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Dr Hilary Davis

Senior Research Fellow


Dr. Hilary Davis is Senior Research Fellow, Social Innovation Research Institute. She is an HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) researcher with a social science background. Hilary applies novel methodologies drawing on social science theory and digital technologies, with a specific interest in the role of technologies in solving wicked social problems including rural mental health. 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 marginalised and diverse backgrounds. Hilary Davis co-edited a world-first journal 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 up to 24 communities, nationwide.

Hilary Davis leads rural 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 leads ‘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 program committee member and designated reviewer for several international conferences. Hilary is a member of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). You can contact Hilary on


Research interests

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.

Fields of Research

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


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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 2017: 60+ Online: Enhancing Social Inclusion through Digital Stories and Social Media Participation *; Swinburne Research, DVCR&D - Internal contributions
  • 2017: The Virtual Dementia Friendly Rural Community (VERILY) Project *; Australian Government Department of Health

* Chief Investigator

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