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Staff research projects

Academics from the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) are actively engaged in forming research partnerships with local industries and community organisations across the region and across an array of disciplines.

This page displays information on research projects in which SASS staff are involved. For journal articles, book abstracts, reports and conference publications please click on Personal Researcher Page links below, or search via a list of publishing staff.

List of Staff Research Projects

Social work and human services research: innovation and impact (2014-2015)

This project examines the scope, nature and quality of Australian social work and human services research, particularly with respect to its impact and contribution to the development of innovative policy and service strategies. It involves a collaboration between Griffith University, La Trobe University and Southern Cross University. The first stage of the project involves a scoping review of the quality of Australian social work and human services research in three fields of practice: child protection, disability, and ageing.
Researchers: Clare Tilbury, Christine Bigby and Mark Hughes.
SASS staff member: Mark Hughes.
Contact: mark.hughes@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Edutourism: Enhancing research and teaching in Contemporary Music practice through alignment between higher education, creative arts industries and tourism. (2014 ongoing)

This project makes a comparative study of global tourist destinations, higher education provision, research and industry partnerships to inform curricula and pedagogy in music higher education. The project focuses on careers as musicians and entertainers on cruise ships, the musical training required for these vocations, and the creation of vocational pathways from universities to cruise ship industries. The project aims to create a partnership between Southern Cross University, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises. A musical theatre show entitled Over the Southern Seas, Under the Southern Sky, designed for performance on cruise ships will be the creative work outcome.
Lead Researcher: Annie Mitchell.
Contact: annie.mitchell@scu.edu.au
SCU ePublications

The stigma of problem gamblers: causes, characteristics and consequences (2013-2015)

The aims of this project are to determine the nature, relative intensity and process of stigma creation for problem gambling in the Victorian adult community, and to analyse how this stigma is perceived and experienced by different groups in Victoria, how it may impede treatment and interventions amongst first time and relapsed help-seekers, and how it influences recovery from problem gambling. Appropriate strategies for stigma reduction are also explored.
Researchers: Nerilee Hing, Alex Russell, and Elaine Nuske.
Funding: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF).
SASS staff member: Elaine Nuske.
Contact: elaine.nuske@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Developing Best Practice Pedagogy in the Provision, Supervision and Assessment of Practice-based Music Higher Degrees (2014 ongoing)

This is a collaborative project between Southern Cross University, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and the University of Western Sydney. An Expression of Interest in this project has recently been accepted by the Office for Learning and Teaching, so a full-proposal is now being prepared. The project responds to a significant change of emphasis from traditional theses to creative work/exegesis models in music Honours and higher degrees. It aims to develop a national standards framework for provision, supervisory pedagogy and assessment of HDR in music.
Researchers: Annie Mitchell, Scott Harrison (Griffith University) and Diana Blom (University of Western Sydney).
SASS staff member: Annie Mitchell.
Contact: annie.mitchell@scu.edu.au
SCU ePublications

Electronic portfolios and personalised online learning (2013+)

This project involves the development, implementation and evaluation of the use of Pebblepad in the Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) degree. This technology has been applied for use as a vehicle for content delivery, to facilitate problem-based and reflective learning, and to showcase students' capabilities and practice frameworks as emerging social workers. The evaluation of this project focuses on the extent to which the design and implementation compares with best practice in the use of learning technologies, and the extent to which it enables students to critically reflect on their practice and articulate their practice frameworks.
Researchers: Mark Hughes, Lester Thompson, Hilary Gallagher.
Contact: mark.hughes@scu.edu.au
Mark Hughes Personal Researcher Page
Lester Thompson Personal Researcher Page
Hilary Gallagher Personal Researcher Page

Gambler Self-Help Strategies (2013-2015)

The project aims to develop a comprehensive list and descriptors of self-help strategies and to examine the uptake and effectiveness of self-help strategies used by problem gamblers. To achieve these broad aims, the research is using a mixed method approach combining both quantitative and qualitative data, and is conducted in seven stages which include an audit of help service web sites, a content analysis on online client interactions with counsellors, an online survey and in-depth interviews with problem gamblers.
Researchers: Dan Lubman, David Best, Simone Rodda, Nerilee Hing, Elaine Nuske, David Hodgins and John Cunningham.
Funding: Gambling Research Australia.
SASS staff member: Elaine Nuske.
Contact: elaine.nuske@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Settling refugees in the Northern Rivers (2012 ongoing)

Widespread community consultation revealed a number of issues people who work with refugees settling in the Northern Rivers felt would benefit from research. Key informants identified an evaluation of Sanctuary Northern Rivers' (SNR) process for settling refugees as a priority. Researchers collaborate with a Settler (refugee) Reference Group (SRG) and a Community Reference Group to inform the research process. Much work to date has focussed on developing trusting and sustainable relationships, part of which involved working in partnership with Rous Water and the Northern Rivers Settlement Services in conducting an educational field trip with settlers in 2013. Research is currently focusing on completing the SNR evaluation. It is expected to continue as consultations with settlers reveal further areas in which researchers and community members can collaborate regarding issues of community development and integration.
Researchers: Angela Coco (Team Leader), Bradley Shipway and Robert Lingard
SASS staff member: Angela Coco.
Contact: angela.coco@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Landed Histories (2012-ongoing)

Landed Histories is a collaboration between Southern Cross University researchers and food producers in the Northern Rivers. It aims to develop a series of case studies of land histories in the region, to explore diverse local responses to the changing economic, social, cultural and ecological dimensions of food production. The aim of this work has been to develop Landed Histories as a methodological approach, which we offer to other researchers, community groups, and individuals beyond the Northern Rivers as a unique lens to consider both the past and the future of agriculture and land-use more generally.
SASS lead investigator: Adele Wessell
Contact: adele.wessell@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Assessment in Music (AiM) (2013 ongoing)

Assessment in Music (AiM) is a project undertaken by the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, University of Newcastle and the University of Tasmania. The project, funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching, aims to develop and trial consensus moderation strategies that address the alignment between learning and assessment, and the Australian National Creative and Performing Arts Threshold Learning Outcome statements in tertiary music programs. In July 2013 a national symposium was held at Queensland Conservatorium of Music where Dr Annie Mitchell presented the paper New Wine in Old Bottles: Aligning curricula, pedagogy and assessment through creative practice in classical and contemporary music. This symposium has resulted in the book Assessment in Music: Principles and Practices, which is currently in print. New Wine in Old Bottles forms one chapter.
Contributing researcher and author: Annie Mitchell.
Contact: annie.mitchell@scu.edu.au
SCU ePublications

Radical Theatre Across the World (2014)

Radical or working-class theatre groups were crucial in the development of long-lasting left-wing cultural activist impulses in many industrially developed nations, including UK, Australia and the USA, as well as other nations including India and South Africa. This major research project aims to understand the ways in which people organised, and were organised through, their leisure lives within two radical theatre groups, and to show how these were connected to and contested as part of wider transformations in society.
Researcher: Lisa Milner.
Contact: lisa.milner@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values (2008-2014)

This collaborative research project offers a critical intervention into the continuing effects of colonization in Australia and the structures it brought, which still inform and dominate its public culture. Through a careful analysis of three disparate but significant moments in Australian history, the researchers investigate the way the British Enlightenment continues to dominate contemporary Australian thinking and values. Employing the lens of Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy, the researchers argue for an Australian public culture that is profoundly conscious of its assumptions, history and limitations.
Researchers: Baden Offord, Erika Kerruish, Rob Garbutt, Kirsten Pavlovic and Adele Wessell.
SASS Researchers: Baden Offord, Erika Kerruish, Rob Garbutt and Adele Wessell.
Contact: baden.offord@scu.edu.au
Baden Offord Personal Researcher Page
Erika Kerruish Personal Researcher Page
Rob Garbutt Personal Researcher Page
Adele Wessell Personal Researcher Page

Health and wellbeing of LGBTI seniors in NSW (2013-2014)

The aim of this project is to examine the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) seniors in New South Wales to inform the development of healthy ageing programs designed to meet their needs. The project is carried out in collaboration with Evergreen Life Care and the Outrageous Ageing Project. The project involves a survey of approximately 300 LGBTI people aged 50 and over, which examines health-related quality of life, mental health, social support, current service use, and interests in participation in health promotion activities.
Researchers: Mark Hughes and Sujay Kentlyn.
SASS staff member: Mark Hughes.
Funding: Evergreen Life Care, SASS Internal Research Grant.
Contact: mark.hughes@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Freda Brown (2014)

One of Lisa Milner's current major projects is the research and writing of a biography of Freda Brown, (1919-2009), Australian feminist, communist, activist. Freda was a long-time member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia, leader of the Union of Australian Women and, most significantly, President of the Women's International Democratic Federation for 30 years. Her work in promoting peace and women's issues has, up to now, been overlooked.
Researcher: Lisa Milner.
Contact: lisa.milner@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Cockatoo Island, Sydney (2014)

A labour history project investigating the work and organisation of the unionised employees of Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour over its use as a dockyard from 1850 to 1992. SASS researcher Lisa Milner is a member of the global research group 'In the Same Boat? Shipbuilding and ship repair workers: a global labour history (1950-2010)'
Researcher: Lisa Milner.
Contact: lisa.milner@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Union-made Films (2014)

This project seeks to understand the motivations for, and effects of, films made by Australian trade unions over the past seventy years, and focuses on the work of the Maritime Union of Australia and the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association in presenting films on cinema screens, televisions and the internet that present alternate views of work and unionism to that of mainstream media.
Researcher: Lisa Milner.
Contact: lisa.milner@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Culture change in residential aged care (2013-2014)

This project examines the implementation of the Eden Alternative, a culture change process in residential aged care, that aims to reduce loneliness, helplessness and boredom of residents. The research is being conducted in collaboration with Wesley Mission Brisbane and involves focus groups with senior and junior managers in 13 residential care communities in south east Queensland. These group interviews examine managers' understanding of and strategies for implementing the change process.
Researchers: Mark Hughes, Sonya Brownie and Judy Wollin.
SASS staff member: Mark Hughes
Funding: Wesley Mission Brisbane, SCU Collaborative Research Grant.
Contact: mark.hughes@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Large Group Performance Teaching (2013 ongoing)

This project, based at the University of Western Sydney, has contributing researchers from other tertiary music institutions. The project responds to current pressures in music performance education, particularly where large group teaching is replacing individual tuition. The project aims to identify pedagogical opportunities and challenges arising from teaching practical music through group classes, requirements of studio specialisations, diverse student learning styles, assessment, and professional development for teachers. The book entitled Large Group Performance Teaching is due for publication in 2015. Dr. Annie Mitchell is contributing two chapters; Group Teaching in Music Performance and Teaching and Learning Strategies and Professional Development for Group Performance Teaching.
Contributing researcher and author: Annie Mitchell.
Contact: annie.mitchell@scu.edu.au
SCU ePublications

The Musical History of Paronella Park (2012-2014)

This research explores the musical history of Paronella Park, a Spanish-style resort, castle, theatre and botanical gardens built by Catalan migrants Jose and Margarita, near Innisfail in the early 1930s. Paronella Park became the musical and cultural hub of this area of North Queensland for several decades. The project investigates the cultural and musical entertainment offered at Paronella Park from 1930s to 1990s, identifies the musicians who played at Paronella Park during this time and their repertoire, and evaluates the influence of Paronella Park upon the local community. Paronella Park inspired several creative works, including the musical The Impossible Dream; written and performed in 2010 to commemorate the Park's 75th anniversary. Research about the musical history of Paronella Park has been presented by Dr. Annie Mitchell to music and tourism conferences at the University of Leeds, Liverpool and James Cook University. Publications include Paronella Park: The Dream Continues, Paronella Park: Music, Migration and the Tropical Exotic, and Paronella Park: A Musical History of the Impossible Dream.
Lead investigator: Annie Mitchell.
Contact: annie.mitchell@scu.edu.au
SCU ePublications

The Home Project (2011-2013)

The Home Project is a three-year collaborative research project, established through a partnership between researchers in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, and Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA). The Home Project's principal objective is to raise awareness of homelessness in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, through extensive and ongoing creative explorations and community engagement activities.
SASS lead investigator: Grayson Cooke.
Contact: grayson.cooke@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

A comparative study of men and women gamblers in Victoria: produce preferences, styles of play and risk and protective factors (2011-2013)

The aims of this project are to analyse the similarities and differences between male and female gamblers in Victoria in terms of gambling preferences, activities and styles of play; gambling motivations and attitudes; social factors; physical and mental health; family and early gambling influences; and help-seeking behaviour including risk factors associated with problem and at-risk gambling and protective factors associated with non-problem gambling.
Researchers: Nerilee Hing, Barry Tolchard and Elaine Nuske.
Funding: Victorian Government's Grants for Gambling Research.
SASS staff member: Elaine Nuske.
Contact: elaine.nuske@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page

Effectiveness of self-exclusion programs in Queensland (2011-2013)

This project assessed the effectiveness of Queensland gambling exclusion programs in terms of their effectiveness in Queensland as a mechanism to minimise gambling-related harm; determined whether these effects are sustained over time; and whether exclusion was more effective when combined with counselling and support. In addition the project examined what gambling exclusion.
Researchers: Nerilee Hing, Barry Tolchard and Elaine Nuske.
Funding: Queensland Responsible Gambling Research grants program.
SASS staff member: Elaine Nuske.
Contact: elaine.nuske@scu.edu.au
Personal Researcher Page