Community Fellows Program

Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Community Fellows Program aims to meet the research needs of community organisations to conduct small research-related projects in collaboration with university-based researchers.

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Community Fellows Program aims to meet the research needs of community organisations to conduct small research-related projects in collaboration with university-based researchers.

Through the Community Fellows Program, we aim to support research that will lead to positive outcomes such as improved service delivery, the development of new services, improved ability to advocate effectively or the improved capacity to undertake future research projects.

Community Fellows are able to spend time at the University of Melbourne to develop research skills. Projects should be relevant to the work of community-based organisations and aim to promote social equity. Projects could involve conducting a scoping report, literature review, data analysis or a small research project.

The Community Fellows Program gives our small organisation an opportunity to do much-needed original research in our specialised field that would not have been otherwise possible. It gives me the space, time and resources to stop, think and investigate. Invaluable! 2017 Community Fellow

The initiative is targeted at small to medium-sized community-based organisations (up to 200 employees) that currently have very limited capacity to conduct research. Projects should be small, tightly focused and address an issue of relevance to the organisation. Key objectives for the Community Fellows Program are to meet community-based needs for research and to foster community–academic collaborations.

Each Community Fellow is assigned an Academic Mentor with relevant expertise. The Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Academic Mentor will work with the Fellow to design a feasible project and the supervisor will meet with the fellow regularly over the course of the project. Additional support will also be provided by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute to assist the Community Fellows while they conduct and write up their research.

During their placement, Community Fellows will have opportunities to participate in a range of academic and professional development activities. Community Fellows will also be provided with desk space at the University, a computer to work on, a temporary email address and access to library and internet facilities.

Grants of up to $5000 are available to the community-based organisations to compensate them for the time that Community Fellows spend working at the University. A Collaboration Agreement will be created specifying project details, levels of financial support and expected outcomes.

The Institute formally evaluated the pilot program in 2016 – read the evaluation report here.

Commenced in 2018

Saba Alemayoh, Bigoa Chuol and Piriye Altraide, AfroHub
Academic Mentors: Dr Ashley Barnwell and Dr Karen Block
Exploring traditional gender norms within Nuer, Tigrian and Nigerian communities living in Melbourne

Tessa Hens, Bayley House
Academic Mentor: Dr Kim Dunphy
Developing a participant self-assessment tool for people with an intellectual disability
Supported by Melbourne Disability Institute

Hayley Black, Carringbush Adult Education
Academic Mentor: Dr Julie Choi
Accessing online government services: digital literacy teaching strategies 

Simon Andersson, Deaf Victoria
Academic Mentor:  Dr Piers Gooding
Determining the needs of the deaf community for peer advocacy
Supported by Melbourne Disability Institute

Kelly Whitworth, Homeless Persons Union Victoria
Academic Mentor: ProfessorCarolyn Whitzman
Improving institutional responses to housing and homelessness activism

Freya Dinshaw, Human Rights Law Centre
Academic Mentor: Professor Susan Kneebone
Modern-day slavery in Australia

Mike Collins, Moreland City Council
Academic Mentor: Professor Carolyn Whitzman
Improving institutional responses to housing and homelessness activism (Public Policy Fellowship)

Kate Teggelove, PaKT4change
Academic Mentor: Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran
Benefits and challenges in delivering rhythm based programs for children
Linked with the Exploring the Value of Rhythm-based Support Research Project

Greg Hordacre, Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions
Academic Mentor: Dr Andrea Cook
Evaluating community actions taken by the residents for Victoria Street drug solutions
Linked with the Narrating Neighbourhood Research Project

Indigo Daya, Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council
Academic Mentor: Associate Professor Bridget Hamilton
Equitable consumer advocacy in mental health

Minh Nguyen, Vietnamese Community in Australia - Victorian Chapter 
Academic Mentor: Dr Rimi Khan
Learning how to support the children of Vietnamese immigrants to thrive in Australia

Dalal Smiley, Wellsprings for Women
Academic Mentor: Dr Mohajer Hameed
Engaging men in gender equity and the prevention of violence against women

Tess Matthews, WEstjustice (Western Community Legal Centre)
Academic Mentor:  Professor Jeannie Paterson
Creating Clearer Contracts:  Consumer Law and New Australian Residents

Emma Wagg, Women's Health Goulburn North East
Academic Mentor: Associate Professor Jane Tomnay
Understanding stigma and social barriers to testing and treatment for STDs

Sarah Bright, Young Workers Centre
Academic Mentor: Professor Joo-Cheong Tham
Wage theft and young workers

Commenced in 2017

Jessica Tran, 100 Story Building
Development of participatory evaluation toolkit  
Academic Mentor: Professor Lisa Gibbs

André Dao and Michael Green, Behind the Wire
Behind the Wire: A case study of collaborative activism
Academic Mentors: Associate Professor Sara Wills and Dr Jordy Silverstein

Emmanuel Musoni, Great Lakes Association for Peace and Development
Identifying major issues that affect the settlement and integration of migrants from the Great Lakes Region of Africa to Australia
Academic Mentors: Dr Olivia Dun and Dr Karen Block

Anna Dollard, Kids Own Publishing
South Sudanese Storytelling: Creative expression, cultural and intergenerational understandings
Academic Mentor: Dr Mary Tomsic

Belinda Briggs, Shepparton Art Museum
Increasing the representation of Yorta Yorta and Southeast Indigenous art in the Shepparton Art Gallery 
Academic Mentor: Genevieve Grieves

Commenced in 2017

Nick Cooper, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Measuring #RightTrack digital engagement and uptake
Academic Mentor: Colette Einfeld

Denise Cauchi, Diaspora Action Australia
Understanding how South Sudanese and Sri Lankan communities in Australia contribute to peace-building in their countries of origin through community harmony and reconciliation initiatives
Academic Mentor: Associate Professor Jennifer Balint

Julian McDonald, Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre
Analysing police complaints data from community legal centres
Academic Mentor: Dr Diana Johns

Helen Greig, Oakwood School: Caulfield Park Community Campus
Equipping young men to avoid becoming perpetrators of family violence
Academic Mentors: Professor Helen Cahill and Associate Professor Kylie Smith
Supported by Melbourne research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVe)

Matt Addison, Not To Violence Incorporating Men's Referral Service
Better Lives: Applying Rehabilitative Principles to Family Violence Perpetrator Interventions
Academic Mentor: Professor Kelsey Hegarty
Supported by Melbourne research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVe)

Jenny Chapman, Royal Women's Hospital
Older women’s experience of family violence      
Academic Mentor: Professor Kelsey Hegarty
Supported by Melbourne research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVE)

Dominic Golding, RISE
Overcoming impairment: disabled refugees and their perceptions of accessing disability support
Academic Mentors: Dr Cathy Vaughan and Dr Karen Block

Katrina Cornwell, Women's Circus
Evaluating the effectiveness of Women’s Circus’ programs
Academic Mentor: Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran

Commenced in 2016

Bec Harris, Carlton Primary School
A Trauma Informed Approach to Education Organisation
Academic Mentor: Greg Donoghue

Catherine Hemingway, Western Community Legal Centre
Final Project Report on Research into Issues of Migrant Employment
Academic Mentor: Professor Joo-Cheong Tham

Shawn Wilkey, Carlton Football Community Fund
Skills For Life Community Program Review
Academic Mentor: Dr Karen Block

Kamarra Bell-Wykes, ILBIJERRI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company
Performing Arts Programs in Juvenile Justice in Victoria 2005–2015: Mapping Policy, Research and Programs 
Academic Mentor: Dr Sophie Rudolph

Susan Timmins, Women’s Health West
Identifying Employment Barriers for Tertiary-educated Muslim Australian Women
Academic Mentor: Dr Richard Williams

The most recent fellowships round closed on Friday 15 June 2018.

If you have any questions about the Community Fellows Program or the application process please contact:

Charlene Edwards
+61 (3) 9035 4738

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