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Dr Hilary Davis

Senior Research Fellow


Dr. Hilary Davis is Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Social Impact and stream leader for Place-based economies and approaches.  A social scientist with an HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) background, she has a specific interest in the role of technologies in solving wicked social problems. Hilary has a significant track-record of research on the social aspects of digital health to improve health experiences and health services, and skills in developing digital health interventions. She has a strong focus on research for social impact, particularly for people from diverse backgrounds. Hilary Davis co-edited a special issue on Digital Participation for Marginalised and Diverse Communities in the Journal of Community Informatics.

Hilary Davis co-leads a national program evaluation of ELLA - the Early Learning Language Apps Program currently trialled in over 300 primary schools across Australia. She evaluates Community Mental Health Australia's ACDC - Assisting Communities with Direct Connection, door-knocking program, which seeks to support community members access mental health services in 22 communities, nationwide. She co-led the COVID-19 HRAR Evaluation and Program Development, with Connect Health, Star Health, Peninsula Health, Merri Health and Bendigo Community Health Services.

Hilary Davis has led mental health evaluations seeking to provide rural preventive mental health services. These include the Rural Outreach Workers (ROW) project funded by a Primary Care Partnership, and HALT (Help and Assistance Local Tradies) funded by Department of Health.  She co-leads a 2019 ARC discovery project ‘Optimising the roles of online communities in rural resilience’.  She led ‘Yarriambiack Shire Tales’ about the potential of online digital stories for showcasing rural Victorian places to attract tourists to regional Victoria. With colleagues, she has used digital story-making for connecting older people with their communities (60+ Online project), and as a mechanism for understanding and addressing elder abuse within diverse community groups (The Free from Violence Research Project). She led PRISE – developing an app. for parenting research programs.

Hilary Davis is a member of SMART - Small Rural Health Services Team - a rural community research and practice network that leveraged funding opportunities for small regional and rural health services. Research includes the VerilyConnect project (funded by the Commonwealth Government Dept. of Health) and Best Practice Project which showcases rural health innovation via digital stories shared online. She has formed relationships and conducts research with networks of stakeholders at rural communities including community members, community leaders and CEOs of rural health organisations.

Hilary is a member of the Australian Evaluation Society (AES) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). 
Hilary is program committee member and designated reviewer for several international conferences. You can contact Hilary on 

Research interests

Education; Social Impact, Digital Innovation, Digital Health and Wellbeing, Rural Mental Health, Food-Technology

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Approaches to localised, participatory economic development: sustainable and equitable economic transformation in Tasmania

Natural disasters, resilience under fire?: A Design framework towards effective bushfire combat in rural communities.:

Persuasive Technology Innovation to Solve Children's Digital Addiction in Developing Countries

Fields of Research

  • Health Services And Systems - 420300
  • Public Health - 420600
  • Information Systems - 460900

Teaching areas

Social impact


Also published as: Davis, Hilary; Davis, H.; Davis, H. J.; Davis, Hilary J.; Davis, Hillary; Davis, Hillary J.
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

  • 2023: Ganbina - Evaluation Shepparton Program 2019-2022 *; GANBINA FUND SCHEME
  • 2023: Women, Career and Leadership program evaluation *; City of Moonee Valley
  • 2021: COVID-19 HRAR Evaluation and Program Development *; Connect Health and Community Fund Scheme
  • 2020: Evaluation of Assisting Communities through Direct Connection Initiative (ACDC Program) *; University of Western Australia
  • 2020: Optimising the roles of online communities in rural resilience *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2020: Rural Outreach Program Evaluation *; Edenhope and Memorial Hospital
  • 2019: Evaluation of HALT Program *; Hope and Assistance Local Tradies
  • 2019: Evaluation of the Early Learning Languages Australia Foundation to Year 2 trial *; Commonwealth Department of Education and Training
  • 2019: Hitting the Hay: Developing a sleep hygiene app for rural horse racing industry employees *; Racing Victoria
  • 2018: Community collective impact for local best-practice community co-produced rural mental health services *; Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Grants
  • 2018: Digital Data/Survey management system for continuous quality improvement *; Parenting Research Centre_PT
  • 2018: Free from Violence *; Department of Health and Human Services Fund Scheme
  • 2017: The Virtual Dementia Friendly Rural Community (VERILY) Project *; Australian Government Department of Health

* Chief Investigator

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