Research to support Australian families
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course has secured seven years of new funding from the ARC (pictured Member for Ryan Julian Simmonds MP with Professor Janeen Baxter).
Investigating deep and persistent disadvantage
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (the Life Course Centre) is a national research centre investigating the critical factors underlying disadvantage to provide life-changing solutions for policy and service delivery. Established in 2014, the Centre is administered by The University of Queensland and is a collaboration with The University of Sydney, The University of Melbourne and The University of Western Australia as well as international partners and experts. It is supported by key government agencies that have responsibility for developing and implementing Australia’s social and economic welfare programs, and by non-government organisations that work at the front line to deal with real-world problems of poverty and disadvantage.
The Life Course Centre is uniquely positioned to tackle the intergenerational transmission of deep and persistent disadvantage, which is characterised by the spread of social and economic poverty within families and across generations, despite overall improvements in the broader society. Our vision is to leverage evidence-based research to develop new knowledge, technology and practices to benefit Australian children and families living in disadvantage, including: identifying the drivers of deep and persistent disadvantage; developing and trialling new solutions in policy and practice; training the next generation of research leaders; and building capacity across government, researchers and non-government organisations.
Putting research into practice
What separates the Life Course Centre from other research initiatives is our core translational component. Our research is focused not only on describing and understanding the key causes of disadvantage but also developing innovative solutions to address it. By examining how people construct their lives we can identify the drivers of disadvantage, and also the critical life course junctures and opportunities for innovative public policy and social interventions.
Our People research program positions the Life Course Centre, and Australia, at the forefront of an emerging field of study – the cognitive science of disadvantage. This work represents a major innovation in the Centre’s research that investigates the two-way relationship between deep and persistent disadvantage and individual cognition, decision-making and choices.Discover
Our Places research program is generating transformational knowledge about the community dynamics of disadvantage. Where you grow up and where you live matters to disadvantage. These ‘places’ play a big part in determining whether you have access to quality schooling, higher education, employment, and other life opportunities.Discover
Our Opportunities research program focuses on structural access to opportunities in Australia. It examines existing opportunity structures and obstacles that hinder people from accessing seemingly available opportunities, and drives evidence-informed decision-making about what works to assist Australian children and families to overcome deep and persistent disadvantage.Discover
Working Paper Series
The Life Course Centre Working Paper Series showcases important and well-timed research on pressing social issues facing Australia today. The Working Paper Series is the ‘go to’ place for the latest research on Australian social disadvantage.Discover
Academic and non-academic publications are a key research output from the Life Course Centre. Click here to explore the variety of research undertaken.Discover
As part of our commitment to making the research of the Life Course Centre more accessible, our Fact Sheets highlight key areas of research focus and findings.Discover
The Life Course Centre collaborates with a wide range of community service providers to deliver innovative real-world outcomes for Australia’s most vulnerable people.Discover
The Life Course Centre has initiatives to encourage collaboration and mutual support for all our students. We welcome expressions of interest from applicants who would like to enrol in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Master of Philosophy (MPhil).Discover
The Life Course Centre Fellowship Program is building a rich and dynamic network of researchers, policymakers and knowledge professionals who have a commitment to addressing the problem of deep and persistent disadvantage in Australia, and internationally.Discover
The Life Course Centre’s critical mass is enhanced by its Partner Investigators and Associate Investigators, who are exceptional leaders in their fields. The Centre also welcomes visits from respected leaders from both affiliate and non-affiliate international universities.Discover
The Life Course Centre places a significant emphasis on capacity building, which includes: opportunities to work with leading international researchers; advanced technical training; opportunities for research collaboration; and general academic training.Discover
The Life Course Centre is represented at many national and international conferences and the Centre also hosts its own bi-annual conference.Discover
The Life Course Centre hosts regular seminars presented by academic researchers at each of its partner universities throughout the year.Discover
Life Course Centre researchers and partners regularly come together for collaborative workshops to address the problem of disadvantage.Discover
Public lectures are hosted by the Life Course Centre throughout the year on various research topics of public interest.Discover
News & Media
Stay up to date with all the latest news from the Centre covering our evidence-based research, events, people and achievements.Discover
The Centre produces an Annual Report each year as part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence reporting requirements.Discover
Information for the media on major Centre media announcements, releases, alerts and other resources.Discover
Life Course Centre
The Life Course Centre is committed to leveraging evidence-based research to develop innovative new practices to benefit people living in disadvantage. Our mission is to identify the mechanisms underlying the transmission of disadvantage across generations and within families over the life course, and to translate our findings to enable the delivery of policies and programs with real-world impact.Discover
Established in 2014, the Life Course Centre is administered by The University of Queensland and is a collaboration with The University of Sydney, The University of Melbourne and The University of Western Australia. The Centre also has a wide range of collaborative links to national and international partners, including research institutions in North America, Europe and Asia.Discover
Our strategic objective is to identify the causes and mechanisms of deep and persistent disadvantage, to develop and trial innovative new policy and practice solutions to reduce disadvantage, to train the next generation of research leaders, and to build capacity across government, non-government and community organisations.Discover
The Life Course Centre’s major resource is people: our researchers, students, partners and stakeholders. In the Life Course Centre, we support our people by delivering transparent and inclusive governance within the framework of a strong strategy and shared vision. The Centre’s governance structure is designed to allow a flow of information and ideas to the Centre Executive.Discover