Research Impact

The Centre for Decent Work & Industry engages in research with substantial end-user impacts. The following examples showcase this research impact.

Digital platform work in Australia

Research undertaken by centre members Penny Williams, Paula McDonald and Robyn Mayes (in collaboration with Andrew Stewart, University of Adelaide) was heavily cited in the recent Victorian Government Report on Inquiry into the On-Demand Workforce. Their work was cited a total of 89 times in the report, with a further 16 mentions to the research team’s “Digital Platform Work in Australia” national survey. The national survey was also used as a source for a further three figures and two tables in the Victorian Government report.


Systemic causes of and solutions to workplace sexual harassment

Professor Paula McDonald’s research on workplace sexual harassment has substantially informed public debate and shaped organisational and policy responses to this persistent and costly organisational problem. Her research has influenced Australian and international organisations and agencies through requests for expert advice and invitations to address policy-makers and thought leaders. Her research has featured in sustained media engagement and in a commissioned report by the Australian Human Rights Commission. McDonald’s research substantially informed a major review of sexual harassment and predatory behaviour in Victoria Police by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission through her role as invited academic expert.


The Future of Work and Workers

Centre members A Cathcart, D Grant-Smith, M Laundon, R Mayes, P McDonald and P Williams made a submission to the Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers. It covered the characteristics, motivations and employment circumstances of digital platform work; appropriate boundaries of social media conduct in work contexts; labour market policies which lead to demand side job creation supporting Australian youth; exploitative unpaid work and internship arrangements; best practice FIFO policies; and persistent and pervasive gender inequality. Program members were subsequently invited to give evidence at a public hearing at Parliament House, Brisbane. The submission heavily informed the inquiry recommendations, being cited 19 times in the Committee’s inquiry report.


Work group meetingProfessional Recognition of  Educators

Abby Cathcart’s work on professional recognition in Australasia was presented to Advance Higher Education at a network of Australian Higher Education accreditors in September 2018. The discussion paper considered the application of Australian Higher Education Policy to educators working in Australian and New Zealand in the context of the casualisation of academic workforces, an increase in third-space professional educators, the development of enabling and foundation pathways to higher education, and diverse forms of continuing professional development. Abby’s research was used to shape the new Australian Higher Education Accreditation Policy for 2018-19 and she was invited to lead a consultation with Australian and New Zealand Universities to further explore policy implications of Australasia.


Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management

Deanna Grant-Smith’s research with colleagues from Griffith University and RMIT University on networked governance arrangements for climate change adaptation and disaster management featured in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This report considers the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Deanna’s research was cited 12 times in the report, primarily in relation to strengthening and implementing the global response to climate change.