Regional Communities

The Alfred Deakin Research Institute is committed to regional research, policy and scholarship through its commitment to the Geelong region, rural and regional policy and national and international comparative regionalism. More broadly, ADRIs researchers contribute to regional research that interprets different layers of regionalism through partnerships on comparative public policy, governance and sustainability issues.

Staff include:

* Affiliate member

Our Projects

A sample of our current projects is presented below:

Regional Research and Information Centre (RRIC)

During 2012-13, Professor Linda Hancock has continued to gather support for the establishment of a Regional Research and Information Centre that will provide synthesis and interpretation from high quality data analyses around the core concepts of prosperity, sustainability and liveability in regional Victoria. The concept for the Centre has developed to address identified needs for:

  • Evidence based research relating to recurring questions about growth, sustainability, social inclusion and community development
  • Collaboration with Regional Research Australia on a repository of state-wide research reports and findings that can be easily accessed
  • Better use of government resources, overcoming duplication of regional research and providing a stronger capacity to state-wide, integrate regional and sub-regional plans

The RRIC proposal is supported by Regional Development Victoria, the Department of Human Services, the four university partners and the Gordon TAFE for the proposal to establish a Regional Research and Information Centre. A Business Case for the establishment of the RRIC has been developed and is currently being presented to state and federal Ministers.

The four partner Victorian universities have come together comprising Deakin University (lead) and partners Ballarat University, La Trobe University and Monash University. These universities are committed to research embracing all 5 regional Victorian non-metro regions, with regional campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Mildura, Shepparton, and Warrnambool.

Geelong Regional Alliance G21 has been a founding partner supporting Deakin University and partners in this proposal. The Barwon South West RDA Committee has also identified the RRIC as a priority project to inform regional planning through regional research and rural and regional data management and analysis that is focused on Victorian regional priorities and outcomes.

Public perception of, and response to, desalination in Australia

This project, led by Dr Tanya King, examines what people in Australia think of desalination as a mechanism for producing drinking water. It is a collaborative project, led by Deakin University, together with Victoria University and Murdoch University. The project will produce advice on widespread public attitudes to the deployment of desalination in Australia, as well as providing a detailed case study of information exchange between desalination experts and lay publics, in two focus regions. The project has surveyed national attitudes to desalination plant implementation and outcomes in a range of rural and metropolitan regions where plants are operational, under construction, or absent. The national survey identifies general attitudes to desalination as a response to climate change, as well as common understandings of the desalination process itself, including anticipated or perceived outcomes of desalination.  This research identifies different gaps in knowledge which require addressing via education and communication campaigns. 

Integrated land management

Dr Quentin Farmar-Bowers is working on the project ‘Policies and governance for integrated landscape management in a changing environment’. The project is funded by the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR).

Making Connections: Migrants, social capital and growing regional communities

This research pilot project investigates the demographic trends, and the self-identified social and cultural capital, of those who have migrated to Geelong in the last five years. The project focuses on migrants who cluster in community and social groups based on, for example, shared leisure interests, shared cultural backgrounds, or occupation. The pilot identifies members of three migrant categories: those from overseas, those from Melbourne, and those who have migrated from other rural and regional Australian areas. 20 participants will be recruited through liaison with a number of relevant Geelong bodies, including the City of Greater Geelong and the Migrant Resource Centre, as well as snowballing from key informants and members of community groups. Participants have been/will be invited to participate in focus groups or interviews in order to identify:

  • How they characterise their personal social and cultural capital
  • How they characterise the social and cultural capital of the community groups of which they are a member
  • Whether or not they recognise the social and cultural capital of other community groups (‘bridging’ groups) in Geelong
  • Actual and potential bridges between community groups facilitated by shared elements of social capital

Members of the ‘bridging’ groups will be interviewed or participate in focus groups to explore how the bridging groups worked to effect connections. Interviews and focus groups will be semi-structured and will draw on the interdisciplinary literature on social capital and migration as identified by the members of the research team (e.g., geography, anthropology, demography, economics).

Barwon South West (BSW) Tertiary Education Attainment Strategy - Stage 2

The objectives of the project are to develop a ten-year Tertiary Education Attainment Strategy for the BSW region that will:

  • Consult with key stakeholders to identify the gaps and barriers to tertiary education attainment in the region
  • Clearly articulate the interventions and investment necessary to increase tertiary education attainment in the region
  • Develop a detailed strategic document with a set of clearly defined strategies for implementation by key stakeholders in partnership with all levels of Government

Making connections: migrants, social capital and growing regional communities

Dr Ruth Jackson joined the Alfred Deakin Research Institute in August 2011. She is currently working on the project: Making connections: migrants, social capital and growing regional communities. This research pilot project will investigate the demographic trends, and the self-identified social and cultural capital, of those who have migrated to Geelong in the last five years. The project will focus on migrants who cluster in community and social groups based on, for example, shared leisure interests, shared cultural backgrounds, or occupation.

Dr. Ruth Jackson has received a 2012 AusAID Development Research Award Scheme (ADRAS) grant for a project on Improving the use of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Services in Rural and Pastoralist Ethiopia. Her research will develop and implement the peer ethnographic approach to improve the skills and capacity of Health Extension Workers (HEWs) and Non-government Organisations (NGOs) to encourage women in rural and pastoralist Ethiopia to give birth with skilled birth attendants.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

19th February 2013