Social InclusionDeterminants of Health
The Social Inclusion research stream works collaboratively with communities, organisations, and governments to promote social inclusion. We are interested in improving health and wellbeing, especially among individuals and groups who may be experiencing exclusion.
The Social Inclusion research stream focuses on improving health and wellbeing for individuals and groups, particularly those who may be marginalised due to social adversity, cultural diversity, gender identity, physical disabilities or geographic remoteness. We specialise in employing multidisciplinary approaches to tackle causes of exclusion in practical ways.
Our key programs of research include:
- the creation of environments that promote health, individual creativity, agency, and autonomy
- working with communities to create policies and practices that promote inclusion
- tackling causes of exclusion in practical ways
Our work is underpinned by:
- the development of mixed methodologies
- multidisciplinary approaches and the application of systems thinking
- the systematic review and synthesis of the research literature
- the importance of knowledge transfer and practice development
Health equity and human rights
Community hunger is a significant problem in many high-income countries, including Australia. Despite an abundance of resources, community hunger and food insecurity, leaves individuals and families struggling to make ends meet. Food insecurity, the limited access to sufficient healthy food for people to live a healthy life, is a social determinant of health. The experience of food insecurity is becoming more severe, more entrenched, and is causing stress and worry for many Australians. Hunger is also becoming more complex as cost-of-living pressures impact household budgets. Hunger and food insecurity have significant impacts on health and wellbeing. Our research with the emergency and community food relief sector, health care providers, and policy makers seeks to find long term solutions to community hunger.
This stream is led by A/Prof Fiona McKay.
McKay FH, McKenzie H, Lindberg R. The coping continuum and acts reciprocity – a qualitative enquiry about household coping with food insecurity in Victoria, Australia Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 47(1):100004-100004
McKay FH, Zinga J, van der Pligt P. Consensus from an expert panel on how to identify and support food insecurity during pregnancy: A modified Delphi study BMC Health Services Research 22(1):11
McKay FH, Bastian A, Lindberg R. Exploring The Response Of The Victorian Emergency And Community Food Sector To The COVID-19 Pandemic Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 16(4):447-461
Health inequities and social policy
The health and wellbeing of individuals and communities is impacted by the broader social policy environment. This research focuses on exploring the inequities experienced by social groups who rely on social and institutional policies. This includes a specific focus on women’s health and wellbeing and how reproductive decisions are impacted by policy, and low-income families’ engagement with the welfare system.
This stream is led by Dr Hayley McKenzie.
Graham M, McKenzie H, Haintz GL, Dennis C. Who do Australian women seek social support from during the reproductive decision-making process? Health and Social Care in the Community 1-13 Mar 2022
McKenzie HJ, McHugh C, McKay FH. Life on Newstart allowance: a new reality for low-income single mothers Journal of family studies 25(1):18-33 2019
McKenzie H, McKay FH. Thinking outside the box: Strategies used by low-income single mothers to make ends meet Australian Journal of Social Issues 53(3):304-319 01 Sep 2018