Dr Wayne Cotton

BEd(UOW), MEd(UOW), MCompStud(UOW), PhD(UOW), GradCertEdStud(Higher Education)(Sydney)

Director, Study Abroad

Senior Lecturer, Human Movement and Health Education

Associate Dean Teacher Education


Phone: +61 2 9351 6278

Fax: +61 2 9351 4580

Building.Room: A36.404

Research interests

Health and sport

  • Health promotion
  • Sports performance

Learning sciences; psychology of education

  • Learning technologies and new media


experiential education, coaching, physical activity, ICT, learning designs, learning objects, web quests

Professional biography

Born in rural New Zealand, Wayne spent most of his youth exploring the mountains, hills and rivers of the central North Island.

After finishing school, he was ready for new challenges, so he crossed the Tasman, studied education and began his teaching career as outdoor education teacher at The Scots College’s Glengarry campus.

After five years Wayne moved to Victoria to take on the role of head of outdoor education at Geelong Grammar School’s Timbertop Campus.

Immediately prior to taking up his role with the faculty, Wayne was making a living from leading expeditions to remote locations around the globe and working as a consultant in the outdoor industry.


  • 2009: University of Wollongong Faculty of Education Highly Commended for PhD research and thesis.

  • 2008: The University of Sydney Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) with Distinction.

  • 2004-2007: University Postgraduate Award

Current projects

  • An investigation of junior rugby league (6-12 years). The project will compare demands and participation levels under existing rules to proposed rule changes.Funded by the ARLD (2012)
  • Community junior sport coaching. O'Connor, D. & Cotton, W. (2009-2010). Funded by NSW communities in partnership with Australian Sports Commission, NSW Rugby League and Australian Rugby Union ($84,500).
  • Peralta, L.R., Cotton, W., Evans, J., O'Connor, D., & Bennie. A. (2011). The acceptability and potential efficacy of a community and school sport-based program designed to enhance Indigenous adolescents’ physical activity levels and life skills. Externally funded through The University of Sydney Centre of Obesity, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease for $5,000
  • Peralta, L.R., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W., Evans, J., & Bennie, A. (2012). Partnerships with local Indigenous community agencies: Do service learning opportunities enhance sociocultural understanding and competence of Human Movement Health Education preservice teachers. Funded by a University of Sydney Strategic Teaching Enhancement Project (STEPs) grant for $25,867
  • Bloomfield, D., Giles, R., Waugh, F., Cotton, W., Markauskaite, L. & Chambers, B. (2011) Developing a sustainable system of online evaluation for professional practice and fieldwork units of study across the Faculty. Funded by a Teaching Inquiry Grant (2011) for $10,000
  • Peralta, L., O'Connor, D., Cotton, W., Bennie, A. & Burns, K. (2012). Increasing Indigenous students in higher education: Is participation in sport associated with academic achievement and higher education aspirations among Indigenous students? Funded by a University of Sydney Widening Participation Grant (2011)($20,900).
  • The Girls in Sport program is an initiative of the Premier's Sporting Challenge. This longitudinal research project will be implemented over three years and commenced in October 2008. The aim of the project is to increase the moderate to vigorous physical activity levels of girls in Years 7-10 in selected NSW secondary schools. The longitudinal research project will test the effectiveness of a coordinated, multi component, school-community approach in addressing issues relating to the decline in participation in sport and physical activity of girls in the middle years. 12 intervention and 12 control school are taking part in the study. Funded by the NSWDET for $300,000

Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
Promoting Fitness not Fatness, a program aimed at reducing anti-fat attitudes and weight prejudice among trainee health and physical education teachers. PhD Thea Werkhoven
"The influence of early developmental environment on Olympic success: a multiple case study analysis of Australia’s top sporting communities" PhD Kristy O'Neill
Team performance indicators in 7 aside rugby union and the impact of statistical evidence on coaching programs. PhD James Barkell
Evaluation of facilitation methods seeking to improve positive youth development outcomes within a school-based Army Cadet program PhD Andrew Mansfield

Selected publications

Book chapters

Journal articles

  • Cobley, S. Hanratty, M. O'Connor, D. Cotton, W. (in press). First club location and relative age as influences on being a professional Australian Rugby League player. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 9(2).
  • Dudley, D. Okely, A. Pearson, P. Caputi, P. Cotton, W. (in press). Decline in enjoyment of physical education among culturally and linguistically diverse youth. International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education.
  • Barkell, J. O'Connor, D. Cotton, W. (2013). An examination of the progression from national schoolboy to senior representation in Australian rugby union. Sydney University Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 2, 1–16.
  • Dudley, D., Okely, A. D., Pearson, P., Cotton, W., & Caputi, P. (2012). Changes in Physical Activity Levels, Lesson Context, and Teacher Interaction during Physical Education in Australian Schools.. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-9-114
  • Lubans, D. R., Okely, A. D., Morgan, P. J., Cotton, W., Puglisi, L., & Miller, J. (2011). Description and evaluation of a social cognitive model of physical activity behaviour tailored for adolescent girls. Health Education Research.. Health Education Research.
  • Okely, A., Cotton, W., Lubans, D., Morgan, P. J., Puglisi, L., Miller, J., Wright, J., Batterham, M. J., Peralta, L. & Perry, J. (2011). A school-based intervention to promote physical activity among adolescent girls: Rationale, design, and baseline data from the Girls in Sport group randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 11, 658–668. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-658
  • Dudley, D., Okely, A. D., Cotton, W., Pearson, P., & Caputi, P. (2011). Physical activity levels and movement skill instruction in secondary school physical education. J Sci Med Sport (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.10.005. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
  • Brymer, E., Gray, T. & Cotton, W. (2011). Outdoor experiential training as a medium for the development of today’s leaders. The Journal of Spirituality, Leadership and Management , 5(1), 58–66.
  • Dudley, D., Okely, A. D., Pearson, P., & Cotton, W. (2011). A systematic review of the effectiveness of physical education and school sport interventions targeting physical activity, movement skills and enjoyment of physical activity.. European Physical Education Review, 17, 353–378.
  • Brymer, E., Gray, T., Cotton, W. & Carpenter, C. (2010). Profiling outdoor leadership. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 2(1), 93–108.

Conference papers

  • Cotton, W. O'Connor, D. (2013). The Effect of a Training Evaluation Tool on Youth Coaches. In Hiroyuki Nunome, Barry Drust, Brian Dawson The Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress on Science and Football (pp. 385–390). Nagoya, Japan, 26-30 May 2011.
  • Cotton, W. (2009). A Journey Through a Design-Based Research Project. In C. Fulford and G. Siemens (Eds.) World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications ED-MEDIA 2009 (pp. 1364–1371). Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 22-26 June 2009.
  • Cotton, W. (2008). Supporting the use of learning objects in the K-12 environment: A design-based research project. In I. Olney, G. Lefoe, J. Mantei & J. Herrington (Eds.) Emerging Technologies Conference 2008 (pp. 48–55). University of Wollongong, 18-21 June 2008.