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Our partners

Working with us to solve complex social problems.

We apply our total focus to the challenges experienced by our partners, bringing curated teams of enthusiastic topic experts and a refreshingly different approach.

  • Australian Red Cross
  • City of Boroondara
  • Family Life community services
  • Glen Eira council
  • Justice Connect
  • Knox City Council
  • Life Without Barriers social purpose organisation
  • The Parenting Research Centre
  • Telstra
  • Yarriambiack Shire Council
  • Yooralla Disability Services


Successful partnered projects

External partner: Family Life and Life Without Barriers.
Doing better for vulnerable young parents and their children: an exploration of how the use of technology could catalyse system transformation.

This project collaborated with service users and non-users, front-line staff and organisational managers to co-design a service interface that assists vulnerable young parents to access and benefit from parenting resources and develop a prototype of service learning for ongoing service transformation.


External partner: Parenting Research Centre.
Digital Data/Survey management system for continuous quality improvement.

The developed tool provided PRC and partner organisations the means to measure the impact of social and community programs in real-time and in remote areas. Through this platform, PRC and partner organisations will collect continuous real time information about the implementation and impact of programs from multiple stakeholders including the program administrators and those receiving support. 


External partner: Commonwealth Secretariat
Measuring Collective Impact of Sport Policy on the Sustainable Development Goals

An interdisciplinary team from sport, sustainability, development and international relations worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat to map the current alignment of national sport policy to the SDGs to develop an online interactive dashboard to provide timely information to national partners on policy coherence with the SDGs and benchmarking across nations.


External partner: SMART Rural Health Network
Best Practice Toolkit for Dealing with Occupational Violence and Aggression in Rural Health Services (The Code Grey Project)

This project developed guidelines for rural services to preserve safety, using literature/policy scoping, interviews and community co-design and developed an online toolkit to improve directly rural community safety.


External partner: Dept of Premier and Cabinet (Victorian Government)
Rethinking Public Service Delivery: Social Networks and Organisational Change in Government

This project measured informal employee social networks before a restructure by the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, co-designed a plan for change, and then measured the restructure impact via another network assessment. 


External partner: Glen Eira City Council.
Glen Eira Social Data Analytics Dashboard

The City of Glen Eira and Swinburne Social Data Analytics (SoDA) Lab collaborated to integrate socio-economic, urban and social media data to identify the social resilience of various groups and communities. This provided a blueprint for identifying community priorities and tailoring social services based on community needs.


External partners: Telstra, Knox City Council, Boroondara City Council.
News Savvy Seniors: Enhancing social inclusion through digital stories and social media participation.

This project developed and evaluated a community-based intervention addressing the difficulties in sustaining digital skills development and social inclusion among older Australians. Partnering with Telstra and two local Melbourne Councils, the project team developed and evaluated a workshop series and skills development model involving seniors in digital storytelling and social media.


External partner: Justice Connect.
Co-designing social enterprise legal models in Australia: a user-centred approach.

The project collaborated with Justice Connect – the largest pro-bono legal service for NFPs – and end-users to co-design contextually-appropriate models for Australian social enterprises. It teamed NFP lawyers with academics in law, design, and social innovation to mobilise end-user knowledge in public policy design.


External partner: Yooralla.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement in Disability Services.

Under the guidance of the First Peoples Disability Network, this Indigenous-led multidisciplinary team worked to gain a better understanding of the barriers to accessing disability services experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


External partner: Australian Red Cross.
Humanitarian Action Across Australia.

In partnership with Swinburne Social Innovation Research Institute, this project tackled four key areas to better understand and build humanitarian action in Australia.


Current collaborations and projects

External partner: Independence Australia
Independence and disability: maximising impact and NDIS outcomes for disability service users

This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Swinburne University and Independence Australia, a major disability service provider, focusing on innovative methods for developing and communicating outcomes measures in community services. This focus reflects priorities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and draws together social impact and design approaches within Swinburne. This project aims to take an innovative co-production design approach to engage service users in outcomes measurement and the communication of this to decision makers.


Team members: Rosemary Fisher, Andrew Rixon, Miles Terziovski, Glen Bates, Nina Santoro and Kristina Turner
External partners: Australian Council of Deans of Education and the Ruffin Falkiner Foundation
Who would be a teacher? Raising the status of teachers using digitally mediated social innovation

This project will crowd-source teacher education students to design social innovations that address the perceptions of teaching as a low-status career choice.  Utilising a digital platform (Crowdicity) and collaborating with the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE), the project team will develop and evaluate problem and solution “ideas jams”.  The project aims to 1) identify social innovations that could re-brand teaching with: potential students who may choose it as a career (particularly important for prospective teachers of STEM); those most likely to influence their decisions; and the wider community; 2) disseminate for diffusion or commercialisation social innovations that may emerge from the Ideas Jams; and 3) develop a multi-year ARC (Linkage) project building from this pilot and collaborating with the ACDE as the potential industry partner. 


Team members: Ben Bullock, Hilary Davis, Abdullah Al Mahmud, Laura Tirlea, Jeff Pfeifer
External partner: Racing Victoria 
Hitting the Hay: Developing a sleep hygiene app for rural horse racing industry employees

Healthy sleep habits are important for mental wellbeing in general, but especially so for people working at non-optimal times of the day. The typical working day for many employees in the horse racing industry begins pre-dawn so good sleep habits are essential for day-to-day functioning and mental wellbeing. Supported by the Social Innovation Research Institute, we aim to produce, deploy and evaluate a web-based smartphone app that supports good sleep hygiene practices in this group of employees. The interdisciplinary group consists of members of the Centres for Mental Health, Social Impact, and Design Innovation, as well as a statistician and a psychologist.


Team members: Graham Dwyer and Max Schleser
External partner: Country Fire Authority Victoria
Well-being in extreme environments: commemorating and remembering in Victorian emergency management organisations

Our project partners with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to develop inclusive forms of commemorating major fire events. The research, which aligns with the Social Innovation Institute, will compare and contrast how a past and present memorial site assist individuals to make sense of and learn from extreme events such as Ash Wednesday 1983 and Black Saturday 2009. It will also allow us to explore how remembering the past influences organisational future planning. 


We’d love to talk with you about collaborating on interesting workshops and forming new partnerships.

Wrestling with a complex social problem? 

Contact us to chat about how a multi-skilled Swinburne team can work with you to make the right changes and find answers.

Contact the Social Innovation Research Institute

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, then get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions.

Call +61 (03) 9214 8180