances gender equity in sport through a multi-disciplinary research hub connecting scholars, practitioners, athletes and advocates.

As an Affiliate Member of SAGE, the network offers me a valuable new avenue to highlight to academic audiences, policy makers and more the social significance of skateboarding as a lifestyle and action sport, unique culture and platform for social change. It is also an opportunity to promote qualitative research on skateboarding and developing further skills to co-write and fund more events featuring First Nations, Women, Non Binary and other genders, Refugee & Diasporas perspectives.

Read more on the SAGE Website Equity in Skateboarding page here.*

Read more about the 2019 Public Lecture and workshop event ‘Sport, Racism and Genders: Moving Together Beyond Binaries’ here.

*Note some of my earlier journalism articles for Yeah Girl Media on First Nations Apache Skateboards Team member Di’orr Greenwood, Action Sports and Skateboarding Agent Yulin Olliver and Non-Binary and Womxn skaters from a Pushing Boarders Part 1 story will be added by their web team to the site soon and can also be read via links on my skateboarding info page.

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Based in Meanjin, Brisbane and at Griffith University I wish to acknowledge the people who are the traditional custodians of the land, pays respect to the Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. South Bank, Nathan and Mount Gravatt campuses are situated on the land of the Yugarabul, Yuggera, Jageraand Turrbal peoples. Logan is situated on the land of the Yuggera, Turrbal, Yugarabul, Jageraand Yugambeh peoples. The Gold Coast is situated on the land of the Yugambeh/Kombumerri peoples.
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Good times at GSB, now We Skate QLD, new roles and new projects xo

GSB in 2017 throw back

Good times from 2016 to April 2020 at GSB as co-founder and on the admin team. Always big love to these OGs.

Had a super fun 4 years as co-founder at Girls Skate Brisbane (GSB) but this April a lot has changed in the world, especially work wise and in terms of personal needs, so made the decision to step down now as co-admin. From July 2020 GSB will now be known as We Skate QLD with Tora and Evie continuing as the power house admins, while I will continue to contribute in a different role as a researcher and writer in residence. The change in name reflects our joint wishes to expand our welcome and community in terms diverse genders and geographical reach.

Super excited to keep working on my craft and skills as a writer and sociology researcher (including but not limited to my current academic skateboarding projects) and volunteer work for various communities. This includes skateboarding but also dedicating energy towards supporting the Asian Australian community in a time when racism against us is increasing such as documented on the ABC and on SBS. I am also dedicating time towards my adopted Vietnamese community as we move through the 45th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, and think through what that means for us in terms of looking after each other and our searches for or care for surviving Vietnamese relatives, ties in Vietnam and within the Viet diaspora.

Big love to legends @evieryder and @torasworld and OG @s0phiar Super proud and stoked at co-founding our city’s biggest girls skate network together with you and all the volunteers such as Millie, Lily, Tam, Georgia, Amanda – the list is long and wonderful. DM Tora at the re-booted and renamed WE SKATE QUEENSLAND at @weskatequeensland if volunteering there interests you – it is time to be opening up the door and having fresh input and ideas will keep things thriving and connecting us all to old and new friends, and these legends will show you the ropes.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to collaborating with old and new faces soon on projects with WE SKATE QUEENSLAND, The Sport and Gender Equity (SAGE) Network at Griffith University, the Skate Witches x Vans collaboration in 2020, Consent is Rad collaborators and everyone in the near future, let’s all help each other stay safe and cared for in the present xo

Post updated 2 July 2020.

I wish to acknowledge the people who are the traditional custodians of the land, pays respect to the Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. GSB is based in Meanjin, Brisbane on the land of the Yugarabul, Jagera and Turrbal peoples.
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Pushing Boarders Reflection Part 3

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The article 2020 Skate Visions’: Pushing Boarders Reflections 3 was published at Yeah Girl Media at the end of January this year and so much has changed since then. We are now in a global pandemic and in most countries and towns various lock downs have been ordered. Skate parks are covered in sand or gates and signs to ban their use. People are only able to move in restricted ways for specific purposes (e.g. to buy food, go to work, exercise and so on).  Black, Indigenous and People of Colour are particularly vulnerable re livelihoods. Racism towards Asians has increased. Many minorities are also facing big challenges and everyone is facing job uncertainty and financial insecurity as the economy is rapidly changing.

So an article about what skateboarding needs in 2020 that was written in January, pre-pandemic awareness, has a very different emphasis and set of guiding ideas by the skate community than if written now in April. But some of the key messages remains the same. This includes being dedicated and having a strong focus on equity issues and being open and supportive towards change rather than defensive and closing it down.  Have a read of what womxn and non-binary skaters who attended Pushing Boarders last year have on their mind and follow them and their organisations on their socials to see where they’re at right now. Some are kick flipping in their bedrooms, many are volunteering time towards community online now, and some are just doing very little to store up energy for the next phase during corona virus once we’re adjusted to this one. And, that’s totally OK too. Now is the time to focus on care and keeping physically distant yet socially connected.

Link here from URL: 

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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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