Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay heads for Australia with University of Birmingham

As the Queen's Baton heads for Australia, University of Birmingham experts gather to explore solutions to global challenges University of Birmingham experts are leading a series of high-profile events

Logo for the University of Melbourne on a wall

As the Queen’s Baton heads for Australia, University of Birmingham experts gather to explore solutions to global challenges University of Birmingham experts are leading a series of high-profile events exploring how researchers can help to solve 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 08:00-09:00 AEST/Tuesday 15 March 21:00-22:00 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, 20:00  AEST (09:00 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, 18:30-19:30 AEST (07:30-08:30 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.”

Notes for editors

  • For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 9,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The University has the most extensive education partnership of any Commonwealth Games and will host the athletes in its student accommodation, as well as providing a venue for hockey and squash.

About the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay

  • The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Games tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.
  • Birmingham 2022 is staging the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas.
  • The Relay began on 7 October 2021 at a special event at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.
  • The Baton will travel for 294 days, visiting all 72 nations and territories and connecting communities in every corner of the Commonwealth, embracing unique cultures and sharing stories. 
  • This collective journey will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration for the next generation, with these stories leaving us all inspired to take on the challenges that matter most to us. 

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games  

  • The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a major opportunity to feature the city, the region, and its people on the global stage.   
  • The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.   
  • Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.