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about our PROJECTS

Our team work on a range of projects, which are supported by both the data collected in the Regional Wellbeing Survey and by a range of other data. We focus in particular on wellbeing indicators & measurement, understanding the impacts of drought, bushfires and climatic variability, and understanding how communities across Australia experience change in access to water, particularly as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In 2020, we’re also doing research on the ways COVID-19 is affecting the wellbeing of people across Australia.

Our team work on a range of projects, which are supported by both the data collected in the Regional Wellbeing Survey and by a range of other data. We focus in particular on wellbeing indicators & measurement, understanding the impacts of drought, bushfires and climatic variability, and understanding how communities across Australia experience change in access to water, particularly as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In 2020, we’re also doing research on the ways COVID-19 is affecting the wellbeing of people across Australia.

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OUR projectS

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Wellbeing Measurement & Indicator Development

Worldwide, many countries and regions are increasingly monitoring wellbeing and quality of life of their citizens. We are one of the hundreds of research groups worldwide who contribute to this effort through working to develop improved measures of wellbeing and quality of life, and supporting processes that help people living in different regions identify what wellbeing indicators are most important and relevant to them.

You can find out more about our work in this area through…

Drought & Climatic Variability

Each year, the Regional Wellbeing Survey asks whether and how people in different regions have been affected by drought, floods, and other climatic variability. In some years we also ask our participants their views about whether they support different actions intended to reduce risk or impacts, and what types of support are – and aren’t – useful to them.

To find out more about current and past work in this area…

  • Find out what people across Australia told us about the types of support they found most useful during severe drought in 2017-18
  • Does investing in improving land health through natural resource management improve resilience to drought? We examined whether and when this was the case in a report commissioned by NRM Regions Australia.

Watch webinars discussing how to support wellbeing during and after drought. These webinars, organised by the Australian Red Cross, included a range of speakers from across Australia, including Jacki Schirmer from the Regional Wellbeing Survey team.

Farmer Wellbeing & Resilience

Several of our studies have a specific focus on farmers, or on specific groups of farmers. The wellbeing of farmers can differ to that of other groups in a range of unique ways. Farmers often have both strong social connections but high levels of isolation; have high resilience to some events but are often asked to deal with the impacts of multiple events at once (like drought, bushfire and COVID-19 all affecting people at the same time…).

You can find out more about our work in this area through…

  • Our Farmer resilience page, where we talk about the challenges of measuring farmer resilience and how it is changing, using work we have done with the NSW Rural Resilience Program
  • Our reports examining the wellbeing of farmers in Australia, and wellbeing of specific groups of farmers
  • Reading about how the wellbeing of farmers is being reported on as part of agricultural industry sustainability reporting in industries including dairy, beef and cotton
  • Reports examining whether farmers who use specific approaches to farming have better wellbeing and resilience – including the effects of regenerative farming, and investing in natural resource management activities

Our reports page also provides links to a number of papers on the wellbeing of farmers who are experiencing challenges on the farm, thinking about leaving farming, or who have left farming.

Water Reform

Recent decades have seen many changes to how water is managed in Australia, and in particular to how water ownership, markets and allocation are managed. We have examined the socio-economic impacts of water reform in multiple studies. In addition, data from the Regional Wellbeing Survey has been drawn on by a number of other organisations as they seek to understand how different people and communities are experiencing the effects of water reform.

Our work in this area includes…

Wellbeing & Social Impact Assessment For Different Groups, Industries & Communities

We work with a range of groups to understand the wellbeing of different people and communities, as well as socio-economic impacts of different industries and of changes that affect these communities.

Examples include:

We’re also currently involved in the National Recreational Fishing Survey, helping understanding the linkages between going fishing and wellbeing – as well as the value of fishing across Australia.

Bushfires

Our team are involved in studies that are working improve understanding of how to support building resilience to the impacts of bushfires, and community attitudes to different actions intended to reduce bushfire risk.

To find out more about current and past work in this area…

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