Loretta is the Head of Community Engagement in the First Year College (FYC) at Victoria University (VU), and an active member of the Senior Leadership Group.

Loretta leads the FYC in developing networks and partnerships within the University, education-focused organisations and industry, providing leadership on University committees to support the work of the FYC and to seek opportunities for the FYC students and staff. Additionally Loretta supports the FYC staff to design and implement high quality industry and education based activities for first-year students and works with VU Alumni, Future Students and Student Life to provide opportunities for FYC staff and students.

Loretta also steers the FYC Open Day and Orientation sessions organisation and facilitates the FYC Schools Liaison Program to link schools and the FYC. Working closely with Student Life, Loretta manages the FYC staff to support VU in Focus Career teachers’ information sessions and the school-based [email protected] Roadshow which connects the FYC staff to secondary schools in both urban and rural parts of Victoria.

Loretta has been an educator for more than 30 years, beginning her career as a secondary school PE teacher, then as the Professional Development Coordinator at the Victorian Branch of ACHPER. She has been an academic for more than 15 years. Loretta has been the physical education course coordinator in the College of Sport and Exercise Science before moving to be a part of the inaugural year of the FYC. Loretta has an absolute passion for teaching and learning and currently convenes and teaches three units in the FYC; Aquatic and Athletic Movement Activities, Inclusion and Diversity in Physical Education and Safe and Secure Relationships. Loretta also has co-supervision of two honours students.


Areas of expertise

  • Community engagement
  • Aquatic education
  • Physical education
  • Inclusive physical education
  • Disability sport and diversity and inclusion

Contact details

(03) 9919 5411


Refereed journal articles



Earlier publications

  • Manathunga C, Shay P, Garner R, Jayaram P, Barber P, Bhatti TKO, Gavran S, Konjarski L, D'Souza I. Professional Doctorates as Spaces of Collegiality and Resistance: A Cross-Sectoral Exploration of the Cracks in Neoliberal Institutions In Resisting Neoliberalism in Higher Education. Volume II: Prising Open the Cracks. Editors: Manathunga, Catherine, Bottrell, D. 177-198. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland 19 December 2018 (book chapter).
  • Hammond, A., Young, J.A., and Konjarski, L. (2015, accepted). Attitudes of Australian Swimming Coaches towards Inclusion of Swimmers with an Intellectual Disability: An Exploratory Analysis. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching. 9(6).
  • Browne, A., Young, J. A., Konjarski. L, and Kiernan, S. (2015, accepted). Playing ‘hot shots’ tennis: A case study of inclusive practice. ACHPER International Conference, Adelaide, Australia.
  • Browne, A., Young, J. A., Konjarski, L, and Kiernan, S. (2014). Adapted programs conducted by Victoria University: Support for sound teaching principles. Disability Studies in Education Conference 2014, Melbourne.

Book chapter contributions

  • Cameron, M,. Konjarski, L,. Chanhine, N. Case Studies in exercise as therapy for clients requiring special care (Chapter 17 pp, 238-248) Cameron, M., Selig, S., & Hemphill, D. (2011). Clinical Exercise: a case-based approach. Elsevier Australia.
  • Manathunga, C, D'Souza, I., Garner, R., Konjarski, L.,Dupont, A,. Jayaram, P.,Barber, Bhatti,Kim., Gavran,S., Shay, P., (2016) Professional doctorates as a space of resistance in neoliberal times: a symposium. AARE Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Conference presentations

  • Young, J, Konjarski L. Schools and Universities as partners to authentic learning experiences. Discovery Conference March 2021, Online.
  • Oraison, H,  Konjarski, L, Young, J Howe, S, Smallridge, Staff Experiences of Victoria University’s First Year College During the Implementation of Block Mode Teaching A 6th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (Spain) 2–5 June 2020.
  • Konjarski L, Young J, Smallridge A. Inclusion and Diversity in Physical Activity unit in First Year College at Victoria University: Engaging and optimising student engagement through Community Engagement RAISE, Newcastle, England, 4–6 September 2019. RAISE Conference.
  • Konjarski L, Howe S, Oraison H. Trials, tribulations and triumphs of block mode teaching STARS, Melbourne Victoria, 21–22 July 2020. STARS conference proceedings.
  • Konjarski L, Young J, Smallridge A. Victoria University’s First Year College: Creating Culture Through Revolutionary Transformation STARS 2019, Melbourne, Australia, 7–10 July 2019. STARS 2019.
  • Konjarski, L (2019) Disability and Community Engagement - Low Vision and PE Inclusion for Impact Conference (DET).
  • Konjarski, L & Simpson, K (2016) Aquatics in the Primary School Victorian ACHPER Primary Physical Education Conference.
  • Konjarski, L & Tessier, K (2014) A practical look at how the Australian curriculum for HPE can cater for all. Discovery Australian Physical, Health & Outdoor Education Conference.
  • Young, J. A., Browne, A. Konjarski, L, & Kiernan, S. (2014). The social inclusive approach and Victoria University’s Adapted programs. Beijing Sports University. Beijing, China.
  • Konjarski, L (2011 & 2012) Inclusive Practice in Physical Education, Victorian ACHPER Conference.
  • Konjarski, L (2010-2012) Aqua Ed Kit A resource produced for Victorian Schools & the DEECD.

Awards & grants

Industry/teaching awards

  • 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching - Programs that Enhance Learning - Innovation in Curriculum Design and Pedagogy Practice Recipient (team)
  • 2020 Victoria University Vice Chancellor’s Award – Diversity and Inclusion (team)
  • 2020 Victoria University Vice Chancellor’s Citation – Teaching and Learning - Programs that enhance Learning (team)
  • 2020 Victoria University Vice Chancellor’s Citation - Community Engagement (team)
  • 2006: Resusci Anne Innovative Aquatic Programming Award (Industry Award) for the Adapted Aquatics Program
  • 2008: Victoria University Faculty Teaching Award (Industry Award) - Group Award for the Creating a Sporting Chance Program
  • 2009: Kinect Australia Community Programming Award Group Award for the Creating a Sporting Chance Program.

Research grants

  • 2018 SportAustralia Move It Aus Grant, $250,000 Konjarski, L with Volleyball Australia for the Light Volley Education Program.
  • 2012 Playing for Life Research Project Australian Sports Commission $211,000 grant. Research team: Prof Damian Farrow (ISEAL/SES), Prof Remco Polman (ISEAL/SES), Dr Clare MacMahon (ISEAL Research Associate/School of SES), Dr Tony Watt (ISEAL Research Associate/School of Education), and Ms Loretta Konjarski (SES).

Professional experience & memberships

Professional qualifications

  • AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • AUSTSWIM Teacher of Infant Swimming
  • AUSTSWIM Teacher of People with a Disability
  • AUSTSWIM Presenter
  • ASCTA Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • ASCTA Presenter
  • Lifesaving Victoria Trainer of First Aid/CPR
  • Senior First Aid.

Industry experience

  • Professional Development Coordinator at Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)
  • Secondary School Physical Education, Health and English teacher.

Professional memberships

  • Health, Physical Education Tertiary Alliance Victoria.

Appearances in the media