New partnership to explore critical social issues in Victoria

A recently-launched partnership between RMIT University and VCOSS will focus on promoting research into the causes and impacts of poverty and disadvantage in Victoria.

VCOSS Chief Executive Officer Emma King with Professor David Hayward, Dean, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, and RMIT Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean CBE at the partnership launch.

The RMIT University and VCOSS Industry Fellowship Research Program will support a chosen fellow to spend up to six months researching an area relevant to their own field of expertise, to assist their organisation and the community services sector as a whole.

This is the first in a range of collaborative research initiatives that will be rolled out through the partnership, including additional fellowship opportunities and the upcoming RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship.

Emma King, CEO of VCOSS said community sector organisations would benefit from quality research, which seeks innovative solutions to social issues and meets the needs of people who are experiencing disadvantage.

“This is critically important if we want to create a just and fairer society, aiming to build a Victoria without poverty,” King said.

“This research partnership can help identify trends and determine the most effective ways of responding to emerging social issues as they arise, and will help build and disseminate knowledge that may not have otherwise been possible to develop.”

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Martin Bean CBE, said the partnership was enormously important to VCOSS, RMIT University and the growing community sector.

“Since it started in 1887, RMIT has been about meeting industry needs; about helping to cultivate minds for skilled hands that deliver economic development,” Martin said.

“The MOU will produce this through fellowships and scholarships that link RMIT and the social sector in the deepest of ways.

“Ultimately, this valuable collaboration will lead to the co-production of knowledge, opportunities for careers and assisting to meet today’s pressing social needs – exciting news for this caring and critical sector and for RMIT.”

The Fellows will conduct their research from the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

They will receive an honorary appointment with RMIT for the period of the fellowship, along with project support from the University and VCOSS.

The Industry Fellowship Research Program marks the first in a series of collaborative research initiatives between RMIT and VCOSS.

Later in the year, the two organisations will seek applicants for the RMIT/VCOSS PhD Scholarship, which will generate new evidence for the community sector in providing innovative solutions to overcome the complex causes of disadvantage and poverty.

Applicants for the Industry Fellowship Research Program have until 22 July to submit a research proposal via the VCOSS website.

At the event VCOSS launched a major report, Building on the value of Victoria’s community sector, which outlines the unique role of community sector organisations in strengthening the state’s economy and society.

Originally published by RMIT News