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Dear Social Change colleagues,
As you’ll see in our September newsletter, there are a number of important events coming up which I hope you will be able to participate in. We’re continuing to encourage the development of new networks linking RMIT researchers with shared interests across disciplines and schools. So I’m really looking forward to the first meeting of our new Migration, Mobility and Security Research network, on Wednesday 18 September. Details are below, as well as information on two other important networks for our platform, the Researcher Policy Capability Network, and Health, Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (HASH) Network. 

Finally, warmest congratulations to our Social Change colleagues, Renata Kokanović and Kate Johnston-Ataata, who will play important roles in the new NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Women’s Health in Reproductive Life, based at Monash. 

Best wishes, Julian
Have you registered as a Social Change ECP Affiliate? 
Interested in registering as an ECP Affiliate, or know someone who is? Just click here.
Migration, Mobility and Security Research network
The Social Change ECP is supporting the development of a new research network focussed on our priority area of Transformations in Migration, Mobility and Security. We’re interested in linking up RMIT researchers across the university who are working on the social, economic and cultural implications of increasing global mobility, and our changing experiences of place and displacement. Key questions include the impact of migration and relocation on social identities, networks and communities, and the best strategies for improving policy and practice in migration, settlement and related areas.
The first meeting of the network will take place on Wednesday 18 September, 2:00 - 3:30pm. If you would like to attend the meeting and/or participate in the network, please register.
Engaging with Policy Stakeholders Workshop

Date: Thursday 19 September 2019
Time: 10am-12.30pm

The Researcher Policy Capability Network, which involves RMIT researchers who have experience in policy engagement or in previous government roles, is running a workshop on effective approaches to engaging policy stakeholders. Researchers who have an interest in engaging and influencing government approaches and decision-making are welcome to participate. The outcomes of this workshop will be used to develop a learning resource to guide researchers on policy engagement.

Please RSVP to Alexa Gower at

Achieve Impact from your Research Workshop

Date: Wednesday 9 October 2019
time: 9.30am-12.30pm

This Research Translation workshop is designed for RMIT researchers who are seeking to achieve and demonstrate impact from their research. In this interactive workshop you will:
  • Learn how to begin planning for impact
  • Identify the impact you want to achieve and who you might engage along the way
  • Gain insights into research translation
  • Find out ways in which research impact can be measured.
Please register your interest for this event:
Data visualisation: possibility or problem?   A talk by Professor Helen Kennedy
Date: Tuesday 8th October
Time: 2:30 - 4pm
Venue Building 13, level 03, room 15

In our data-driven societies, data increasingly matter. An important way that many people get access to
data is through their visual representation, specifically in the form of data visualisations which, like the data on which they are based, are widely circulated.

Join us for this talk in which Helen Kennedy, Professor of Digital Society at the University of Sheffield, will present a framework for conceptualising data visualisation, which privileges neither celebratory nor critical perspectives, which understands dataviz as both visual and numeric, and which takes seriously its emotional dimensions and often mundane visual forms.
Help shape Playable City Melbourne during Melbourne International Games Week starting with an introduction to the Watershed Pervasive Media Studio approach from Hilary O’Shaughnessy (Bristol, UK).
The symposium will kickstart a Melbourne urban play community for sharing knowledge and pooling resources to support a three-year plan for Playable City Melbourne. Melbourne is already home to many thriving play communities engaging with independent, experimental and creative game development. Exploring the potential of play in the city requires experts from these communities and a diverse range of other disciplines including: urban design, live art, computer science, ethnographic research, game studies, public art, architecture and sound art. Collectively, the urban play community can work together to playtest, workshop, design, develop and realise opportunities for play in the city ranging from experiments and prototypes through to large-scale collaboration and research with industry partners.

Further details and registration:
Shifting paradigms: Conversations on developing a transformative agenda for future mental health research, policy and practice

Date: Thursday 10th October
Time: 4 – 5.30 pm
Venue: RMIT University (City Campus), Building 8, Level 4, Room 13

Join us for an afternoon of stimulating conversation on approaches to meaningful engagement with experts by experience to transform the agenda for mental health research, policy and practice. To mark World Mental Health Day 2019, Renata Kokanović and Chris Maylea from the Social Research in Health Program (Social and Global Studies Centre) are hosting three distinguished speakers to engage with some of the most pressing questions surrounding the conduct of mental health research:
  • Vrinda Edan, Acting CEO of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
  • Professor Katherine Boydell, Head of the AKT (Arts-based Knowledge Translation) Lab at the Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Isabela Granic, Chair of the Developmental Psychopathology Department and Director of the Games for Emotional and Mental Health (GEMH) Lab, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, Netherlands

Free but registration requested

Do you need training in Computer Skills? Python, R Linux, etc.?

The Information & Systems (Engineering) ECP is interested in providing RMIT researchers and academics with computer training sessions and workshops on research software, tools and techniques. In order to deliver you with the training you need, they have teamed up with R&I’s e-Research team who have devised a simple questionnaire to measure the type of training you need and the level of demand out there.

If you are interested, complete the questionnaire here.

the team anticipate training will be in one of the following areas:

  • Python
  • R
  • Linux
  • Version control (git)
  • Testing
  • Design Patterns
  • Other – let us know of other courses that we have not listed.

To get these courses up and running for this year, it would be appreciated if you could submit your questionnaire by Monday 23 September, 2019.

NHMRC Funding Success: Social Research in Health Program (Social & Global Studies Centre) researchers part of new NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Women’s Health in Reproductive Life
Renata Kokanović and Kate Johnston-Ataata are set to continue their research collaboration on women’s experiences of reproductive health with the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Monash University.

Renata is an Associate Investigator and Kate a Research Fellow on the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Women’s Health in Reproductive Life (WHIRL), announced on 29 August 2019. A five-year, $2.499 million research program, CRE-WHIRL is aimed at better understanding of and effective knowledge translation in relation to key problems in women’s reproductive health – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), infertility and early menopause. Renata and Kate’s involvement in CRE – WHIRL builds on their existing collaboration with MCHRI through the Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences and Health Practitioners’ Perspectives NHMRC Partnership Project.
Healthtalk Australia mental health resources to be included on Head to Health website
Join us in congratulating Renata Kokanović, Director and Kate Johnston Ataata, Co-ordinator, of Healthtalk Australia who learned recently that their four mental health digital resources (on mental health and supported decision-making, mental health and carers’ experiences, depression, and emotional experiences of early parenthood) have been approved for inclusion on Head to Health (
Head to Health is a national digital platform providing links to credible, high quality Australian digital and phone supports, resources and treatment options for mental health, and is working towards establishing a national certification framework for digital mental health services. Currently Healthtalk Australia is one of only 33 organisations nation-wide listed on the Head to Health platform. Testament to the high quality of Healthtalk Australia’s digital repository of health experiences, the mental health resources received written support and endorsement from their key stakeholder and project partner, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services as part of the application process.
Researcher Policy Capability Network
A Researcher Policy Capability Network is being established to bring together RMIT researchers with experience in policy engagement, or from previous policy roles. The network will share knowledge on effective approaches to influencing policy and provide support and advice to other researchers seeking to engage with policy stakeholders.

You can register your interest in participating in this network by emailing David Downes, Snr Coordinator, Research Translation, Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Are you interested in interdisciplinary research in health? Join HASH!
HASH (Health, Arts, Social sciences and Humanities) is a Network for people who are passionate, or just curious, about interdisciplinary health research to share ideas, present their work and discuss pressing topics of research methods and theory, impact and engagement.
To join, please send this information to:
  • Title
  • A head shot (2000 x 2000 pixels) or any photo of yourself that you’re happy for us to upload on the site.
  • Short biography (2-3 paragraphs)
  • Research areas of interest (up to five)
  • Website/ staff profile link
  • Link to Research repository or other preferred publication database
HASH is supported by the Social Change and Design & Creative Practice ECPs.
Welcome, Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow, Anna Urbanowicz
Anna Urbanowicz is a VC Postdoctoral Fellow passionate about improving the healthcare experiences of individuals with disabilities, particularly those on the autism spectrum. 

She is an occupational therapist and completed her PhD in 2016 on the communication abilities of individuals with Rett syndrome at Edith Cowan University and the Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, WA. Anna then went on to complete a postdoc at the University of Queensland and the Cooperative Research Centre Living for Autism (Autism CRC) where her research focused on improving the health and healthcare experiences of autistic adults. The Autism CRC is the world’s first national cooperative research effort focused on autism across the lifespan. 

In 2017 Anna was awarded the RMIT University sponsored Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship. For her Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship, Anna travelled to Portland, Oregon from September 2018 for 10 months to work with a team at Portland State University who bring together the academic and autistic communities to conduct research relevant to the needs of autistic adults. This team have developed an online Healthcare Toolkit for autistic adults, their support persons and primary healthcare providers. Anna’s project focused on developing an understanding of the hospital experiences of autistic adults and of how the online Healthcare Toolkit could be adapted for use in hospitals. 

Anna is now back in Melbourne, working on finishing the analysis for her Fulbright project and developing opportunities for new projects. She would love to form connections with researchers and professional staff across the university who have an interest in improving healthcare experiences for people with disabilities or in autism in adulthood.
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present.

RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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