Co-located with the School of Education, the Centre's research is undertaken by a skilled team from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds (sociology, psychology, social policy, economics, education, law, health, business, environmental science). Our research covers a wide range of issues that impact on children and young people's rights and wellbeing (such as disability, family law, loss and grief, teacher learning, out of home care, consumerism, technology, relationships, belonging and connection, abuse and neglect, childhood cultures, play, transition to school, climate change and environment). These and other projects tend to cluster broadly around one or more of the following themes:
- Rights and citizenship
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Learning and education
These themes are not mutually exclusive with most of our projects located across multiple interests (e.g. our research in family law intersects with both 'rights and citizenship' as well as 'health and wellbeing').
Respecting the human dignity of children and young people is central to our work. This calls for constant attention to ethics, not only in regard to the research we conduct but also through our overall engagement with children and young people and with the different contexts in which they live their lives.
While our research focuses on a range of pragmatic 'problems' and theoretical interests we place a particular emphasis on the potential of interdisciplinary knowledge in gaining a better understanding of childhood and of children's lives. In particular, much of our work draws on childhood studies with its ontological view of children as full human beings worthy of civil, political, social, economic and cultural recognition. Children are viewed as persons with dignity who are capable of exercising their agency and voice in ways that can benefit their own and others' lives. They do best at this when in respectful relationships with supportive, caring adults and peers.
We are very proud of the distinctive contribution we make regionally, nationally and internationally in advancing the rights, wellbeing and participation of children and young people.
We also strive to continue to serve our regional community well through collaborative partnerships with government, non-government and community agencies to deliver research and program evaluation that has high relevance and impact.