New courses focus on social impact, and positive change

The Centre for Social Impact at Flinders University has launched the state’s first tertiary offering for social impact education, opening the door for South Australians seeking a career with purpose, to help tackle the pressing social issues of our time.

With growing demand among not-for-profit, business and government organisations for professionals who can lead on social challenges, opportunities to enrol in the Centre for Social Impact’s new MBA (Social Impact) and Graduate Certificate (Social Impact) have arrived at the right time.

Enrolments for the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact and MBA (Social Impact) are now officially open, with classes starting in July. Both are being offered as hybrid courses, with online elements as well as in-person classes.

The national Centre for Social Impact (CSI) has expanded into South Australia to develop the state’s emerging and established leaders who seek to drive social progress, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to lead transformational change across for-purpose, for-profit and government sectors.

Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith, Director of CSI Flinders, says the new courses are vital for improving outcomes for the most vulnerable people in the community.

“The for-purpose sector is rapidly maturing, and the Centre for Social Impact at Flinders University will play an important role in helping get South Australia ready, by providing skilled professionals with the solutions to take the lead on our most challenging social issues,” says Professor Goodwin-Smith.

Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith, left, with MP Nat Cook, Amanda Rishworth, Arminé Nalbandian (Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Social Impact), Dale Agius (South Australia’s inaugural Commissioner for First Nations Voice) and Member for Boothby Louise Miller-Frost at the Centre for Social Impact launch event at Flinders University, Victoria Square.

“This month’s Federal Budget highlighted a deep shift is now occurring, with the announcement of a $100 million Outcomes Fund to help tackle disadvantage. Government, business, and the for-purpose sector want to work together to achieve stronger outcomes, and the Centre for Social Impact is arming the new generation to succeed.

“These graduates will have a readiness to lead and capabilities to strengthen the social impact ecosystem.”

A network of four universities, the Centre for Social Impact is Australia’s leading provider of social impact education. Enrolments around the country have recorded strong growth (excluding 2020 and 2021 when COVID-related restrictions were in effect).

Professor Romy Lawson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) at Flinders University, says the education provided by the Centre for Social Impact at Flinders would fill a critical gap in South Australia.

“There’s nothing else in this space in South Australia, but we know that demand for social impact education is strong and growing,” she says.

Photo: Getty Images

“Building capacity through education is a vital part of driving social impact.”

The Federal Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, who attended a launch for the new Flinders University courses, says research and study at the Centre for Social Impact across Australia is contributing to a stronger evidence base for policy decisions.

“As a Government we’re focused on evidence-based solutions and outcomes,” says Ms Rushworth.

“Tackling issues like entrenched disadvantage requires innovation and capabilities which the Centre for Social Impact is helping to build through its excellent research and education programs.

“I’m excited to see the Centre for Social Impact taking shape at Flinders University, and look forward to the contribution its researchers and graduates will make to help drive Australia towards a brighter future.”

The Centre for Social Impact at Flinders University was established in 2022 and already has over 25 active research contracts, reflecting the strong demand for evidence to address social issues.


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