Dr Richard Baka (BPE, BA, MA and Ph.D) is a dual Australian and Canadian citizen who has been employed at Victoria University in Melbourne Australia since 1979. He has taught a number of subjects at Victoria Unversity, including 'Olympic Studies 'and supervised postgraduate students. Currently he is an Adjunct Fellow at the University and very active in the Olympics area. He was instrumental in establishing the Olympic Research Network at Victoria University which was approved in 2021 by the International Olympic Committee as an official Olympic Study Centre. The aim of this network is to coordinate Olympic researchers and academics to deal with media requests, publish and undertake research studies and conduct and participate in Olympic-themed conferences and seminars.
His main area of research is related to the Olympic movement, especially Australia at the Olympics as well as the Winter Olympic Games. He has written numerous Olympic research papers in various journals including several in the Journal of Olympic History and the International Journal of the History of Sport. An Olympic-themed book which he co-edited with Dr Robert Hess titled On the Periphery: New Perspectives on the Olympic Movement was published in 2013. He has also been a regular contributor from 2002 to 2022 in the biennial conference proceedings of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at Western University in Canada. He has also been an author of a number of Olympic-themed pieces in The Conversation. He has done numerous Olympic media interviews on radio, television and other media outlets around the world.
Richard previously served on the Education Commission of the Victorian Olympic Council which is affiliated with the Australian Olympic Committee and he is a member of the International Society of Olympic Historians. To date he has attended seven Olympic Games working in various capacities. Throughout his academic career Richard has been very active in the fitness area as a researcher, teacher and consultant to various fitness centres and major companies involved in corporate fitness. In 1995 he was named Australian Fitness Leader of the Year by the Australian Fitness Network. Richard is also an Honorary Faculty Member in the School of Kinesiology at Western University in London, Canada.
Areas of expertise
- Sport policy
- Fitness/Personal Training