Research

Research themes

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Community wellbeing

The Community Wellbeing research theme investigates how social determinants widen or narrow social injustices, especially for vulnerable groups and from intersectional perspectives. Community Wellbeing is an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods research program operating at diverse scales that engage with end-users, typically policymakers, community organisations, and non-government organisations, to influence on-the-ground change that promotes resilience in the face of adversity. Our research foregrounds lived experience to address pressing wellbeing issues emerging in society.

Theme co-leads


Projects

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Gender and harm

The Gender and Harm theme promotes research that investigates the significance of gender and sexuality in shaping identity, culture and society in domestic and global contexts. Research focuses on key social justice issues relating to gender inequality, LGBTQI+ experiences, discrimination, intersectionality and gender-based violence. 

Researchers within the Gender and Harm research group are committed to transformative social change through applied and interdisciplinary research, as well as evidence-based advocacy for policy and practice reform. Members of the group take an intersectional and gender- and sexuality-inclusive approach to their work. They recognise the complex ways in which gender intersects with other markers of identity, including race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability and socio-economic status to shape lived experiences, or to produce inequality and violence that are not experienced equally by people or in the same way.

Gender and Harm researchers in SERC collaborate with researchers across a range of disciplines including social policy, social work, justice and criminology, psychology, international development, business, media studies, geography, cybersecurity, education and law. Their cutting-edge research informs the development of policy, law and practice, raises public awareness of a range of societal issues, and contributes to scholarly debates in Australia and in a global context. They work on a diverse range of projects in collaboration with government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. 

Key reseach areas

  • Sexual violence (including sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment and other harms).
  • Domestic and family violence.
  • Sex and sexuality discrimination and inequality.
  • Technology-facilitated abuse/online.
  • Primary prevention.
  • Perpetration of violence.
  • Intersectionality (theory and practice).
  • Healing and recovery.
  • Digital tools for responding to gender-based harms.
  • Sex worker rights and discrimination.
  • Leadership, empowerment and community.

Theme lead


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Local-global relations

The Local–Global research theme is situated in the interdisciplinary field of global studies. It brings together researchers from different social science backgrounds into holistic, creative, and critical approaches to the complex global issues of an interconnected world. This includes exploring the changing relationship between the local and the global where globalisation processes, including digital technologies, increasingly mediate social, political, and cultural life.

Key reseach areas

  • Global politics, culture and society
  • Global migration
  • Global security
  • Transnational processes
  • Global environmental issues

Theme co-leads


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Housing insecurity and homelessness

The Housing Insecurity and Homelessness research theme has a national and international reputation for innovative, policy- and practice-relevant research. Our research focuses on the systemic and structural factors that drive and perpetuate housing market exclusion, as well as preventative measures that help to alleviate disadvantage.

Drawing on different disciplinary perspectives including sociology, economics, social work, and political economy, our researchers apply a range of methodologies – from in-depth qualitative work to modelling longitudinal datasets – to generate evidence to inform policy and practice reform. Many of our researchers are former practitioners and draw on their substantial knowledge of policy and service delivery environments to deliver high-quality research outcomes that are internationally recognised, policy relevant, and accessible.

As a group of researchers we aim to lead public and policy discussion rather than respond to it by actively engaging with industry. We have undertaken work for a range of agencies including federal and state governments and NGOs including the Salvation Army, the City of Melbourne, Melbourne City Mission, Unison Housing, Sacred Heart Mission, Launch Housing (formerly HomeGround Services), Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, The Royal District Nursing Service, Community Housing Federation, Victoria.

Key reseach areas

  • Homelessness and housing market dynamics 
  • Gender
  • Lived experience
  • Health and well-being of disadvantaged populations
  • Program and service evaluation
  • Policy analysis
  • Stigma
  • Homelessness enumeration
  • Vulnerable groups - women and families, young people, people that have been incarcerated, in out of home care, people that have experienced chronic homelessness, migrants.   

Theme co-leads


Study with us

World defining research

The Social Equity Research Centre is home to over 80 HDR students bringing fresh approaches and perspectives to resolving today's global challenges.

Conducting their research locally and internationally, PhD candidates at the Centre collaborate with our industry partners to develop research that is informed by real-world knowledge and experience.

SERC is focused on mentoring and building the capacity of HDR students to take the next step their careers and address significant social justice issues.

Postgraduate research programs

Research translation and partnerships

Healthtalk Australia

Healthtalk Australia

An online collection of film and audio interviews and articles providing valuable insight into the experiences of a variety of health conditions and related services.
Unison Housing Research Lab

Unison Housing Research Lab

Working directly with service providers to evaluate the effectiveness of homelessness support programs and improve public initiatives.
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EU Research Network

Investigating Australian-EU relations and the potential for international collaboration and partnerships.
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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 '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.