Exemplar projects

Positioning a Major Australian Surf Brand in the USA

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The project involved carrying out research on what uniquely identifies Australian surf culture and Australian surf brands, and similarly in the case of US surf culture (and US surf brands) to help determine how a major Australian surf brand could brand itself effectively in California (including through sponsoring events, at the retail level and so on). The research had a strong cultural focus in terms of understanding values, identity and related issues at the subcultural level including how Australian and American surfers understood the value and authenticity of brands. Similar work was also carried out as a part of a major Australian Research Council Grant on how culture can inform branding. For more information contact Professor Francis Farrelly.

Protecting the Baltic Sea

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Some 3.5 million leisure boats in the Baltic Sea use the coastal areas for recreational boating. A great majority of these boats use toxic compounds to prevent fouling organisms to attach to the boat hull (antifouling). The commonly used biocide, copper oxide, is released to the environment during hull cleaning. This toxin leaches to the waters in the sensitive coastal zone causing severe damages to the marine denizens and environment. The overall objective of this project, BONUS CHANGE, was to reduce to a minimum the supply of toxic compounds from antifouling paints used on leisure boats in the Baltic Sea.

Attaining this goal is incumbent on changing antifouling practices of leisure boaters toward more sustainable consumption of antifouling products and techniques. The project provided scientific foundation for changes in regulations at multiple levels. Our results contribute to new risk assessment of antifouling products by measurement of the eco-toxicity of the paints. Our two books, BONUS CHANGE Recommendations towards Regulations for Sustainable Antifouling practices in the Baltic Sea and Changing leisure boat antifouling practices in the Baltic Sea: Results from the BONUS CHANGE project, were designed to make scientific results accessible and applicable to public policy makers and other stakeholders. For more information contact Professor Diane Martin.

Women Climbers

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Sometimes consumers have to make do with products that don’t suit them. This research showed that many outdoor equipment manufacturers design gear only for men’s bodies and sizes, leaving women with the need to make do. Women mountain climbers have fewer options for life saving technical gear and clothing. This research demonstrates how some outdoor companies make technical clothing of equal quality and functionality for both men and women and therefore lead the way in product gender equity in the category. For more information contact Professor Diane Martin.

Shaping Connections

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Shaping Connections is a research program co-created by with the University of Third Age (U3A). The program seeks to understand better how ICT use supports seniors’ connectedness and enhances social inclusion and participation. Social exclusion is one of the biggest killers of older adults. Research shows that 44% of people aged over 65 years' experience social exclusion, which is twice the rate of exclusion for other age groups. Further, at least 10% of senior Australians suffer from loneliness or social isolation, a number that has failed to drop over the last two decades. Consequently, increased social inclusion for older Australians is a central goal of the Australian government. Our focus is on social connectedness to address this inclusion goal. Connectedness enhances older adult's wellbeing and has a positive effect on their physical and mental health. For more information contact Dr. Torgeir Aleti or Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo.

Gender Equality in Advertising

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The ShEqual project was designed to promote gender equality and address the drivers of violence against women in the advertising setting. This project has received multi-year funding from the Victorian Government and engages key stakeholders encompassing industry, regulators, violence prevention and gender equality sectors to build evidence, support and action to end sexism in advertising. The research  for this project (report 1 and report 2) has been used to develop a national framework to champion gender equality in advertising. The research has also been used to develop a gender equity training program for the advertising industry. For more information contact Dr. Lauren Gurrieri.  

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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 created by Louisa Bloomer