Centre for Social Impact arrives at Flinders

Passionate about changing the world, a new research group at Flinders University will collaborate on a wide range of social issues in SA and the NT- from homelessness and affordable housing, to food relief, employment and mental health.

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Flinders in South Australia has become its fourth university partner, joining UNSW, The University of Western Australia and Swinburne University of Technology in the national CSI network.

Based within the College of Business, Government and Law at Flinders University, the new CSI Flinders team comprises a group of acclaimed researchers and educators.

Their particular focus will be on working with marginalised communities and individuals, and with the organisations that support them, with an initial emphasis on metropolitan, country and remote settings in the North-South corridor of South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Current local projects for the CSI Flinders team include an evaluation of the Aspire social impact bond with the Department of Treasury and Finance, a pioneering social policy reform to be undertaken in South Australia. Other initiatives cover food relief services and systems reform, designing culturally safe services for remote Indigenous visitors, and working in partnerships to redesign the South Australian homelessness service sector.

Centre for Social Impact Flinders researchers (left to right) Jung Yoon, PJ Tan, Pablo Rengifo, Carolyn Dent, Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith, Dr Catherine Mackenzie, Associate Professor Selina Tually, Diana Eyers-White, Dr Veronica Coram, Professor Svetlana Bogomolova, Lucy Simmonds, Kelly McKinley, Dr Tahna Pettman and Sahar Faghidno.

”We’re privileged to already have a strong representation of government and non-government partners alongside us right from the start,” said Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith, Director of CSI Flinders.

“Working with our partners will enable us to bring learned experience, lived experience and practice wisdom together in pursuit of an inclusive future within South Australia and the Northern Territory.”

The Centre for Social Impact Flinders team, above, includes a wide range of skills among researchers – including deputy directors Associate Professor Selina Tually and Professor Svetlana Bogomolova.

Established in 2008, CSI is a national education and research collaboration which catalyses positive social change through transformational research and education that is rigorous and purpose-driven, and by working with people, communities and organisations across Australia to grow their capabilities.

Professor Peter Shergold, a national leader of Australia’s Centre for Social Impact.

“We are very excited to welcome the Flinders team to the expanding Centre for Social Impact network,” said Professor Peter Shergold, founding member of CSI and current Chair.

“It’s a monumental time for CSI and the sector as this new partnership expands our reach further across Australia, increasing our potential to achieve positive and systemic social change in more ways, and with more people and communities.”

Flinders University welcomes the partnership with the Centre for Social Impact, which aligns with the university’s mission to change lives and the world.

“The pandemic has created an even greater need for informed support and evidence-based knowledge for service delivery and community groups throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory,” said Professor Robert Saint, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at Flinders University.

“We welcome the start of this vital research, education, community and government engagement by this new Centre for Social Impact partnership, and in keeping with Flinders University’s focus on ‘making a difference’, we also look forward to launching social impact leadership development and student courses in the future.”

Acting CEO of the Centre for Social Impact, Professor Paul Flatau, welcomes CSI Flinders to the network. “The addition of Flinders under CSI’s umbrella will not only enable us to learn from this vital hub, but it will also enable us to bring South Australia’s and the Northern Territory’s social issues into the national conversation for a more diverse and rich understanding.

“This partnership will expand our team, our reach, our knowledge base and ensure we are working to catalyse social change in even more communities that deserve attention.”

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College of Business, Government and Law Research