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Professor Jane Farmer

Director, Swinburne Social Innovation Research Institute


Professor Jane Farmer is Director of the Social Innovation Research Institute at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. She has a distinguished track record of research in rural health services design, innovations in health workforce and technology, community engagement, codesign community initiatives and social enterprise.  Addressing disadvantage and social and health inequity is central to her research activity. In recent years, she has developed a stream of work to codesign data analytics projects with non-government organisations and the wider community and humanitarian sector. Jane has a longstanding interest in innovative research methodologies.

Jane’s current projects include an Australia Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project ‘Optimising the roles of online communities in rural resilience’ and an ARC Linkage Project ‘Data Co-op Platform for Social Impact and Wellbeing’. She is involved in multiple other projects including on community mental health initiatives, social connection and social, health and wellbeing data analytics projects. Jane has also led large international multidisciplinary, multi-site projects such as O4O: Older People for Older People, a five-country, European-Union funded, prize-winning project that examined older people’s involvement in establishing rural social enterprises to provide basic health and social care. She has undertaken research, evaluation and consultancy for governments internationally.

Jane worked in Scotland as Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research at University of the Highlands and Islands from 2006-10 and was then Head of the La Trobe University Rural Health School, Australia from 2010-13, followed by senior research leadership positions at La Trobe University, Melbourne until 2016.

Research interests

Public and Environmental Health; Aged care; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Social enterprise; Social impact; Service Design

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Policy And Administration - 440700
  • Health Services And Systems - 420300
  • Public Health - 420600


Also published as: Farmer, Jane; Farmer, 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: Collaborative data analytics exploring family safety outcomes *; Department of Health and Human Services Fund Scheme
  • 2021: Donald and Tarnagulla Microgrid Feasibility Study- Community Engagement *; C4NET Fund Scheme
  • 2021: Members and Connection *; Australian Red Cross
  • 2021: Mental Health Deep Dive *; Zurich Australia Fund Scheme
  • 2020: Data Co-operative Platform for Social Impact and Wellbeing *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2020: Optimising the roles of online communities in rural resilience *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2020: Regional Alliance for Social Inclusion *; Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • 2020: Regional Data Co-op Project *; Bendigo Community Health
  • 2020: Rural Outreach Program Evaluation *; Edenhope and Memorial Hospital
  • 2019: Advancing Social Connections *; Australian Red Cross
  • 2019: Efficiently Doing Good *; Australian Red Cross
  • 2019: Proposal to support the Foundation?s review into investing in rural Australian mental health improvement *; The Paul Ramsay Foundation
  • 2019: Strengthening the Not for Profit Sector: Data for Good Sandpit *; Entertainment Assist (HPC) Ltd
  • 2018: Community collective impact for local best-practice community co-produced rural mental health services *; Cobaw Community Health
  • 2018: Healthy Social Connections Project *; Australian Red Cross
  • 2018: Landscape review of maternity services education in Victoria *; VMIA State-Wide Maternity Services Program
  • 2018: Linked semantic platforms for social & physical infrastructure & wellbeing *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2018: Measuring social impact and attitudes towards gender and family violence project *; Department of Premier & Cabinet Victoria
  • 2018: Project evaluation for Community Transport - servicing rural Victoria *; Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • 2018: Strategic Partnership - Research Institutes Seed Grant 2017 *; Australian Red Cross
  • 2018: WOmen's action for Mums and Bubs (WOMB): A pragmatic trial of participatory women's groups to improve Indigenous maternal and child health *; NHMRC Project Grants
  • 2017: Community Participation Method for Rural Medicare Local population health planning *; NHMRC Partnership Project
  • 2017: HelpDem: Skilled Volunteers for Dementia - Evaluation of Volunteer Training Program *; Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
  • 2017: Improving Health Equity of Young People? The role of social enterprise *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2017: Increasing inclusion in rural, generalist health services *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2017: Mapping the effect of social enterprise on regional city disadvantage *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2017: Social Enterprise Impact Lab *; Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund (LMCF)
  • 2017: The Virtual Dementia Friendly Rural Community (VERILY) Project *; Australian Government Department of Health
  • 2016: Innovative Best Practice of Small Rural & Community Health Services *; La Trobe University (for Contracts)
  • 2016: Racing Victoria Industry Health Promotion *; Racing Victoria

* Chief Investigator

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