Government funding given to help Australian families break the cycle of disadvantage

Government funding given to help Australian families break the cycle of disadvantage

by Freya Lucas

October 29, 2019

Significant funding will be provided by the Australian Government to establish a research centre to generate new knowledge about families, Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced last week. 


The aim of the research centre will be to use new methods and enhanced data to better inform the design of policies and programs targeted at Australian families to help break the cycle of disadvantage, the Minister said. 


The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course will be led by Professor Janeen Baxter and based at The University of Queensland, with $32.1 million dedicated to the project. 


Professor Baxter said the centre would focus on transformative research and translation to develop tailored solutions for people suffering from disadvantage in their daily lives.


“The Life Course Centre will shift the dial by moving beyond averages to develop a more detailed understanding of why disadvantage takes hold in particular places, at particular times, for particular people,” Professor Baxter said.


“We are committed to progressing a science of disadvantage that utilises new technologies and methods to keep pace with societal change so the gaps between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ doesn’t get wider,” she added. 


Professor Baxter hopes that by bringing together different types of data, the research team will deepen their understanding of the mechanisms underlying disadvantage, enabling them to develop personalised and community-based solutions that can make a difference.


Researchers from The University of Queensland will work together with three Australian universities and 17 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, New Zealand and America.


Together they will provide an additional $33 million in cash and in-kind support to the centre. More information about the ARC Centres of Excellence program is on the ARC website.