Healthy & Inclusive Communities

The main aim of this research program is to contribute to healthy and resilient individuals and communities. We do this by enhancing social engagement and impacting behaviour, social change, and policy changes.

The Healthy and Inclusive Communities research program addresses:

  • How, why and to what extent do physical activity, sport and culture shape individuals, communities and society?
  • How can physical activity, psychological, educational, health, sporting and cultural interventions lead to positive changes for individuals, communities and society?

In total, the research program has five research groups with more than 20 staff and 40 higher-degree research students.

Our research interests

We undertake a range of integrated and complementary projects across our diverse research groups.

Our interdisciplinary projects are designed to meet the following aims:

  • Conduct community-based research and action into forms of symbolic and structural violence, its impacts, and individual and group responses to overcome and prevent it. Approaches include participatory and creative methodologies, partnering with communities to address issues pertinent to them.
  • Examine equity, inclusion and exclusion in sport, physical activity and physical education contexts. Methods include ethnography, interviews, surveys, focus groups and observations, and policy, media, and archival analysis.
  • Increase the understanding of public-health aspects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour – and design, implement and evaluate interventions to promote active living.
  • Investigate sport and recreation participation, facilities and health for evidence-based decision making across the sport and recreation sector.
  • Measure, understand and promote physical activity to optimise mental wellbeing and positive body image/body satisfaction, and to prevent and treat mental illness. Research is conducted using observational (descriptive and correlational) and experimental (interventions and clinical trials) studies and systematic reviews, with a focus on implementation and translation into practice.

Our collaborations

Research group leaders

Active Living & Public Health
Professor Zeljko Pedisic

Communication for Health Promotion & Impact
Dr Michaela Pascoe

Physical Activity & Mental Health
Professor Alex Parker

Sport & Social Change Living Lab
Professor Ramon Spaaij