Prosperity can’t be measured on economic success alone so at Curtin, we’re helping create a new generation of leaders and innovators by enriching modes of cultural expression, improving educational practices, removing social barriers and advocating for human rights.
Our research findings are informing key recommendations to businesses and governments, particularly in the areas of housing, economic growth and tourism, and encouraging sustainable economic growth and prosperity nationally and internationally.
The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) is delivering high-quality, accessible research on the challenges facing equitable economic growth. We’ve published comprehensive reports on promoting the job aspirations and financial outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, enhancing housing security for older renters and providing insights into the changing WA economy. BCEC’s partners are nationally renowned and include the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
In the Centre for Research in Applied Economics, we’re working on projects where economic modelling or finance are strong components. We’ve investigated optimal macroeconomic forecasting combinations using big data and tested new ridesharing strategies to better match drivers with commuters.
The John Curtin Institute of Public Policy is our peak body of public policy research, education and discussion. The institute has researched many areas including the impact of socio-economic policy on labour markets and skills shortages. It has also led government initiatives including the statewide Public Policy in the Digital Age research program to ensure WA is equipped to participate in the future workforce.
Our approach to teaching is future focused as we help turn today’s pupils into the leaders of tomorrow.
In our School of Education, we’re improving the experiences of early childhood, primary, high school and tertiary education learners. We’re researching how to best address linguistic racism to improve international students’ mental health, nurture scientific literacy and creativity among students, and use innovative digital technologies and analytics data to optimise learning and support teachers who are instructing online.
Through our National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, we’re working to improve higher education outcomes for marginalised and disadvantaged people. We’ve made recommendations to help increase retention of regional, remote, mature-age and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Future of work
The nature of work is changing rapidly. Beyond technological innovation, other changes such as an extended work life and a greater focus on work-life balance and “meaningful work” are disrupting all industry sectors.
Our Future of Work Institute and School of Management and Marketing are building a more positive future of work through leading-edge research and industry partnerships. Initiatives such as Thrive at Work are helping to optimise the distribution of tasks across an organisation and reduce work stressors, while increasing productivity and job satisfaction.
At Curtin Singapore, researchers are investigating the relationship between wellbeing and the future of work, looking at the synergies for work-life balance, including the effect of reduced division between work and home life, as has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. A key aim is to provide a ‘future-of-work’ framework for policymakers and corporate decision-makers.
Curtin is a member of the Athena SWAN program, which aims to advance gender equity in academia. Stemming from this program, we’ve established the Gender Research Network, which raises awareness of gender research conducted across the University.
One of our primary focus areas is to improve gender equality in the workplace. Our research at the Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre, in partnership with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, is seeking to reduce the gender pay gap and promote more women to senior management positions.
We are also improving key economic and social outcomes for women, such as gender equality in the later stages of life, through our work in the Women in Social Economic Research Cluster.
At Curtin Singapore, researchers are investigating the relationship between gender diversity and company performance, and factors influencing board gender diversity in Singapore – including those that enable and those that block women’s access to board roles. A key aim is to provide recommendations that promote board gender diversity in Singapore.
Malaysian rural entrepreneurship
At Curtin University Malaysia, researchers are increasing transdisciplinary research and knowledge-sharing to help local communities with rural enterprise development in Sarawak – a state rich in bio-resources, cultural heritages, pristine forests and natural tourist attractions. The program’s research themes include entrepreneurship and innovation; sustainable management, governance and corporate social responsibility; and financial markets and macroeconomics. Involving researchers from business, humanities and health sciences, the collaboration will help farmers and primary producers improve the efficiency of their operations, and identify and promote employment opportunities for women.
Open access to knowledge
In order to effectively support knowledge production and mobilisation, universities must embrace opportunities to engage diverse communities in knowledge making, as well as knowledge sharing.
The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) collaborates with researchers around the world to analyse and report on the way higher education institutions provide open access to knowledge and opportunity.
COKI is developing new tools for understanding the value that universities create as well as new perspectives on what it means for a knowledge-making institution to be open.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on tourism. Now, our Tourism Research Cluster is showing travel operators and governments different ways to embrace sustainable practices and offset negative sentiment towards intrastate travel.
We’ve also explored pop culture tourism opportunities, such as tourism centred around films, books and TV shows, in both Australia and New Zealand, and run Australia’s South West Sustainable Tourism Observatory – the first UN-endorsed sustainable tourism observatory in Australia.
Writing and cultural expression
We are investigating creative writing and publishing practices, including the process of how to write about personal grief, public policy towards the Australian book industry and the literary capabilities of agents, editors and publishers. Our China Australia Writing Centre is taking this research globally, by facilitating cultural exchange, translation and critical debate of Chinese and Australian stories. Many Curtin staff members and graduates are also nationally and internationally renowned authors.
In the realm of cultural studies, we’ve been supporting positive changes including the repatriation of stolen artefacts to bring healing to their original homes, promoting a positive women’s fitness culture that can help improve women’s physical and mental health, and altering the way media outlets cover extremism.
Professor Therese Jefferson
Women’s workforce participation, Labour markets, Economic security
Professor Alan Duncan
Welfare policy evaluation, Employment incentives, Economic and social wellbeing
Associate Professor Caroline Fleay
Immigration detention, Asylum seekers in the community, Refugees in Australia
Professor Therese Jefferson
Professor Alan Duncan
Associate Professor Caroline Fleay
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