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Professor Erin Wilson



Professor Erin Wilson is a leading researcher and thinker in the field of participatory social change. She has a track record in the areas of disability and inclusion and, prior to this, Indigenous community management and development, with a focus on jobs-focused social enterprise for young people and juvenile offenders.

Professor Wilson's research career has focused on research that ‘makes a difference’ through participation of those most affected and high utility of the research products. Working collaboratively with key stakeholders, she has sought to influence policy and practice via strongly embedded projects that directly interface with stakeholder activities and offer immediate translation opportunities into policy and practice. Methods to influence change have included policy briefs, guides to practice, and short films, as well as academic publications.

Her work is under-pinned by the design of inclusive and participatory research and evaluation methods that enable a full diversity of participation, including children and adults from diverse cohorts including those with diverse disabilities. A key methodological focus has been on developing methods to value lived experience and enable self-report of a wide range of cohorts, utilising innovative methods such as image assisted data collection. Her work in this arena has included research in Australia, PNG and Vanuatu. This work with colleagues (at Deakin University, Save the Children and Disabled Persons Organisations) received the international Zero Project Award from the Essl Foundation, Vienna.

A major and long-standing area of work has been the development of methods of outcomes measurement, particularly relating to outcomes of consumers using diverse community services, as well as outcomes for communities in relation to community capacity building initiatives. Between 2019-2025, she has led the Uniting Vic. Tas-Swinburne Research Collaboration focusing on designing large scale measurement of service user outcomes of community services. This collaboration has produced the Community Services Outcomes Tree (, which is widely used within Australia and internationally. She also works with other organisations in the development of outcomes measurement approaches. Professor Wilson has advised government in areas such as outcomes measurement of social services (W.A.; Victoria; Commonwealth), including the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building area of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Recent research activities have focused on evaluations of programs aiming to increase employment of people with disability; the experience of choice among people with psychosocial disability accessing the NDIS; identifying priorities for building the capacity of mainstream and community services to include people with disabilities; and the human rights priorities of children with disabilities. Professor Wilson also works to support community services and social change initiatives through facilitating theory of change thinking and the development of interventions based on clearly analysed problems and causal pathways. Professor Wilson has a deep and lengthy experience in relation to the employment of people with disability. Conducting more than twelve research projects in this arena in the past two years, she has led commentary on relevant social policy and legislation and used evidence to influence change in both. 

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Also published as: Wilson, Erin; Wilson, E.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2024: Evaluation of the Disability Employment Catalyst *; ACHIEVE FOUNDATION LIMITED FUND SCHEME
  • 2024: Growing Intellectual Disability Employment in NSW Government *; Department of Communities and Justice (NSW)
  • 2024: Social Impact Toolkit *; City of Moonee Valley
  • 2023: Designing the logic for a comprehensive employment services/supports approach in Yooralla *; Yooralla Fund Scheme
  • 2023: Employment Connections Project Evaluation *; Down Syndrome Australia Fund Scheme
  • 2023: Evaluation of Employing 100 *; Australian Disability Network Fund Scheme
  • 2023: Ganbina -  Evaluation Shepparton Program 2019-2022 *; GANBINA FUND SCHEME
  • 2023: Women, Career and Leadership program evaluation *; City of Moonee Valley
  • 2022: ADE and employment reform project *; Inclusion Australia
  • 2022: AICD Disability Leadership Program *; Australian Institute for Company Directors Fund scheme
  • 2022: Evaluation and advice for the includeAblity project *; Australian Human Rights Commission Fund Scheme
  • 2022: Evaluation of Health Ambassador Model *; Down Syndrome Australia Fund Scheme
  • 2021: A Long-Term Approach to Improving Home Energy Support Programs for Households Facing Vulnerability *; Energy Consumers Australia
  • 2021: ADEs as a pathway to open employment for young people with disability. Implementation of the Work Integrated Social Enterprise (WISE) model *; Department of Social Services
  • 2021: ANALYSIS OF TICKET TO WORK DATA – MULTI YEAR DATA COLLATION *; National Disability Services Ltd
  • 2021: Collaborative data analytics exploring family safety outcomes *; Department of Health and Human Services Fund Scheme
  • 2021: National Cross-Sector Scan and Analysis of Employment *; Australian Government - Comcare
  • 2021: WISE Workplace Inclusion Model for Well-being *; Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund (LMCF)
  • 2020: Analysis of CareRing data and assistance with report production *; Kildonan Uniting Care
  • 2020: Disability Leadership in Indonesia *; La Trobe University (for Contracts)
  • 2020: Evaluation of the Ticket to Work program *; National Disability Services Ltd
  • 2020: Evaluation of the Victorian Employer Enablement Project (VEEP) *; Australian Disability Network Fund Scheme
  • 2020: Inclusion Australia E1 Evidence Pieces *; Inclusion Australia
  • 2020: Independence and disability: maximising impact and NDIS outcomes for disability service users - PhD *; Independence Australia_PT
  • 2019: Definitions of choice in policy and lived experience of people with psychosocial disability in the NDIA *; Mind
  • 2019: Identifying the priorities of inclusion and mainstream capacity building for people with a spinal cord injury to inform direct action to improve inclusion *; Spinal Life
  • 2019: Theory of Change Workshop *; Valley Financial Services
  • 2018: The Swinburne Social Startup Studio *; Equity Trustees
  • 2017: Collaborative Research Agreement (incl Chair and PhDs) *; Kildonan Uniting Care

* Chief Investigator

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