The 'communities & cultural diversity' research area offers educational programs and experiences that reflect key aspects of diversity, inclusion and social cohesion.

Bringing together work from our research programs, we conduct quality research and scholarship, forging collaborations among disciplines with similar interests and among community, government, industry, alumni, and international partners.

The aim is to facilitate advanced research in all aspects of evidenced-based teaching and research, through:

  • identifying key issues
  • addressing social challenges
  • designing models of community engagement 
  • evaluating programs and exploring sustainable program development alongside communities.
African-Australian Bulldogs community

Research areas

  • Intercultural pedagogies
  • Social cohesion within Australian and international contexts
  • Intercultural communication practices in various discipline fields
  • Citizenship, multiculturalism and social cohesion in Australian and international contexts
  • Racism in various forms including Islamaphobia, harassment
  • Study of political ideologies including radicalisation, far right ideologies and hate groups
  • Inclusive teaching pedagogies and practices in local and international contexts
  • Youth justice system
  • Evaluations of aspects of school systems eg. eSmart Schools
  • Employment for specific groups eg. seniors, refugees and asylum seekers
  • Legal aspects of racial vilification and litigation
  • Use of social media
  • Mental health and wellbeing in children and adults
  • Settlement needs and responses of specific community groups (eg. refugees and asylum seekers, Muslim women)
  • The effects of war on children
  • Historical studies of settlement of various communities eg. Irish, Italian, Spanish
  • Gender and violence in Irish history
  • Cultural history and rules of Australian Football
  • Peace activism
  • Suffragette movement
  • Irish mythology from female perspective
  • Validation of law enforcement tools
  • Social services and responses to community needs (legal, financial literacy, family violence, wellbeing)
  • Literature and experiences of publication of Australia’s First People’s
  • Intercultural training models

Research projects

Just-in-time: Pre-Marital Primary Prevention Training Package for Muslim Communities (Professor Kathy Laster)

The Ripple Effect: Legal education for diverse faith-based communities (Professor Kathy Laster)

Dissenting citizenship? Understanding individuals' vulnerabilities to right-wing extremism on the local level (Dr Mario Peucker)

Educational transitions from custody, collaboration with various universities (Dr Fiona MacDonald, Professor Kitty te Riele, Associate Professor Julie White, Associate Professor Tim Corcoran, Dr Philippa Moylan, Associate Professor Alison Baker, Ruq Abdul Manan)

Factors influencing senior employment in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector (DrThu-Huong Nguyen)

A case study of academics’ agency in the learning environment of English-medium- instruction programs at a Vietnamese university (Dr Oksana Razoumova, Dr Charles Mphande & Chau Pham Mihn Nguyen)

Symbiotic radicalisation: The interplay between far-right and far-left activism in Victoria (Dr Mario Peucker)

COVID-19 online learning landscapes and CALDMR students: Opportunities and challenges (Dr Teresa De Fazio, consortia led by UNSW)

Perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of Muslims and other minorities by Australian university students: a national survey (Professor Abe Ata)

Academic Literacies: A Critical Narrative Conversation with Female ESP Teachers in Saudi Arabian Universities (Dr Oksana Razoumova & Eshraq Sultan Allehaby) Enhancing professional development through intercultural praxis among Islamic Indonesian tertiary EFL educators studying abroad (Dr Oksana Razoumova & Suyono, Suyono)

A critical study of policy and practice for inclusive education in Saudi Arabia's Higher Education Sector (Dr Fiona MacDonald & Abdallelh Hamd S Alharbi)

Validation of RADAR - Australian Security Sciences Partnership (Associate Professor Debra Smith)

Children and war in history (Associate Professor Dianne Hall in Partnership with University of Notre Dame)

Evaluation of Melbourne Victory Football Club Community programs (Dr Teresa De Fazio)

Engaging creative pedagogies to reframe environmental learning in an Indonesian Initial Teacher Education Program (Dr Helen Widdop-Quinton)

Evaluation of the Victorian Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (VFTAC): (Associate Professor Debra Smith, Dr M. Iqbal and Professor R. Spaaij)

Destroying the world to save it: Why security studies needs to engage with the Planetary Health Agenda (Associate Professor Debra Smith, A. Zammit and Dr M. Iqbal)

Victoria Police Applied research into countering violent extremism (CVE) and counterterrorism (CT) risk assessment tools (Associate Professor Debra Smith, Professor R. Spaaij and Dr M. Iqbal)

ISD The role of mainstream media in the mobilisation of radical political movements (Dr Mario Peucker)

Empowerment and support services for communities experiencing prejudice-motivated harassment and abuse in Wyndham (Associate Professor Tom Clark and Dr Mario Peucker)

Staff & students

Our staff collaborate across research institutes, disciplines and centres. Read their biographies via the links.

  • Abdallelh Hamd S Alharbi
  • Natasa Ciabatti
  • Chau Pham Mihn Nguyen
  • Suyono Suyono
  • Eshraq Sultan Allehaby

Partners, funders & collaborators

We collaborate and partner with a number of high-profile government and private organisations and universities.

  • Victoria Police
  • Dept of Justice and Community Safety
  • Victorian Dept of Premier
  • Cabinet Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies
  • Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)
  • Alannah & Madeline Foundation
  • National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education
  • Maribyrnong City Council
  • City of Greater Bendigo
  • City of Yarra
  • City of Melton
  • Brimbank Council
  • Melbourne Victory Football Club
  • Wyndham City Council
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Mahasaraswati Denpasar, Bali
  • Melbourne Victory Football Club

  • University of New South Wales
  • Deakin University
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • RMIT University
  • University of Sunshine Coast
  • Deakin University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • Western Sydney University