Published: October 25, 2019


The Morrison Government is funding new research to help Australian families break the cycle of disadvantage.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan today announced the Morrison Government was providing $32.1 million to establish a research centre to generate new knowledge about families.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course will be led by Professor Janeen Baxter and based at The University of Queensland.

“Our Government is investing in new ways to tackle disadvantage and better support Australian families,” Mr Tehan said.

“This research centre will use new methods and enhanced data to better inform the design of policies and programs targeted at supporting families.”

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Government’s investment would create research that delivers real-world benefits for Australian families.

“The Morrison Government is committed to breaking down the barriers Australians face to help people gain financial independence and create a better future for themselves and their families,” Ms Ruston said.

Pictured from left: Professor Bronwyn Harch Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, The University of Queensland); Member for Ryan Julian Simmonds MP; Professor Janeen Baxter.

Professor Baxter said the centre would focus on transformative research and translation to develop tailored solutions for people suffering from disadvantage in their daily lives.

“The Life Course Centre will shift the dial by moving beyond averages to develop a more detailed understanding of why disadvantage takes hold in particular places, at particular times, for particular people,” Professor Baxter said.

“We are committed to progressing a science of disadvantage that utilises new technologies and methods to keep pace with societal change so the gaps between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ doesn’t get wider.

“Bringing together different types of data will deepen our understanding of the mechanisms underlying disadvantage, and enable us to develop personalised and community-based solutions that can make a difference.”

Member for Ryan Julian Simmonds welcomed the $32.1 million research investment that would enhance how Government can better assist Australian families.

“Supporting Australian families is my front-of-centre priority, so I’m proud to deliver this vital research investment locally here in my electorate of Ryan,” Mr Simmonds said.

Researchers from The University of Queensland will work together with three Australian universities and 17 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, New Zealand and America. Together they will provide an additional $33 million in cash and in-kind support to the centre.

More information about the ARC Centres of Excellence program is on the ARC website.