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Centre for Research on Social Inclusion

Development and Community Capacity Building

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Social Inclusion in Macquarie Park: Place-Sharing and Community Revitalisation (PILOT)

Researchers: Gillian Vogl, Rochelle Spencer, Lorraine Gibson, and Guy Morrow

This research was designed as a photovoice pilot with youth living at Ivanhoe Estate in Macquarie Park. The research explored the sense of social inclusion experienced by twenty youth between the ages of 7 and 16 by documenting their day-to-day experiences living in Macquarie Park through the use of a disposable camera, giving expression to their visions and aspirations for how Macquarie Park can better serve their needs and creating greater links between youth residing at Ivanhoe Estate and other groups residing and working in the Macquarie Park precinct.

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Living and Working in Macquarie Park: Place-sharing and Participation

Researchers: Gillian Vogl, Rochelle Spencer, Kristian Ruming, Goldie Osuri, Carol Reid (UWS) and Kathy Mee (University of Newcastle)

This multidisciplinary project explores issues of employment and training for disadvantaged youth and international students in the context of a setting with a very diverse social mix. Macquarie Park is an area where disadvantage and global capital sit side by side. In bringing together Macquarie Park residents, members of local government, non-government and corporate organisations, the project will first, analyse and distil the multiple held notions of place-sharing and belonging, and second, harness available capacities and resources of the multiple stakeholders to enable the development of inclusive processess which build community inclusion with regard to employment and training. This project will explore the diverse social and cultural meanings of participation, active citizenship, social capital and social inclusion.

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Social conditions of Aboriginal people in rural NSW: rethinking policy failure and future options

Professor Richard Howitt (and Janice Monk, American Association of Geographers) - ARC Discovery, International Collaborative Award

This project works with three rural NSW Aboriginal communities to reframe ideas for sustainable Indigenous futures in NSW. By fostering both academic and community understanding of economic and social change since the mid-1960s it offers a framework for action at several geographical scales to improve outcomes for rural Aboriginal communities. Building robust and sustainable community futures in Aboriginal communities in rural NSW requires improved understanding of both past failures and the foundations for alternatives futures. This project will simultaneously enhance community capacity and rigorously assess the social consequences of conditions prevailing in three communities (Coffs Harbour, Deniliquin and Griffith). It will document and analyse Aboriginal experience of social, economic and environmental change since 1965. Integrating both newly-identified archival and contemporary data, the project will provide a powerful framework for community action and policy changes at several geographical scales to support improved outcomes for rural Aboriginal communities.

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Building Bridges back into Community: Capacity Building for a Socially Inclusive Society

Dr Rochelle Spencer, with A/Prof MD Fine; Prof RH Fagan; A/Prof K McCracken; Dr R Dowling; A/Prof RL Howitt; Dr K Tannous; A/Prof KH Millard - ARC Linkage

Working closely with the Australian Red Cross this research will address the issue of long term community capacity building, bringing together new theoretical insights with practice. Through longitudinal and ethnographic research, this project will explore:

  • Active citizenship - innovative ways to engage young people in the Red Cross movement and how to capture a younger generation's interest in volunteering.
  • Volunteerism - the contribution volunteers make to the social fabric through their efforts in building bridges back into community for vulnerable groups across Australia.
  • Ways of Working - explore ways in which Red Cross programs facilitate and develop connectedness to community, and if so, in what ways it empowers people to engage with their communities. In what ways does participating in Red Cross programs build resilience and reduce vulnerability among program recipients?

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The Red Cross Young Women's Health Program Research Project

Dr Rochelle Spencer; and Dr Gillian Vogl (Research Associate)

The NSW Red Cross operates a Young Women's Health Program (YWHP) in Sydney, which is the only one of its kind in NSW. It provides young homeless mothers access to health and welfare services including a three-phased accommodation, support, and education program, which offers pre-natal and post-natal education, employment, and life-skills. Through a triangulation of method this program will be evaluated in terms of capacity building for social inclusion. It fits neatly with the federal government's policy priority to finding long term solutions to reduce youth homelessness. This research is funded by the Macquarie University External Collaborative Grant Scheme for twelve months at $67,006.20. Dr Spencer will submit an ARC Linkage grant in round two of 2009 to extend this research based on the initial findings from the research undertaken this year.

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The Changing Context of HIV Vulnerability, Prevention and Treatment amongst Ethnic Groups in Northern Thailand and Laos

Dr Chris Lyttleton - MQRDG

In Thailand, roughly 500,000 have died from AIDS and almost as many are HIV-infected, prompting large-scale drug treatment programs. Across the border in Laos, less than 2,000 people are known to have HIV, but infection is increasing especially amongst marginalized groups. In both instances, ethnic minority groups are disadvantaged in provision of services to lessen impact of HIV/AIDS. This study will consider how ethnicity structures vulnerability and ability to seek assistance as well as design and delivery of HIV/AIDS programs in the upper Mekong. It will provide the basis for improved programming in prevention and care and support programs.

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Impact of Cross-Border Mobility on HIV Vulnerability and AIDS Treatment along New Economic Corridors in the Upper Mekong

Dr Chris Lyttleton - AusAID Australian Development Research Award

New transport corridors are central to development plans in the Greater Mekong Subregion that anticipate economic and social integration and dramatically increased movement across borders. However, we do not know whether the intersection of highly mobile populations with local communities in previously remote areas coupled with rapid changes within local livelihood economies will further increase levels of HIV/AIDS spread. This ethnographic research will assess to what extent greater mobility increases sexual and drug-related HIV vulnerability in newly integrated border zones of China, Lao PDR, Thailand and Burma and creates shortfalls within existing national AIDS treatment capacities. It will identify changing 'hot-zone' areas in the Upper Mekong and uncover social dynamics caused by accelerated movement and uneven economic growth that create heightened HIV risk and/or inadequate access to AIDS treatment in specific sub-populations.

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