The Faculty conducts high-quality, programmatic research, producing scholarship that is internationally recognised and regionally impactful. Our research embodies the notion of Yindyamarra Winhanganha, fostering the wisdom of knowing how to live well in our world, a world worth living in. Further, it aims to be transformative—environmentally, socially, politically, educationally, economically, and culturally. It challenges assumptions, beliefs, and values underlying and influencing a wide range of professional and social settings.
Social transformation requires an evidence base informed by multi-dimensional and integrated research that advances individual disciplines, and prioritises collaborative approaches between and across disciplines. Social justice and sustainability are key research goals—for people, place, and practice—with existing strengths honoured through establishing innovative pathways to the resolution of age-old dilemmas, in partnership with stakeholders across social, cultural and institutional domains.
We regard First Nations knowledge sovereignty and research as core to each dimension of social life, decolonising the positioning of First Nations peoples inside dominant discourses, but also providing a source for understanding the impact of historical trajectories for all the Faculty’s disciplines. This goal is a deliberate departure from taken-for-granted practices in research, education, communication industries, environment, and information transmission. Our holistic framework cultivates capacity to understand new world orders where we can divest ourselves of histories that no longer serve the contemporary world, envisioning leadership toward this end.
An understanding and exploration of the multicultural and multifaith nature of Australian society is central to the researching of it. Researchers from across the Faculty’s various disciplines adopt critical approaches that value community and its organisations as co-creators and recipients of knowledge production, and full research partners. Our research centres on people and culture, on individuals and communities, the local and the global. It recognises the agency and contribution of the smallest dimensions of social life to the largest of global systems.
Our fields of research are diverse, requiring a range of theoretically and methodologically approaches. They traverse education, religion and Christian theology, information provision and use, communication and representation, social work and human services, and creative practice and the arts. They address the spiritual, social and historical aspects of the human condition. Investigating the policies, practices and processes of professional and community structures, we seek out contemporary understandings of, and creative solutions to, complex societal problems, particularly those related to themes such as diversity, indigeneity, rurality, vulnerability and community wellbeing.
The Faculty’s research has a strong commitment to forging robust international, national and community alliances and partnerships. Underpinned by values that uphold notions of social equity and justice, citizenship, democracy, truth, and human dignity and rights, our research aims to make a difference to how we live.