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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…

HELP US IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE IN RURAL & REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

Join us this November at the Building Wellbeing into Policy and Action in Australia workshop, being held at the University of Canberra. At the workshop you will hear about the diversity of wellbeing initiatives currently happening in Australia across the government, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Organisations across Australia are increasingly embedding consideration of wellbeing outcomes in their decision making and investment processes. At the summit, you will hear examples of how this is being done by different governments, not-for-profit organisations and community groups, as well as in industries such as agriculture. Participants will discuss key opportunities, challenges and needs going forward in Australia, and identify priorities for future action.

Through the workshop, we aim to build a network of people interested in working together to continue building wellbeing into policy and action across Australia. All participants are encouraged to discuss opportunities to continue discussions and action beyond the workshop.

 

Register here for the workshop 

Participants can register to participate in person in Canberra, or online. You can register for one day or for the whole workshop. Follow the link below to register:

https://canberra.onestopsecure.com/canberra/onestopweb/VW6/booking?e=2022WS

 

Workshop program

The workshop includes a packed program – download the workshop program here

If you have any problems logging in online, please email wellbeingsummit@canberra.edu.au

 

Monday 21 November

9.30-10.00: Wellbeing in politics and policy: why do we need wellbeing-focused decision making?

Speakers in this session include Mike Salvaris and Geoff Woolcock from the Australian National Development Index, and speakers from the OECD.

10.00-10.30: International perspectives: lessons for building wellbeing into policy and action

Speaker in this session is Kate Scrivens, OECD Centre for Well-Being, Inclusion, Sustainability
and Equal Opportunity.

11.00-12.30: From measurement to action: lessons from international experience.

Hear from speakers including Bryan Smale (Canadian Index of Wellbeing), Rob Tanton with Jacki Schirmer (University of Canberra) and Cressida Gaukroger (lead author of the Centre for Policy Development’s recent report reviewing lessons from international experience for wellbeing initiatives in Australia).

1.30-3.20 Wellbeing into policy and action across Australia’s governments – Session 1

Speakers from the Australian, State and Territory governments, those in the university and private sector who are working with different jurisdictions, will talk about their work developing a wellbeing economy, wellbeing frameworks, and wellbeing-centric decision making. Speakers include Tim Ogden (Treasury), Peter Robinson (ACT Government), Helen Thomas (Wellbeing SA), and Mike Salvaris with Geoff Woolcock (Australian National Development Index).

3.40-5.00pm Wellbeing into policy and action for specific sectors and groups

Hear about how different groups are developing wellbeing-focused approaches to policy and action to support the wellbeing of groups including children and carers. Speakers include Joyce Cleary (Deakin University), Gemma Wood (Australian Youth Development Index, Numbers and People Synergy), and Kate Reynolds with Robert Gotts (National Student Wellbeing Project).

Discussion: Challenges and opportunities for building wellbeing into policy and action for children, carers, those with disability, and other specific groups.

5.00-6.00pm Social networking drinks

 

Tuesday 22 November

9.00-10.30: Sustainability, climate change, disasters and wellbeing

Hear about how we can develop Earth-centred wellbeing approaches, and maintain wellbeing through disasters, from speakers including Michelle Maloney (Australian Earth Laws Alliance and New Economy Network Australia), Julie Boulton (Monash University) and Rebecca Huntley (89 Degrees East).

Discussion: Sustainable wellbeing in a changing climate

11.00-1.00pm: From measurement to action: from data to action across Australia

Hear about the different groups who are measuring wellbeing across Australia using surveys and statistical data collections. Find out where you can access information, and help identify key needs going forward. Speakers include Mark Wooden (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey), Ray Lovett (Australian National University), Kate Lycett (Deakin University) and Lauren Binns (ABS).

Discussion: Challenges and opportunities for data collection and measurement

1.30-3.30 Urban, regional, rural and remote – wellbeing from all regions

How do we build wellbeing into policy and action across Australia’s diverse regions? Hear from speakers including Jacki Schirmer (University of Canberra), Kim Houghton (Regional Australia Institute), Susi Tegen (National Rural Health Alliance) and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Discussion: Wellbeing into policy and action for all regions

3.50-5.10pm Wellbeing into policy and action for all: not-for-profit and community sector
experience

Hear about how not-for-profit and community groups are working to build wellbeing into policy and action, and the challenges and opportunities experienced. Speakers include Ben Latham (Victorian Council of Social Service), Julia Keady (X Factor Collective), Peter Gordon (Hands Across Canberra, Vital Signs initiative) and Andrew Yule (Jesuit Social Services).

6.30pm Dinner - Societal wellbeing: what's the economy got to do with it? Speaker Katherine Trebeck

 

Wednesday 23 November

9.00-11.00am Wellbeing into policy and action across Australia’s jurisdictions – Session 2

Speakers from the Australian, State and Territory governments, those in the university and private sector who are working with different jurisdictions, will talk about their work developing a wellbeing economy, wellbeing frameworks, and wellbeing-centric decision making. Speakers include Arthur Grimes (Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellbeing), Sandro Demaio, (VicHealth), Richard Parsons (DPI NSW), Michael Gadiel (NSW Treasury) and Libby Lester (University of Tasmania).

Discussion: What are the best paths to building wellbeing into policy and action?

11.30-1.00pm Closing session: Identifying priorities for building wellbeing into policy and action and next steps

This session will include group discussion to identify the priorities and needs for building wellbeing into policy and action in Australia going forward.

 

Speakers

You will hear from inspiring speakers who will discuss the different approaches being used in Australia and internationally to build policy and decision making processes that best support societal wellbeing, from local to national scale.

Join us in person or virtually to hear from our expert speakers, including:

  • Katherine Trebeck, co-founder of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and WEAll Scotland
  • Michelle Maloney, co-founder of the New Economy Network Australia and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance
  • Bryan Smale, Director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing
  • Cressida Gaukroger of the Centre for Policy Development and lead author of the recent report Redefining progress: global lessons for an Australian approach to wellbeing
  • Arthur Grimes, Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Peter Robinson, discussing the ACT Wellbeing Framework
  • Mike Salvaris and Geoff Woolcock discussing the Australian National Development Index
  • Sandro DeMaio of VicHealth, discussing the recently launched Wellbeing Economy Toolkit and Wellbeing Economy website
  • Libby Lester, University of Tasmania, discussing The Tasmania Project and Good Life Initiative
  • Jacki Schirmer, leader of the Regional Wellbeing Survey, Carer Wellbeing Survey and Living Well in the ACT region survey

…and many more from organisations including The Treasury, NSW Government, Wellbeing SA, Regional Wellbeing Survey, and National Student Wellbeing Project.

Contact us

Have questions? Contact us at wellbeingsummit@canberra.edu.au.

 

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