Rebecca's research explores the role of lifestyle sport and leisure in human-environmental health & wellbeing.
Rebecca is a feminist cultural studies researcher with a focus on how recreational lifestyle sports and leisure activities shape people’s relationships to nature. Taking an approach that centres on everyday experiences, encounters and activations that lifestyle sport and leisure activities facilitate allows a focus on complex ecological and cultural relationships. She began an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowship in 2022, which builds on an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2019-2022).
With a background in ocean sports of swimming, surfing and sailing, Rebecca has focused on how participation encourages people to take better care of coasts and oceans. In this way, her work is about how sport can be beneficial for the health of ecologies, just as healthy ecologies are beneficial to human health. Key case studies have included: localism and the politics of belonging and access; living with sharks; and immersion in water pollution, such as chemicals and micro-plastics.
Rebecca’s work with RMIT will focus on sport and leisure in urban bodies of water including oceans, estuaries and rivers, and will focus on intersection issues of gender, health, pollution, pleasure, and safety.
- PhD (Cultural Studies and Human Movement Studies) (University of Queensland)
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (Cultural Studies) (Southern Cross University)
- Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration, International Relations and Social Anthropology) (University of Sydney)
As well as scholarly publications, Rebecca is committed to community and public engagement. She has been the Queensland Chair for the Australian Coastal Society, and the Marine representative for South-east Queensland Catchment Management Area. She is on the Editorial Boards of Annals of Leisure Research, Sociology of Sport Journal, and Sporting Traditions, and on the Executive Committee for the Leisure Studies Association.
She maintains a project website, movingoceans.com, produces a podcast series, ‘Saltwater Library’, and writes for publications including Surfing World, White Horses, and Surfline.
- Olive, R.,Townsend, S.,Phillips, M. (2022). (In Press) ‘Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted’: Searching for the value of metrics and altmetrics in sociology of sport journals In: International Review for the Sociology of Sport, , 1 - 24
- Olive, R.,Enright, E. (2021). Sustainability in the Australian Health and Physical Education Curriculum: an ecofeminist analysis In: Sport, Education and Society, 26, 389 - 402
- Wheaton, B.,Waiti, J.,Olive, R.,Kearns, R. (2021). Coastal communities, leisure and wellbeing: Advancing a trans-disciplinary agenda for understanding ocean-human relationships in aotearoa new zealand In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 1 - 20
- Toffoletti, K.,Olive, R.,Thorpe, H.,Pavlidis, A. (2021). Doing feminist physical cultural research in digital spaces: reflections, learnings and ways forward In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 13, 11 - 25
- Olive, R.,Osmond, G.,Phillips, M. (2021). Sisterhood, pleasure and marching: Indigenous women and leisure In: Annals of Leisure Research, 24, 13 - 28
- Olive, R.,Wheaton, B. (2021). Understanding Blue Spaces: Sport, Bodies, Wellbeing, and the Sea In: Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 45, 3 - 19
- Toffoletti, K.,Thorpe, H.,Pavlidis, A.,Olive, R.,Moran, C. (2021). Visibility and Vulnerability on Instagram: Negotiating Safety in Women’s Online-Offline Fitness Spaces In: Leisure Sciences, , 1 - 20
- Britton, E.,Olive, R.,Wheaton, B. (2020). Surfers and leisure: 'Freedom' to surf? Contested spaces on the coast In: Living with the Sea, Routledge, London, United Kingdom
- Bromdal, A.,Olive, R.,Walker, B. (2020). Questioning representations of athletes with elevated testosterone levels in elite women’s sports: a critical policy analysis In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 12, 699 - 715
- Mills, C.,Olive, R.,Clark, N. (2020). Sinking and Floating on a Shoreless Sea: Co-Reading ‘The Fool and His Inheritance’ In: Paradoxa, 31, 271 - 292