Social and public values

Addressing the contemporary needs of diverse communities and individuals.

The Social and public values program focuses on improving wellbeing, tackling social issues, and addressing the contemporary needs of diverse communities and individuals. The emphasis is on the social values of equality, dignity, fairness and egalitarianism.

Led by Associate Professor Kay Cook and Dr Sam Wilson, the program partners with government, industry and NGOs to identify and address inequities and develop research-based solutions to social justice issues.

Our interdisciplinary researchers assist partners to:

  • understand client needs and outcomes to inform better service and system design
  • develop, implement and evaluate technological solutions to social problems
  • collaboratively design programs and services to achieve social and cultural change.


Current projects

Family life – Life without barriers: Doing better for vulnerable young parents and their babies in the digital age

Young mothers with a history of family difficulties, growing up in care and with multiple placement moves may find themselves without family or secure supports. They and their young children may be at risk of repeating history unless they receive vital support.

As social services are stretched to meet all needs, this project aims to explore what new strategies would appeal to these young parents whose lived experience makes them wary of the system, and how technology might allow resources to be applied more effectively.

Family Life, funded by the Victorian Government, is partnering with the Social Innovation Research Institute in a multi-disciplinary approach to generating solutions which embrace the context of the young parents lives, and empower them towards doing better so their children to grow up safe and well-supported by the community. Family Life’s partner, Life Without Barriers, serves vulnerable young people and parents throughout Australia and will work with Family Life to scale the project results for national impact.

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