Advancing Society and Culture

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Enabling a sustainable World

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Improving Health and Wellbeing

Our strong research focus on heritage, society and international development is advancing global understanding of intercultural relations, migration, racism, religion, democracy, politics and governance.

Deakin is an Australian research hub on the Middle East and has recently created an innovative Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue, as well as leading the Australian Intervention Support Hub – a new national centre that aims to counter radicalisation and violent extremism.

In education, researchers are cultivating society and culture by informing policy across all educational sectors through developing partnerships, transforming pedagogies and working toward achieving equity and social justice.

Our education researchers are helping to lead a major national program that aims to increase the study of science and technology in secondary education, which is vital to the future of our region.

Across the Asia-Pacific, projects range from identifying strategies to improve equity for children with disabilities, to building “Asia Literacy,” to close involvement in the UN’s annual economic and social index for all countries within the region.

Future Fellowship for ADI Professor
Deakin’s Professor Tim Winter has been awarded a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship. Professor Tim Winter from Deakin University’s Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) has been named as one of two new Future Fellows for Deakin in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) awards. Prof Winter’s
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Collecting history
A project investigating the history of collecting in Western Australia is turning up surprising finds around Australia and the world. When Deakin University historian Dr Tiffany Shellam and her fellow research partners opened a drawer at London’s Natural History Museum earlier this year, the last thing they expected to see
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The evidence for influence
Deakin researchers have confirmed that the role vested interests play in the development of alcohol policy is large and influential. The tobacco industry fought a long, and ultimately losing, battle to prevent government policies affecting their bottom line, despite all the scientific evidence of the health risks of smoking. The
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Printed books still draw youth in the digital era
Despite being a tech-savvy generation, research finds that adolescents still prefer print books. Data from a collaborative one-year pilot study between Deakin and Murdoch Universities has uncovered some surprising findings about the recreational reading habits of teenagers. “We found that digital platforms are not very motivating. Both regular readers and
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Museums pioneer new approach to ethnicity
Australian museums are using empathy to challenge assumptions about ethnic identities. Museums in Victoria and South Australia are taking a new approach to examining migration, with recent exhibitions designed to help people understand others and challenge their views about other cultures. The museums’ work has been showcased internationally by ADI’s
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Giving for a Better World
A school-based research project is exploring how generosity improves personal wellbeing. Does genuine care for others lead to benefits for givers, as well as recipients? That’s the question a collaborative research project between Deakin University and Geelong Grammar School is hoping to answer. Professor Craig Olsson, Dr Bill Hallam and
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Poet comes full circle
An invitation to an international poetry festival will see a Deakin writer travel to the land of magical realism. Associate Professor of Writing and Literature at Deakin University, Maria Takolander, will represent Australia at the 2017 International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Columbia. The “Festival de Poesia de Medellin” spreads the
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News in the place where you belong
Local news is still important in an evolving media environment, according to research from Deakin communication specialists. The act of reading a local newspaper can provide a sense of belonging in a community, even though the experience of everyday people who engage with local media is often overlooked in scholarly
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‘Our Future’ – Geelong lecture series
Eminent thinkers will join the Geelong community to explore a new vision for the region’s economy. Some of Australia’s most eminent thinkers, such as Nobel Laureate and former Australian of the Year Professor Peter Doherty AC, will join with the Geelong community to progress an ambitious strategy that aims to
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Remembrance and the teaching of memory
In the midst of ANZAC Day commemorations, a timely paper explores the role of digital technologies in how we think about war and peace. Debate about how best to commemorate fallen soldiers is nothing new; the building of the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance was itself a source of controversy at
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Art, play and science – innovator joins the threads
Notable science writer and artist Margaret Wertheim is exploring the interconnections between arts, maths and science for her Deakin PhD. A passion for communicating the wonder of science has taken Australian Margaret Wertheim around the world and to the pinnacle of science writing and art curation over her 30-year career.
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Why China’s propaganda strategy in Tibet has failed
Professor John Powers has investigated China’s tactics and revealed the limits of propaganda. China’s massively-funded publicity and propaganda campaign aimed at winning hearts and minds and control of Tibet has failed, argues Professor John Powers from the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI). Research for Prof Powers’ book,
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Metro Tunnel Creative Strategy on track
Deakin researchers are helping to shape the Creative Strategy for Melbourne’s new Metro Tunnel. Deakin University researchers, Professor David Cross, Dr Cameron Bishop, and Dr Fiona Lee – in collaboration with one of the world’s most progressive public art companies, Situations – have contributed to the development of the creative
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Barry Jones reflects on the modern condition
Australian Living Treasure, the Hon Barry Jones AC, has delivered a thought-provoking speech at the Harrison Lecture for Innovation. From the unique strengths of Geelong, to the challenges facing humanity – with references to some of the greatest thinkers in history, like Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Adam Smith –
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Leadership key to disaster response
A Fulbright scholarship will allow a Deakin professor to expand his work in building the leadership capacity of those at the frontline of humanitarian disasters. Professor Matthew Clarke, Head of Deakin University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was recently awarded the 2017-18 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership. Jointly
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‘Hiroshima Maidens’ in prose
A creative tribute to women affected by the Hiroshima atomic bomb will be funded by an Australia Council Grant. Dr Cassandra Atherton, a lecturer in creative writing and literature at Deakin University, will utilise an Australia Council Grant to work in-situ in Japan for three months and compile a hybrid
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Culturally-diverse women in ASX leadership: a double jeopardy?
Researchers have uncovered a serious lack of women leaders from culturally-diverse backgrounds in ASX-listed companies. In good news, women’s representation in leadership roles across Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed companies is now at an all-time high. However, the more sobering news is that the actual number of culturally-diverse women leaders remains
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Living in two worlds – belonging to one
Dr Shirley Bennell's doctoral thesis is both a finely honed piece of academic research and a moving personal story of the effects of racism and discrimination on generations of her family. One of the first two students to complete a PhD exclusively through Deakin University’s Institute for Koorie Education (The
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Indigenous PhD trailblazer speaks for the vulnerable
Dr Deonne Basaraba, one of the first two students to receive their PhDs through the Institute of Koorie Education in 11 years, speaks for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It is time we acknowledged the potential devastating effects of alcohol on unborn infants and the high incidence of
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Warlpiri Drawings join ‘Memory of the World’
Deakin University’s Associate Professor Melinda Hinkson has contributed to the placement of indigenous drawings on an elite UNESCO register. A collection of 169 crayon drawings collected by noted anthropologist Mervyn Meggitt, while undertaking fieldwork with Warlpiri people at Lajamanu (Hooker Creek) in the northern Tanami Desert between 1953 and 1954,
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Deakin Motion.Lab helps take Western opera to China
Chinese audiences are flocking to see operas by composers such as Mozart and Puccini – thanks to Deakin know-how, game engine technology and an innovative Australian opera company. Deakin Motion.Lab is assisting the Australian International Opera Company (AIOC) to introduce tens of thousands of people across China to classic Western
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Low SES university applications at turning point
National Equity Fellow, Dr Nadine Zacharias, has presented her findings at the National Press Club. Applications to university for people from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds are continuing to increase in Australia — pointing to the success of equity initiatives funded by the Commonwealth over the past six years, claims
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Children, charity and history
The dusty archives of hospitals and charitable organisations reveal the important role children played in 19th century philanthropy. Many people are familiar with the fundraising activities of local schools, kindergartens and sporting organisations. Often children are enlisted to sell chocolates, participate in walkathons or talk Mum and Dad into working
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Guiding culturally-aware design
Deakin researchers and students are helping to develop the world’s first international indigenous design charter. Visual and communication designers around the world grapple with how to accurately represent Indigenous imagery in their work in culturally appropriate ways. Now, a new charter being developed by Deakin University researchers Dr Russell Kennedy
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The art of science
A new exhibition fuses science and art to explore disease as both reality and metaphor. Humankind has always melded science and art in order to create. The alchemy of paint is just one example. However, creating art out of the very matter of life using scientific techniques and technology blurs
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Stories – the place where we meet
Author and human rights advocate Dr Arnold Zable used stories to give a human face to Australia’s marginalised in the 2016 UNESCO Chair Oration. A tapestry of interwoven stories powerfully illustrated the shared humanity of all Australians at the 2016 Oration for the UNESCO Chair for Cultural Diversity and Social
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Academics’ voices ‘diminished’ in university governance
An education expert has studied the transformation of academic governance in western countries. A world-first comparative study of academic governance at Australian, English and American universities has argued that the voices of practising academics are being lost in the decision-making process. The research by Dr Julie Rowlands, Senior Lecturer in
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Should Indigenous landscape destruction be renamed?
A Deakin researcher has argued that iconoclasm – the destruction of religious images and icons – also applies to sacred landscapes. Islamic State's destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria shocked the world, but similar damage has occurred to landscapes sacred to Australia's Indigenous populations. It just hasn’t been
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Geelong’s creative metamorphosis captured on film
Deakin researchers will document Geelong’s transformation from an industrial past to a new era of creativity. People, projects and places are redefining Geelong – helping the City to evolve from a manufacturing stalwart to a creative hub. According to Dr Fiona Gray, a Research Fellow in Urban Design and Ecologies,
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Food justice for asylum seekers
Research shows that many asylum seekers on bridging visas in Victoria are literally starving in the midst of plenty in the “Lucky Country.” A new crowdfunding campaign is hoping to change this for asylum seekers around Melbourne. As a basic human right, getting enough of the right, quality food is
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National recognition for top female researchers
The reputation of Deakin’s women researchers continues to grow, as a financial economist and anthropologist from the University have received two of only 12 national “Women in Research” Citation Awards. Deakin financial economist Dr Susan Sharma and cultural anthropologist Professor Emma Kowal have each received a “highly cited early to
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Poets find their metre at Deakin
Professor David McCooey, who has launched his fourth volume of poetry, has become a beacon in Geelong's literary scene. The recent debate about musician Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature has put the spotlight on the nature of song writing and poetry. Award-winning poet David McCooey, who is
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Gender balance creates better boards, claims Deakin expert
Accounting and Finance Professor Ferdinand Gul says research can play a key role in improving corporate board gender balance. When there are more females on corporate boards, a firm usually performs better in terms of information, communication and accountability, claims one of Australia’s leading experts in finance and accounting, Alfred
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High-tech meets opera: perfect fit for surrealist classic
Deakin and Opera Victoria have pushed the technological boundaries in an Australian premiere. The 1928 opera “Four Saints in Three Acts” was way ahead of its time – overturning operatic convention with a libretto by Gertrude Stein where the sound of words took precedence over the story. Now, with 3D
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AFL umpires usually get it right, researchers find
A Deakin honours researcher has found that AFL umpires make the correct decision most of the time. Some Australian Football League fans might like to blame the umpires when their team loses a game, but a Deakin University sport science student has found that umpires are indeed pros in their
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Time for a united front in battle against Islamophobia
Australia’s political leaders should condemn Islamophobic rhetoric, claims a Deakin expert. One of Australia’s leading experts on Islamic Studies, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh has called on political leaders to unite in condemning Islamophobic rhetoric. Professor Akbarzadeh is the Alfred Deakin Institute’s Deputy Director International and Professor of Middle East and Central
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Arts research gains new impetus at Deakin
Motion.Lab SRC will provide a fertile breeding ground for diverse artists and arts researchers. Experts across the creative arts have joined forces for a new phase of collaboration at the new Strategic Research Centre (SRC), Deakin Motion.Lab - Centre for Creative Arts Research (DML-CCAR). The new SRC expands the scope
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New ‘Thinker’ program deepens India ties
An Indian ‘Thinker in Residence’ program is being launched in the humanities and social sciences. One of India’s most prominent historians is set to be Deakin’s first “Indian Thinker in Residence.” Dr Srinath Raghavan, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, will spend a week at
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Time to reframe the Australian arts and culture debate?
A Deakin lecturer has called for a wider debate on the true value of arts and culture to Australian society. Arts funding is a contentious issue in Australia, particularly since what has become known, in some circles, as the “excellence raid” on Budget night 2015 when substantial public funding was
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Listen to the young, says Deakin expert
Dr Virginie Andre is seeking ways to help marginalised youth find their voices. Young people from marginalised groups have much to offer, if given the chance and allowed to share their voices, claims Deakin University political scientist Dr Virginie Andre. Dr Andre has been unstoppable in her efforts to help
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Visionary advocate for Indigenous development joins Deakin
One of Australia's leading public intellectuals in Indigenous affairs, Prof Jon Altman, has joined the Alfred Deakin Institute. For anthropologist, Professor Jon Altman, retiring after nearly 40 years in Indigenous affairs was not an option. Seeking ways to improve the quality of life for remote Indigenous communities is a lifelong
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Consumer research gains traction
Deakin Business School’s Centre for Organisational Health and Consumer Wellbeing (COHaCW) is gaining momentum, with research in areas such as stress prevention, workplace mental health promotion, smoking cessation, contractual agreements and aged care choices, amongst others. Under the umbrella of its two key focus areas – organisational health and consumer
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VR captures last of the early ‘dark rides’
For over a century, a ride on a ghost train or amusement park river cave was a highlight of our childhoods, but very few of the early “dark rides” remain. Deakin lecturer in Visual Communication, Joel Zika, is on a mission to capture both the physical construction and unique immersive
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REDI makes a difference in education research
A long period of teaching visual art to secondary students in Alice Springs and Tasmania contributed to Julianne Moss’s passion for education research. It especially sparked her interest in discovering how best to meet the needs of individuals in a school community. Professor Moss went on to complete her PhD
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Deakin to lead Secondary STEM Catalysts project
Thirty Victorian schools will build STEM engagement through a Deakin program. The Victorian Minister for Education, the Hon James Merlino, has announced that Deakin University will lead a major project that aims to rejuvenate the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in Victorian secondary schools. The $700,000
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Understanding the past to change the future
A Deakin historian is using crowdfunding to raise funds for research against racism. More than century ago, a group of Aboriginal people from the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve fought the Board for the Protection of Aborigines for the right to justice and self-determination. Aboriginal people being evicted from their land was
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Dancing a Duet with Virtual Reality
Art and artificial intelligence come together in an interactive installation. Innovative art created by Deakin Motion.Lab - Centre for Creative Arts Research (DML-CCAR) premiered in May at Melbourne Knowledge Week and Geelong After Dark, putting on show Deakin researchers’ virtual reality interactive-movement mapping work. “Duet,” a conceptual art installation that
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Racial discrimination estimated to cost A$45bn to the economy
The cost of racism to our economy has been established for the first time. Racial discrimination has cost the Australian economy an estimated $44.9 billion, or 3.6 per cent of GDP, each year in the decade from 2001-11, according to new research from the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and
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Collaborating with the world – International Research Training
Facilitating international research training is key for Deakin's growing international research profile. In an interconnected world, researchers are working together more than ever to share ideas and find solutions. For universities, having networks and partnerships in place to encourage these collaborations is vital. “Considering how fast all research fields, including
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Communist archives reveal historical treasure trove
Research has revealed insights into the Soviet psyche in post-World War II Russia. In a tech-savvy, Google connected world, where most knowledge can be downloaded in an instant or captured in a three-minute video, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation’s Dr Filip Slaveski’s latest research trip to Russia and
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Institute and Strategic Research Centre Directors
Advancing Society and Culture

Prof Fethi Mansouri

Director, Alfred Deakin Institute For Citizenship And Globalisation
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Prof Julianne Moss

Director, Deakin Centre for Education Research
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Prof Yang Xiang

Director, Centre for Cyber Security Research
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Professor Kim Vincs

Director, Centre for Creative Arts Research
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