Queen’s Baton Relay heads for Australia with University of Birmingham


Celebrations for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay’s arrival in Australia get underway this week with the University of Birmingham, an official partner of the Queen’s Baton Relay, holding virtual events to explore solutions to global challenges.


As the Queen’s Baton heads for Australia, University of Birmingham experts gather to explore solutions to global challenges.

The events celebrate the arrival in Australia of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay, of which the University is an official partner.

In Australia, the virtual events feature a range of top British and Australian experts, and cover areas such as youth mental health, sports diplomacy and the role of character in sport. They include:

  • Wednesday 16 March 8-9am AEST/Tuesday 15 March 9-10pm GMT – Youth mental health virtual panel discussion – showcasing the extensive connections between the Universities of Birmingham and Melbourne in this field. Register to attend free.
  • Tuesday 22 March, 8pm AEST (9am GMT) – ‘Winning at what cost? The role of character in sports’ virtual panel discussion with the University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Institute for Ethics and Society.  Register to attend free.
  • Monday 21 March, 6.30-7.30pm AEST (7.30-8.30am GMT) – University of Birmingham Chancellor Lord Bilimoria speaks at a UK-Australia Sports Diplomacy event organised by the UK-Australian Sports Diplomacy Alliance and the British Council Australia.

The Queen’s Baton Relay events are underpinned by Commonwealth-wide celebrations for staff, students and alumni and the #gamechangingbirmingham campaign.

Seven Batonbearers, including students and athletes aiming to take part in the Commonwealth Games, will carry the Baton across the University of Melbourne’s campus – on Sunday, 20 March. It will be welcomed by Professor Michael Wesley, Deputy Vice Chancellor International.
The seven baton bearers nominated by the University of Melbourne are:

  • Mo Zhang – Priestley scholar in Computer Science;
  • Renee Yong – Melbourne student who studied at Birmingham on an exchange;
  • Sophie Clarkson – Birmingham student on exchange at Melbourne;
  • Franka Vaughan – Birmingham graduate, now a PhD student at Melbourne; and
  • Chloe Culhane – Birmingham student on exchange at Melbourne;
  • Elena Galiabovitch (Shooting) – Doctor and frontline worker in Melbourne. Studying for a Masters degree at Melbourne University to become a urological surgeon; and
  • Joanna Weston, Melbourne Vixens (netball) – studied Bachelor of Commerce at University of Melbourne.

Speaking about the Baton’s arrival in Australia, Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham commented: “The University of Birmingham is a civic university with a global outlook. Our Commonwealth connections are deep and wide-ranging, particularly in Australia, where we have engaged for decades in education and research partnerships with fellow founding member of Universitas 21 the University of Melbourne.

“Sport is a unifying force and, as part of our commitment to supporting the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we are holding a series of academic, student and partner events in Commonwealth countries to coincide with the Queen’s Baton Relay visit.

“I am delighted that we can hold these exciting events, focussing on how we work collaboratively with research and education partners to tackle global challenges and help improve the quality of life for people in Australia and beyond.”

The University’s environmental scientists have helped create a hi-tech ‘heart’ for the Queen’s Baton, which contains atmospheric sensors with laser technology that analyses the environmental conditions wherever it is in the world. Augmented Reality (AR) will be used to visualise creatively data captured throughout the journey to invite conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth.

Data collected on the Baton’s journey will contribute to ongoing research projects being conducted across the globe by a team led by atmospheric scientist Professor Francis Pope who said, “Atmospheric data captured during the Baton’s global journey will be highly valuable in starting important conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth.”



Become part of our Commonwealth Games Australia family and get all the latest news our team members!