Roy Sneddon

Mr Roy Sneddon

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Senior Research Education Support Officer

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts

"Exploring gender equity issues facing Theravada Buddhist Nuns in Australia"

This MPhil project involves semi-structured interviews with Australian Buddhist Nuns in the Theravada tradition, to examine what gender/political issues they may face in the Australian context. There is considerable international discussion on the ongoing discrimination facing Buddhist nuns including (but not limited to):

* The full ordination of Bhikkhuni nuns
* The eight Garrudhamma rules that subordinate nuns to monks
* Restriction of access to resources and education
* Suppression of the voices of Buddhist women in debate, policy and literature
* Acceptance by the sangha, laity and governments

The study engages with Buddhist nuns and aims to:

Aim 1 – To investigate how patriarchal structures shape practices of Theravada nuns and their communities in Australia.

Aim 2 - To gauge how Australian Buddhist nuns perceive their ability to contest or conform to these patriarchal structures.

Aim 3 – To assess how the Australian social, political, and historical context and respective cultural backgrounds of Australian Buddhists shape the experiences of nuns.

Aim 4 – To compare and contrast the responses of Australian Buddhist nuns, monks and laity to the situations in other countries as presented in the international literature.’

With Buddhism being the fastest growing religion (by percentage) according to the 2016 Australian Census, the study represents a culturally significant group in 21st Century Australia.

Supervisor: Dr Tiziana Torresi (University of Adelaide)
Co-Supervisor: Dr Nadine Levy (Nan Tien Institute)

"Exploring gender equity issues facing Theravada Buddhist Nuns in Australia"

There is extensive scholarly work examining the global Bhikkhuni revival. From fieldwork involving the Theravada nuns in Sri Lanka and Thailand, to the Mahayana nuns in the Tibetan tradition, the temple wives of Japan and the ongoing activism of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women, there is no shortage of literature on the gender issues facing Buddhist nuns.... except in Australia.

This study involves meeting with nuns, monks and lay people in Australia, examining their stories to critique the international literature from the Australian perspective, filling an important void in the academic record.


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 HDR Candidate University of Adelaide
    2020 Senior Research Development Officer University of Adelaide
    2018 - 2020 Manager Northern Adelaide Local Health Network
    2018 - 2020 Training Fellow (Legislation Module) Australasian Research Management Society
    2016 - 2018 Senior Research Education Support Officer University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2016 Senior Research Grants Officer University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2014 Grants & Funding Coordinator University of South Australia
    2014 - 2014 Research Administration Officer Flinders University
    2010 - 2013 Manager Research Secretariat Hanson Institute
    1997 - 2010 Manager Corporate Services Joanna Briggs Institute
    1990 - 1996 Manager, Accommodation and Travel Services Australian Formula One Grand Prix
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    Flinders Australia Master of Health Administration
    Griffith Australia Bachelor of General Studies
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2018 Accredited Research Manager (Foundation) Australasian Research Management Society
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2000 Lockwood, C. S., & Sneddon, R. (2000). Internet support for post-graduate studies, an evidence based approach. Australian Nursing Journal, 8(3), 39.
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - 2020 Member Buddhist Society of South Australia Buddhist Society of South Australia Australia
    2014 - 2019 Member Australasian Research Management Society (SA Chapter) Australasian Research Management Society Australia
  • Position: Senior Research Education Support Officer
  • Phone: 83139996
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor 3
  • Room: 3 30
  • Org Unit: Health and Medical Sciences Faculty Office Administration

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