Social Change Symposium

Research Practice for Social Change

Social change research makes sense of people’s experiences, locally and globally, to inform government policy, business practices, designs of digital systems, educational practices, community-based initiatives, and other innovations that benefit and strengthen society.

Working across diverse populations, settings, and social contexts, social change researchers seek to identify and understand people’s needs and engage with individuals, groups, and organisations to foster evidence-based change.

As researchers, how can we assess and develop our own capacity for engaging in collaborative, interdisciplinary, and impact-focused research? How might we design and measure the success of community-engaged practices, research translation, co-design, and other impact-related practices?

Join RMIT’s inaugural Social Change Symposium to explore transformative research practice for social change in a week-long program of special events and presentations including:

Keynotes

Yindymarra Ngiyambalganhanha - Respectful Research Relationships 

Monday 21 November, 5pm, Storey Hall, RMIT City Campus.

Keynote presentation by Dr. Sadie Heckenberg, Academic Director (Indigenous Research) and a Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Fellow within the Moondani Toombadool Centre at Swinburne University of Technology. 

Pivotal or Picayune - Counting the Contribution and Cost of Academics' Policy Engagement

Wednesday 23 November, 5pm, online event.

Keynote presentation by Richard Watermeyer, Professor of Higher Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Higher Education Transformations at the University of Bristol. University of Bristol, UK.


Panel Discussion

Research Impact Workshop

Fostering Research Relationships in Support of Community-Based Impact 

Tuesday 22 November, 4pm - 5pm (followed by a networking reception)

How can researchers and community organisations work together to alleviate community problems at a grass-roots level? What strategies can best support researchers and community partners to build strong relationships to enable evidence-informed, positive social change? This panel brings together experienced research team members from Afri-Aus Care and RMIT, to engage in an interactive, facilitated discussion on what makes a successful partnership.

Doing Community-Engaged Research: Techniques to Build Your Outreach Strategy 

Thursday 24 November, 11:30am - 1pm (followed by lunch)

Taking the first steps in building your engagement activities can be challenging for HDR students, early career researchers, or those who have not previously engaged with non-academic audiences. Deciding how best to spend your time and resources is very individual; choices of how to engage, and with what people or organisations, depends on your research focus and many other criteria. This workshop will discuss the concept of community-engaged research, for those coming new to the topic, and provide practical guidance on how to start building your own engagement strategy. 


HDR Milestones

Throughout the symposium, HDR candidates from across all disciplines in DSC will present their milestones. Session details for HDR presentations are available via the program below. Please note that information for milestone presenters, chairs and referees is available through the RMIT SharePoint site for HDR Milestone Presentations (RMIT login required). 


Program and Registration

Monday 21 November

Keynote - Dr. Sadie Heckenberg

Yindymarra Ngiyambalganhanha - Respectful Research Relationships

Monday 21 November, 5:00pm, Storey Hall, RMIT City Campus

Keynote presentation by Dr. Sadie Heckenberg, Academic Director (Indigenous Research) and a Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Fellow within the Moondani Toombadool Centre at Swinburne University of Technology. 

As Indigenous peoples our cultural connectedness is intertwined by oral histories and sharing knowledges from generation to generation. Present-day knowledge systems are interwoven with ways of being that has been handed down to us, continuing to bring life to our community narratives, maintaining connection to country and the customs, beliefs and values of our old people, our Elders and Ancestors. Knowledge shared within families and communities, ensures ‘ways of being, knowing and doing’ remain connected and protected in an ever-changing world. These knowledges and way of doing, though, have been the topic of research for many non-Indigenous researchers and practices of knowledge appropriation from Indigenous nations still occur. As such when we enact social change, when we restructure and re-think our ways of being as researchers and institutions, it is vital that ethical research structures to protect and empower Indigenous communities are embedded in institutions, that non-Indigenous researchers uphold cultural respect, and that Cultural Safety is ensured. Cultural Safety being ingrained within ethical research practices, and the significant place of the performative aspects of research, can ensure Indigenous knowledge is protected within a research environment, that research brings true beneficence to Indigenous communities and that voices and values of Elders remain empowered and self-determined. Research relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples built as equal partnerships from initial engagement create dynamic, innovative and impactful outcomes for all.

5-6pm Keynote address, followed by wine and cheese reception.


Milestone presentations

Please note that presentations will either be given in person or online only. Refer to the location column for details.

Monday 21 November

Time Candidate Thesis title Location
11.00-12.30 Tom Short - CoC Young people and Borderline Personality: diagnosis, self-diagnosis, and identity Teams (online)
11:00-12:30 Xun Zhou - CoC The digital bridge: Wechat ecology and Chinese students in Melbourne 09.04.31 (in person)
12.00-1.30 Judith Rankin - CoC I’m okay if I’m allowed to be recognised: A memoir Teams (online)
12:00-1:30 Laura Kayes - CoC The role of humanities and social sciences in university-based innovation hubs: An examination of practice, inclusion and multidisciplinary collaboration in Australia and South-east Asia 37-05-02 (in person)
1.00-2.30 Katerina Capel - CoC The misconduct novel: desire, discipline and micro-politics Teams (online)
3.30-5.00 Katherine Littlewood - 3MR Do teacher mentor perceptions and experiences differ in mentoring undergraduate when compared to postgraduate pre-service teachers during practicum? Teams (online)

Tuesday 22 November

HDR social event

Sharing Culture: First Nations Flavours

An HDR social event hosted by the DSC HDR Student Representatives, Alicja and Mustafijur.

Tuesday 22 November, 12:30pm - 2pm 
Green Brain, Storey Hall, Building 16, Level 7, RMIT University City Campus

One of the finest ways to experience other cultures is through food. This HDR student social event features a relaxed talk about Australian native ingredients which is accompanied by delicious nibbles so you can try First Nations flavours for yourself… yum! It’s catered by Mabu Mabu, a Torres Strait owned and run business who want us all to celebrate Indigenous culture through food. 

Please come and join us for nibbles, sharing culture, and a decent old-fashioned get-together.


Panel Discussion

Fostering Research Relationships in Support of Community-Based Impact

Tuesday 22 November, 4pm - 5pm (followed by a networking reception) 
Green Brain, Storey Hall, Building 16, Level 7, RMIT University City Campus

How can researchers and community organisations work together to alleviate community problems at a grass-roots level? What strategies can best support researchers and community partners to build strong relationships to enable evidence-informed, positive social change? This panel brings together experienced research team members from Afri-Aus Care and RMIT, to engage in an interactive, facilitated discussion on what makes a successful partnership. The team will explore such topics as the importance of community-based co-design of research, the role of incentives in fostering community engagement, and strategies for pitching evidence-based, community-focused approaches to philanthropists and government agencies. The session will include time for questions and discussion with the audience.

Selba-Gondoza Luka
Abraham Kuol
Ronnie Egan
rachel goff
Speakers  
  • Selba-Gondoza Luka, CEO & Founder, Afri-Aus Care, Inc 
  • Abraham Kuol, Project Manager, Afri-Aus Care, Inc 
  • Ronnie Egan, Associate Professor, Social Work and Human Services, RMIT University 
  • Rachel Goff, Lecturer, Social Work and Human Services, RMIT University

Milestone presentations

Please note that presentations will either be given in person or online only. Refer to the location column for details.

Tuesday 22 November

Time Candidate Thesis title Location
10.30-12.00 Alexandra Gerrans - CoC Hierophanting: Writing Body as Aperture as Cycle 09.02.17 (in person)
10:30-12:00 Linda Johnson - 2MR Xeno AI: How can creative arts practice expressthe disalienation of an AI system? Teams (online)
10:30-12:00 Matilda Byrne - 2MR Responsibility to Protect: An Evolving Relevance in Humanitarian Intervention Debates and Decision-making Teams (online)
11.30-1.00 Sarah Vrankovich - 2MR The intricacies of sexual consent: Stakeholder and youth perspectives on sexual violence prevention   Teams (online)
2:00-3:30 Muged Alenezi - 3MR Primary School Teachers’ Beliefs Towards a Systemic Implementation of STEM-Related Instructional Approaches in Saudi Arabia Teams (online)
3.30-5.00 Hissah Abdulaziz Bin Hassan - CoC Using E-Learning in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia: A study of Saudi Female Higher Education Students’ and Academics’ Learning Experiences Teams (online)

Wednesday 23 November

Keynote - Richard Watermeyer

Pivotal or Picayune - Counting the Contribution and Cost of Academics' Policy Engagement

Wednesday 23 November, 5:00pm, online event.

Keynote presentation by Richard Watermeyer, Professor of Higher Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Higher Education Transformations at the University of Bristol. University of Bristol, UK.

Engagement of communities external to the university is route-one to academics leveraging what is now commonly described in the vernacular of research assessment as 'impact'. In the United Kingdom, evidence-based declarations of the societal and economic impact of academic research manifest as a formalised component of national research evaluation - operationalised as the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Many different kinds of 'public' beneficiaries are articulated within REF impact submissions made by academic researchers working across the disciplines. Policymakers are one such beneficiary who loom especially large. Yet despite the pervasive representation of policy as a form of REF impact the value proposition of policy engagement by academics lacks consensus.

In this presentation I will draw on findings of a UK-wide consultation on the value of academics' policy-engagement - involving among others, UK civil servants, parliamentarians, research funders, national academies, and policy institute directors. I will discuss the contribution of academics' policy engagement, predominantly as relates to UK government and parliament, and their own personal return on investment or as may be, cost. 

This presentation coincides with the launch of Watermeyer's forthcoming book: "What's the point of policy engagement?".


Milestone presentations

Please note that presentations will either be given in person or online only. Refer to the location column for details.

Wednesday 23 November

Time Candidate Thesis title Location
10.30-12.00 Allison Byth - 2MR Working title: Leveraging the hybrid role of the school-based coach to add value to mentoring processes and perspectives in one initial teacher education-school partnership for professional experience. ​ 08.07.151 (in person)
11.00-12.30 Samuel Harris - 2MR Post-Cinematic Remediation: Translations and Imbrications in 21st-Century Media Teams (online)
1.00-2.30 Tiansu Zhang - 3MR Mandarin-speaking interviewees' understanding and perceptions of police interviewing mediated by interpreters Teams (online)
1:00-2:30 James Tait - CoC Geographies of Sustainable Wellbeing Transformations  08.11.66 (in person)
2:00-4:00 Bob Njoroge Muhia - CoC Indoor thermal environments in naturally ventilated homes for the elderly in Nairobi, Kenya 08.08.13 (in person)
5:00-6:30 Nirma Madhoo - 3MR Digital Fashion Bodies: Performing Posthumanity in Virtual Reality Teams (online)

Thursday 24 November

Research Impact Workshop

Doing Community-Engaged Research: Techniques to Build your Outreach Strategy

Thursday 24 November, 11:30am – 1pm (followed by lunch) 
Green Brain, Storey Hall, Building 16, Level 7, RMIT University City Campus 

As a pathway to impact, researchers are encouraged to engage with individuals and organisations throughout the research lifecycle. Engagement can take many forms ranging from informal connections involving information sharing, through to formal research partnerships and co-production. Building engagement activities into your research requires planning, time, skills, and resources to identify who to engage with, to understand their perspectives, and to build personal relationships.  

Taking the first steps in building your engagement activities can be challenging for HDR students, early career researchers, or those who have not previously engaged with non-academic audiences. Deciding how best to spend your time and resources is very individual; choices of how to engage, and with what people or organisations, depends on your research focus and many other criteria. This workshop will discuss the concept of community-engaged research, for those coming new to the topic, and provide practical guidance on how to start building your own engagement strategy.  

Lisa Given
Joann Cattlin
Facilitators
  • Lisa Given, Director, Social Change Enabling Impact Platform and Professor of Information Sciences in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies and the School of Computing Technologies at RMIT University
  • Joann Cattlin, PhD student, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University

Milestone presentations

Please note that presentations will either be given in person or online only. Refer to the location column for details.

Thursday 24 November

Time Candidate Thesis title Location
9.30-11.00 Efrosini Zapsalis - CoC The Role of Multi-disciplinary team experiences in the enablement of Career Identity & Career Adaptability for Humanities students ​ Teams (online)
10.00-11.30 David Burton - CoC Effective and sustainable professional learning in a post-COVID world *B220-03-003-SoE Meeting Room 1 (in person)
11.30-1.00 Zihua (Juliette) Wu - 3MR Developing a Digital Solution Framework with Digital Community of Practice System to Support Teachers' Implementation of STEAM  Teams (online)
2.00-3.30 Herath Mudiyanselage Bandara - CoC Examining associations between the built environment and walking for transportation and recreation among younger and older adults and men and women. 08.11.66 (in person)
2.00-3.30 Noor Aiman Rizal - 2MR A guideline to selling sex: Marketing sexuality education campaigns in conservative Malaysia Teams (online)
3.00-5.00 Helen Rowe  - 3MR Smarter ways to change? Exploring more effective ways to manage innovation in urban policy systems Teams (online)
3.30-5.00 Hugh Stanford - 2MR Determining the Social-Ecological Value of Informal Green Space 08.11.66 (in person)
4.00-5.30 Ritesh Tandon - 2MR (upgrade to PhD) The application of advanced technologies in the Australian residential property transaction process Teams (online)

* Note: this room is located at RMIT's Bundoora Campus

Friday 25 November

Milestone presentations

Please note that presentations will either be given in person or online only. Refer to the location column for details.

Friday 25 November

Time Candidate Thesis title Location
11.00-12.30 Kerry Lyons - 2MR Disorder, disruption, disconnection: feminist non/fiction 09.02.15 (in person)
2.00-3.30 Kate Pattison - 2MR Beyond Fandom: Pathways for creative careers for pop music fans 09.04.32 (in person)
Close up of crystal globe resting on grass in a forest - environment concept

This symposium is a collaboration between the College of Design and Social Context and the Social Change Enabling Impact Platform.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.