What can we do to prevent the transmission of disadvantage within families and across generations?

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (the Life Course Centre) is a national research centre uniquely positioned to tackle the intergenerational transmission of deep and persistent disadvantage in Australian families, and to lead the international effort on this important issue.

The growing divide between high and low income earners is the top risk facing Australia and many other nations over the next ten years (World Economic Forum 2012), making the lottery of one’s birth a crucial factor determining disadvantage and the key locus of reversing social inequality for the benefit of future generations. New solutions are needed to underpin the Australian social ideal of a ‘fair go’, and to drive future global economic productivity.

Through significant co-investment from the Australian Government and our collaborating and partner organisations, the Life Course Centre is building the critical evidence-base for new policies to combat deep and persistent disadvantage and to make a real difference to the lives of children and families in Australia, and the world.

The Life Course Centre, headquartered at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research, harnesses the interdisciplinary expertise of leading researchers in their fields, nationally and internationally, and has powerful partnerships with government and non-government organisations involved in human service delivery and policy. The Centre capitalises on existing data investments by government combined with advanced data integration methods to follow Australian families from parents to their adult children. The Life Course Centre represents the first time that large-scale intergenerational analysis has been conducted comprehensively in Australia in order to identify causes, evaluate interventions, and implement solutions to create real and lasting change.