We undertake research projects in a variety of areas and continually develop new knowledge that can be applied in Australia and overseas.
Recent and current project highlights include:
- Food, health, memory and African-Australian transitions
- Harnessing cultural resilience capital in diverse communities to counter violent extremism
- The impacts of arts programs for young people from refugee backgrounds
- Culturally diverse approaches to understanding sleep and refugee community health and wellbeing
- Improving cross-cultural training and education for policing agencies
- Cultural diversity, parenting and family dynamics
- Gender, theatre and political action in the Caribbean
- Socially and culturally diverse models of resource management, including water, waste and land
- Gender role transitions in South Sudanese families and communities
- Muslim-Australian young people, media and representation
- Informal social networks, resilience and emerging African-Australian communities
The building resilience investigation
The Building Resilience investigation is the name for a group of research enquiries that look at how young people in the west of Melbourne build resilience. It’s an ongoing, responsive project and we want to engage with local community organisations.
Harnessing resilience capital in culturally diverse communities to counter violent extremism
Former VU researcher Professor Michele Grossman and Dr Hussein Tahiri from Victoria Police conducted a national study on the cultural dimensions of resilience to violent extremism across a range of Australian ethnically and religiously diverse communities.
This 2013-14 project, funded by the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee, explored the ways in which cultural identity, attitudes, practices and values can inform resilience against violent extremism and help communities stay strong and well by tapping into existing cultural strengths and approaches.
Involving in-depth interviews with more than 80 diverse community members around Australia, the study found that while levels of resilience against violent extremism are strongest when linked to culturally informed practices of social care, conflict resolution and intra-community inclusion and respect, challenges exist in relation to engaging women and families, reducing the impacts of culturally based shame, and intergenerational differences in experience and attitude around social cohesion and belonging.
"My role as researcher [was] to contribute research that allows community voices to be heard in order to foster productive dialogue and partnerships between government and communities. This work helps agencies and communities understand more about each other and develop robust partnerships to find joint meaningful solutions to common challenges and problems", said Professor Grossman.
For eight years, Professor Grossman worked on a wide range of research projects with partners including Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee, and the Attorney-General’s Department. She led the major 2013 review of Victoria Police’s cross-cultural education and training approach, resulting in significant reform and overhaul of training in cultural diversity for Victorian police members at all levels of the organisation.
Research on diversity and wellbeing is undertaken in partnership with government, not-for-profit organisations and other universities. Examples of recent and current relationships in this area include:
- Footscray Community Arts Centre
- Western Health
- Victoria Police
- Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee
If you would like to collaborate on research with real benefits to individuals, communities and organisations, please contact us.