Engage with us

Engage with us


At the Department of Sociology we engage in research collaboration and consultancy, as well as more informal ways of knowledge sharing.

Our existing relationships with a wide range of organisations provide our students with diverse learning opportunities and deepen our understanding of human society.

You will find examples of our engaged research below – feel free to browse, download, read and be inspired!

If you'd like to engage in our tradition of empirical and theoretical approaches to critical sociology, and find innovative solutions to contemporary social problems, please get in touch.

Research reports

Au Pairs in Australia title page

Cultural Exchange or Cheap Housekeeper? Findings of a National Survey of Au Pairs in Australia

This report presents the first comprehensive study of living and working conditions of au pairs in Australia. Co-authored by Dr Laurie Berg (UTS) and Professor Gabrielle Meagher, the report draws on responses from almost 1,500 au pairs across 34 nationalities to an online survey in 2017. With questions on their motivations, working conditions, personal characteristics and perceptions of their experience, the study seeks to provide an evidence base to indicate the contours and variety of au pairing in Australia. The report concludes with six recommendations for reform to address the current lack of regulation and oversight of the often precarious and sometimes exploitative working arrangements of au pairs. Released November 2018.

Read the report

McKell institute report title page

Keep NSW in a Healthy State: Investing for a Healthy Future

Over the past fifty years healthcare has become increasingly important to global economies, including in NSW, where it is now one of the state’s biggest industries as measured by spending and employment, and set to grow further. This report, commissioned by the McKell Institute and prepared by Associate Professor Ben Spies-Butcher and Honorary Fellow Dr Bob Davidson, reviews the key drivers of the increased need and demand for healthcare expenditure in NSW and identifies the broad dimensions of the investment that current and future NSW governments will need to make to meet those needs. Released May 2018.

Read the report

Pricing disability services report

Reasonable, necessary, and valued: Pricing disability services for quality support and decent jobs

Commissioned by three unions representing workers in disability services, this research report, co-authored by Honorary Fellow Dr Bob Davidson, is concerned with prospects for quality services and decent jobs under Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Specifically, the research examined how the prices set by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are affecting disability support workers, enabling employers of disability support workers to meet their industrial obligations, and supporting development of a skilled, high-quality, and decently remunerated disability support workforce. Released July 2017.

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Ageing well at home report

Ageing Well at Home: Measuring the Impact of Community Care for Older People

In the increasingly competitive environment of aged care in Australasia, how can consumers, providers and funders be sure that the care support and services delivered is both efficient and makes a positive difference? This report documents research undertaken in 2015-16 to develop and test the Australian Community Care Outcome Measurement tool (ACCOM), a set of measures of community care suitable for use in the Australian context. Funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant with partners from the University of Wollongong, the report was co-authored by Macquarie Sociology colleagues Dr Beatriz Cardona, Dr Adam Stebbing and Honorary Professor Michael Fine. Released May 2017.

Read the report

Valuing care work and care workers report

Research Report - Valuing Care Work and Care Workers: Workforce and Equal Pay Issues in NZ Aged Residential Care

This report was prepared by Professor Gabrielle Meagher for E tū (formerly the Service and Food Workers Union) of New Zealand, in relation to an equal remuneration case seeking wage justice for care workers in aged residential care. It presents the findings of research on the characteristics of the care workforce, and the nature and valuation of care work in this sector. The focus is on the non-professional workforce, called health care assistants (HCAs) or caregivers. The research is based on analysis of data from Statistics New Zealand, primarily from the Census of Population and Dwellings, research and public policy documents from New Zealand, and a survey of international research. Released September 2016.

Read the report

Staff in the news

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Content owner: Department of Sociology Last updated: 30 Apr 2019 4:29pm

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