UN Sustainable Development Goals
This platform is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
This platform is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Everyday sustainabilities have social and environmental dimensions. These impact the lives of individuals, households, communities and organisations – in our own region, and across the world. In our day-to-day functioning we all reckon with, and adjust to, changes occurring at much larger scales. Equally, the knowledges we possess, the decisions we make and the actions we take feed back into broader processes, with potentially wide-reaching ramifications. For example, people’s everyday activities enable households to function and are integral to how energy, water and food are consumed and saved. Refrigerators, cars, bicycles, cups, clothes, taps, air-conditioners, dwelling types and building fabrics all shape how we use and impact our material world.
Our research attends to the intricacies of everyday life. We are informed by lived experience and attuned to the knowledges and capacities of diverse people and communities. Our work is change-oriented, framed by an awareness that with engagement comes responsibility: to work alongside research participants and partners for social and environmental justice.
Photo credit: first photo - Anthony Kerr, third photo - Chris Barbalis
The ACCESS SDG report outlines our current research projects that are contributing to the UN SDGs.Read the ACCESS SDG report (PDF 1.7mb)
The Great South Coast Economic Migration Project (GSCEMP) is a secondary settlement project that supports the voluntary relocation of migrants and former refugees from the Great Lakes region of Africa who currently live in Australian cities, to the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires in regional Victoria. It is framed by an understanding that some migrants have a desire to live in rural areas, but benefit from various support mechanisms when making that transition. This research project was an evaluation designed to document the key learnings of the GSCEMP from the perspective of the relocated families, destination communities and implementing organisations (LGSC, GLAPDI and iGen Foundation). The project has contributed to the evidence-base underpinning academic scholarship and government policy pertaining to rural and regional settlement of migrants and former refugees.
The work was supported by a UOW Faculty Partnership Grant with funds contributed by the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (UOW) and the Victorian Government 2018-2019.
Australia faces the crucial question of how to address rising energy costs in the transition to more environmentally sustainable and socially just energy futures. In this context, energy justice is an urgent political and ethical issue. Only in 2003 were energy efficiency regulations introduced for Australian houses. Hence, most Australian housing requires large amounts of energy for both artificial heating and cooling. With energy justice in mind, the goals of this transdisciplinary project are to better understand how to conduct cost-effective upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of housing stock of lower income households.
Corporative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living and Office of Environment and Heritage (2017-2018)
Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP), Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (2014-2016)
Social marketing elements included unique brand development, facts and narratives designed to encourage reflections and open-up conversations between peers. These were delivered through newsletters, videos, LCD brochures and a project website
Retrofitting elements ranged from installation of roof and underfloor insulation, through solar hot water and reverse-cycle air conditioning systems, to draught-stripping, lighting, refrigerators and energy consumption displays. Household ethnographies were used to developed insights which informed a consultation process with households in regard to the selection of retrofits.
Workshops and training delivered to the wider community were twofold. The first was based on teaching older low-income people how to access energy efficiency information online using iPads. The second focused on courses for health and community care workers to improve skills on how to convey energy efficiency information in their everyday interactions with clients.
The study aims to identify the human drivers and barriers to area-wide management of weeds by exploring the attitudes of various land managers and other stakeholders. It achieves this understanding through: a literature review of existing social research on area-wide management in cropping systems, qualitative interviews with 81 key stakeholders, and a quantitative survey of 600 growers.
It forms part of the broader project: Area-wide management for cropping systems weeds, investigating the weed management, social and economic opportunity. The broader project involves 11 research and development partners, including IREC, and spans the Riverina, Sunraysia and Darling Downs, along with some other smaller sites, to gain a diverse understanding of weed management issues.
2021 Commonwealth Department of Agriculture R&D for Profit Program Round 4, with co-funding from Grains Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Research and Development Corporation
Pacific labour mobility is a major component of the Australian Government Pacific Step-up initiative, and is closely connected to initiatives among Pacific Island Countries (PICS) which have re-prioritised agricultural production and food security as a COVID-19 recovery strategy. At the intersection of these, there is a yet largely underexplored opportunity for understanding how farm workers involved in labour mobility programs between Australia and PICs develop innovative agricultural skills and new agricultural knowledge through their engagement on Australian farms.
This research aims to understand barriers and enablers for agricultural skills and knowledge exchange between Pacific Islander and Australian farmers involved in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP). This research project will analyse the different agri-food systems skills and knowledges acquired across selected value chains through interviews and focus group discussions with workers in Australia and selected PICs. It will identify opportunities for learning, capacity development and knowledge exchange between countries to support future food systems resilience in the Pacific Islands region.
Regional humanitarian settlement is a key priority across all levels of government in Australia. This study aims to provide the first longitudinal assessment of the impacts of regional settlement for humanitarian migrants and destination communities. Its innovative, mixed-method and multi-sited approach will generate new knowledge of the opportunities and challenges for sustainable regional settlement. Expected outcomes include enhanced community, organisational and government decision-making capacity. By guiding end-users’ current and future actions, the study will support the wellbeing of humanitarian migrants and contribute to healthy and resilient regional communities.
ARC Linkage Project: 2022-2026
Car mobility is often taken for granted. Yet, many people rely on car journeys on an everyday basis, with little of thought of not having the ability to drive. This project seeks to better understand driving a car in the lives of people aged over 65 years of age. Specifically, the project aim is to gain a better understanding about the relationship between car mobility and everyday life of senior Australians. In doing so, the project will shed insights into the challenges that senior car drivers face in the future who do not have a plan for driving retirement.
Transport NSW, Community Road Safety Grants
Decision aid for senior drivers on driving retirement.
Driving retirement: melancholic geographies of car immobility in an Australian suburban regional centre
There is an optimism around cycling as a potential fix for Australia's growing traffic congestion problem. Yet, despite multiple plans, the number of commuter cyclists has failed to grow in all of the major cities, despite the fact that leisure cycling is growing exponentially. This research aims to offer new knowledge about commuter cycling in Australia. It seeks to provide evidence about what cycling enables people to achieve through analysis of a database of media discourses, policies and most importantly the experiences of cyclists. Expected outcomes include an enhanced understanding of cycling as a ‘solution’ to traffic congestion and improved policy strategies for increasing purposeful cycling in cities.
Australian Research Council, Discovery Project, DP190100185
This research will enable researchers, cyclists and decision-makers to better understand the opportunities for growing cycling as a mode of transport to attenuate traffic congestion in metropolitan centres. Australia will benefit from how the project expects to enhance theoretical debates recasting what motivates cycling as an everyday mode of transport as well as the training of new researchers, and the enrichment of transport policy debates by moving the focus from cycling participation rates to cultures of cycling.
Best Poster, Walking and Cycling Conference 2020, Newcastle, The Reactivated Bike: Cycling Activity in the 2020 COVID- 19 Pandemic
Gambling generates significant health and social harms in Australia. This project aims to better understand how young adults use, communicate about and experience mobile phone sports betting applications. There is little research on the use of betting apps, even though sports betting is the fastest growing segment of the gambling market.
The project is interdisciplinary, drawing upon social practice theory and assemblage thinking; and combines ethnography and cognitive neuroscience to examine how use of sports betting apps is becoming established as everyday social practice – normalising problem gambling.
Australian Research Council, Discovery Project, DP190101405
The findings will enhance understanding of the social contexts of sports betting; and inform gambling policy and programs leading to better health and social outcomes
Project website: In it to win it: An interdisciplinary investigation of sports betting
In this study of places for nature in Sydney, Australia, we aim to better understand a diverse urban residents’ constitutions of places for nature, along with the benefits and constraints for wellbeing. Conceptually, we draw from Fleuret and Atkinson's (2007) work on spaces of wellbeing. Methodologically, we use a synthesis of surveys, interviews, and public participation geographic information systems to offer a better understanding of how ethnicity, age/life-stage and other socio-demographics factors shapes needs, expectations and engagement with places for nature. A panel survey with 800 Sydney residents integrating participatory mapping is used to map meaningful and constrained places for nature in Sydney.
Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellowship (2019-2025)
This research is intended to guide policy and planning for urban places for nature, and help re-imagining more diverse places for nature to address exclusion along socio-economic lines.