Faculty of Health, Arts and Design

News and reports

Current projects and partnerships

Technology x Society Forum

The Technology x Society Forum is a collaboration between Swinburne and La Trobe universities.

Convened by Associate Professor Diane Sivasubramaniam, Associate Professor Sam Wilson (Swinburne) and Professor Lawrie Zion (La Trobe), the forum provides a space for interdisciplinary engagement between Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and Health, Arts and Social Science (HASS) academics with an interest in the design, development, and application of public interest technology.

If you believe your work would benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration, register your details with us to help guide future Technology x Society Forum events.

Trust Alliance

The Trust Alliance is a collaboration of humanitarian organisations, universities and technology companies built on humanitarian foundations, involving a broad network of for-purpose organisations and initiatives. Its mission is to lead the emergence of a useful and ethical digital identity ecosystem, working towards the following goals:

  • equal access to digital identity that is universally recognised and global recognition
  • adoption of ethical digital identity with the regulatory and technology infrastructure in place to enable it.

Public trust in genomics

Dr Brad Elphinstone and Mr Jarrod Walshe are investigating trust in biobanks, which can influence the willingness of people to donate samples of biological tissue and fluids to be used in genomic research.

The project builds on previous work at Swinburne by Professor Christine Critchley. This research established that Australians are more trusting of biobanks that are publicly funded, and where research is conducted by or in partnership with Australian universities. Australians are less trusting of biobanks and genomic research that are privately funded and/or involve companies or researchers based overseas.

This project is being completed in collaboration with Professor Diane Nicol (University of Tasmania, Centre for Law and Genetics) and Associate Professor Mark Taylor (University of Melbourne, Melbourne Law School).

Note: This project is funded by a Medical Research Future Fund grant awarded to Professor Christine Critchley, who passed away in 2020.

Australian Leadership Index

The Australian Leadership Index (ALI) is Australia's longest-running study of leadership for the common good. Each quarter, ALI measures and tracks public perceptions and expectations of leadership for the greater good in the government, public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. It also tracks the drivers of perceptions of leadership for the common good in these sectors.

All results are freely available via the ALI dashboard and all reports are freely available via Swinburne’s Analysis & Policy Observatory.


Completed projects and partnerships

Everyday humanitarianism during the 2019/2020 bushfire crisis

In response to the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis, Australians engaged in an astounding level of charitable giving and volunteering to help communities and wildlife affected by the devastating fires.

Led by Associate Professor Sam Wilson and Associate Professor Diane Sivasubramaniam, this innovative rapid scoping project identified, described, and mapped the everyday humanitarianism enacted by individuals and community groups in response to the bushfire crisis. It was cited by the Australian Red Cross in their submission to the Bushfire Royal Commission.

Efficiently doing good

People undertake many forms of voluntary humanitarian behaviour.

We know a good deal about the nature and drivers of traditional forms of voluntary humanitarian behaviour (e.g., blood donation, charitable giving). But we know much less about new and emerging forms of voluntary humanitarian behaviour (e.g., participating in protests, starting a community action group).

In partnership with the Australian Red Cross, this project sought to determine the predictors of different types of contemporary, voluntary humanitarian behaviour. Associate Professor Sam Wilson and Associate Professor Diane Sivasubramaniam led a team to create the foundation of a new online tool to quickly and efficiently match people to the types of humanitarian volunteering opportunities for which they are best suited (e.g., on the basis of their personality, values, interests, resources).

Code Grey

In collaboration with the SMART Rural Health Network, Dr Sharon Grant and Associate Professor Diane Sivasubramaniam led this Social Innovation Research Institute-aligned project.

A Code Grey is “an organisation-level response to actual or potential violent, aggressive, abusive or threatening behaviour, exhibited by patients or visitors” (Victorian Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 2017).

The Code Grey Project developed a methodology for rural-proofing DHHS Code Grey (and other health) guidelines through community co-design of responses to OVA by rural health services and their communities. Final recommendations of the Code Grey project are currently being developed further through an ongoing PhD project (co-funded by Rural Northwest Health) to apply social psychological theory, coupled with a community co-design approach, to develop effective anti-violence campaigns in rural health services.


News and events

15 June 2021 Technology x Society Forum: Public Interest Technology
17 August 2020 Swinburne face masks designed to encourage social connection
11 May 2020 Swinburne researchers to examine public trust in genomics in health care
31 October 2019 Society 4.0 Research Symposium