ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Rural and Regional Communities

This theme provides a platform for a wide range of research projects where the main focus is enhancing the well-being and livelihoods of rural and regional communities. Many past and current projects include a strong social component.  Past, current and emerging topics include safe domestic water, shark sentiment studies, entrepreneurship, rural social services, human non-human coexistence, food security, NRM governance, social justice, rural development, and eco health, biocultural and Indigenous research.

  • Current Projects
  • Completed Projects
  • Higher Degree Research
  • Research Activities

Current Projects

A study of influences on preferences, tolerances and thresholds of acceptability for shark management options in NSW. Simmons, P. & Mehmet, M. (2018-2019) NSW Primary Industries – NSW Shark Management Strategy, $50,000 Project details

Activating markets to create incentives for improved soil management: Literature scoping study. Morrison, M.  (2017-2018) High Performance Soils CRC, $49,254 Project details Project Fact Sheet

Assessing and developing a walkability index targeted to older Australians in regional cities. Whitsed, R., Horta, A. (2018-2019) Family & Community Services – Liveable Communities Grants, $30,000 Project details

Compact cities or sprawling suburbs? Optimal design of growing cities to conserve biodiversity, Nimmo, D., Retra, K., Bambrick, D. (2017-2019) Australian Academy of Science-WH Gladstones Population & Environment Fund, $24,000 Project details

Data sharing: Illuminating the drivers of rural business failure. Horta, A. (2018-2020) Collaborative project with Latrobe University.

Equally well implementation committee. Roberts,R., Hyde, s., Banks,S., Cobb,L., Burmeister, O., Nayeem,T., Mehmet, M. & Maylea, C. (2017-2019) National Mental Health Commission, $154,160 Project details

Evaluation of New Access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Burmeister, O., Russell, R. & Steve Stanton (a Gamilaraay man from North West NSW) (2018-2019) Primary Health Network – Central and Eastern Sydney, $66,000 Project Details

Headspace NewAccess Program Evaluation. Burmeister, O. M, Fox, R., Nic Giolla Easpaig, B., Roberts, R. (2017-2018) Murrumbidgee Primary Health District, $75,000 Project details

Hedonic Pricing of On-farm Soil Management – Phase 1. Morrison, M., Oczkowski, E. (2018) CRC High Performance Soils, $60,000 Project details

PIRCCO Evaluation, Burmeister, O. & Roberts, R. (2017-2018) Marathon Health, $50,000 (Program Evaluation Contract research) Project details

Optimised field delineation of contaminated soils, Horta, A. (2015-2019) ARC Linkage Project led by University of Sydney, with partners CSU & Environmental Earth Sciences International Pty Ltd. Project details

Shark Sentiment Study.  Simmons, P., Mehmet, M. (2017-2020), NSW Department of Primary Industries, $91,000

Supporting isolated women in New South Wales via an eHealth CBT program. De Haan, K. (Murrumbidgee LHD), Bernoth, M., Hunt, C. (Western NSW LHD), Milgrom, J (Parent Infant Research Institute), Gemmil, A. (Parent Infant Research Institute ), Carlisle, J. & Carey, A.(2018-2020) NSW Ministry of Health Translational Research Grant Scheme $176,790

Succession and estate planning in Australia,  Steen, A. & D'Alessandro, S. (2016-2017) Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, $25,700

Virtuous Practitioners: Empowering Social Workers. Pawar, M., Hugman, R. (UNSW), Alexandra, A. & Anscombe, A.  (2014-2018) ARC Discovery grant, $220,130 Project details

Workforce Wellbeing in Family and Community Services. Roberts, R., Bamberry, L., Ceric, A., Hodgins, G., Cumming, T. (2018-2019) FACS, $204,394 Project Details

Completed Projects

A Community Engagement Series: Regional Facilitator in the Albury LGA, Masterman-Smith, H., Rafferty, J., and Sheahan, M., (2016) NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, $32,000  Project details

Activating markets to create incentives for improved soil management: Literature scoping study. Morrison, M. (2017-2018) High Performance Soils CRC, $49,254 Project details Project Fact Sheet

Assessment of the attitudes of beach and ocean end-users to shark mitigation since trials of SMART Drumlines in NSW. Simmons, P., Mehmet, M.  (2018) NSW DPI, $55,012 Project details

Better Parks for People, Whitsed, R., Black, R., & Harvey, R. (2016-2017) FACS NSW Liveable Communities, $62,727 Project details

Community driven economic change in small rural community local economic zones. Morrison, M. (2017-2018) Federation Council, $50,000 Project details Economic Development Study Final Report 2mb   Murray Region Operational Plan 300kb

Conservation management plan for Turks Head building, Albury. Spennemann, D. (2017-18) Albury City Council, $14,847

Environmental Monitoring and Training for Aboriginal Communities. Wassens, S., Allan, C., Whitsed, R. & Bond, J. (2017-2018) NSW OEH, $20,000

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Lake Cowal Foundation. Allan, C. (2017) Lake Cowal Foundation Ltd. $25,000

Group Capacity snapshot project. Allan, C. (2017-2018) Murray LLS, $10,000

Humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurs in private and social enterprises. Collins, J. (UTS) Krivokapic-Skoko, B. (2015-2018) ARC Discovery grant, $200,124 Project details

Our Place-Corowa. Masterman-Smith, H., Sheahan, M. & Rafferty, J. (2015-2017) NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, $29,500 Project details

Powering Down: an energy efficiency education project. Masterman-Smith, H., Rafferty, J. & Sheahan, M. and Albury City Council. (2017) NSW Environment Trust, $100,000 Project details

Reconnaissance and recommendations on mistletoe management in macadamia orchards. Watson, D. & Watson, J. (2018-2019) Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd, $18,000

Review of the Murray Landcare Collective and Murray Regional Landcare Facilitator project 2014-2018. Allan, C., and Earl, G. (Murray LLS) (2018) Holbrook Land Care Network, $5000

Secure Safe Domestic Water (SSDW) in the Central Darling Region: Regional stakeholder engagement action events. Finlayson, M. (2017) MDBA, $4546

Securing adequate safe domestic water for regional Australia.  Waterman, P., Finlayson, M., Kitzelmann, M. (2016-2017) (Etheridge Shire Council), Charters, K. (SEGRA) CSU, $50,000 Project details

Shark deterrents and detection: Community perceptions, sentiment and preferences for shark management strategies.  Simmons, P., Mehmet, M.  & Clarke, R. (UOW) (2017) A collaborative project between CSU (ILWS), UOW and NSW DPI with funding from the NSW Shark Management Strategy (SMS) Competitive Annual Grants Program. Project details

Full list of Completed Projects

Current HDR Students

Jose Abalo (DSW): Transitions issues experienced by early school leavers: Implications for social work policy and practice. Principal supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Kane Callaghan: Social media citizensourcing for policy-making: The case of sharks in NSW. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Peter Simmons

Gael Evans-Barr: The post volunteering impact among retirees; Organisational and individual predictors. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Maree Bernoth

Thiloka Kariyawasam: Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated soils. Principal supervisor Dr Greg Doran, ILWS Supervisor Dr Julia Howitt

Juana Katzer: Social Workers Decision Making with Children with Problem Sexualised Behaviours. Principal supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Karen Kime: Wise practice and Anglicare's foster care programs for Aboriginal children. Principal supervisor Dr Angela Ragusa

Daniel Lander: The anti-vaccination movement and science communication. Principal supervisor Dr Angela Ragusa

Sean Mack (Masters): The role of leadership in building, facilitating and sustaining a person-centred approach to working with residents, in the residential aged care environment. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Maree Bernoth

Scott McManus: Assessment of uncertainty in the creation of spatial domains from portable X-ray fluorescence multi-element data using a Bayesian method. Principal supervisor Dr Ana Horta

Bharat Poudel: Criteria for Sustainable Operation of Off-Grid Renewable Energy Services. Principal supervisor Professor Kevin Parton

George Rafael (DSW): A social work approach to enabling young people at their work. Principal supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Carla Simos (DSW): Stepmothers' life stories and self-identity. Principal supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Georgia Tziros: An exploration of Greek migrant experiences and later life emotional well being: A qualitative study. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Maree Bernoth

Melissa Wales: Social norms and soil conservation practices. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Catherine Allan

Qudus Wazirzada: Sustainable Mobility for Road Users Using Intelligent Transport Systems: The Australian Paradigm. Principal supervisor Professor John Hicks

Sumedha Weerasekara: Analysis of the impact of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem factors on Enterprise Performance in Urban and non-urban NSW, Australia. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Branka Krivokapic-Skoko

Jillda Wright (DSW): An exploratory study of the management of Dissociative Identity Disorder in Australia. Principal supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Lucia Wursch: Transactional analysis in organisations: A case study exploration of Berne’s theory with a focus on communication. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Peter Simmons

Research Activities

As well undertaking externally funded research projects, a considerable number of ILWS members (including Adjuncts) whose research interests are aligned with this theme are engaged in research activities/projects that have either received internal funding from ILWS and/or CSU; are not managed by ILWS; or are non-funded.
The topics of these various research activities reflect the broadness of this theme.

Examples include:

  • the Securing Safe Domestic Water (SSDW) for Regional Australia project. This collaborative research project, which commenced in 2016, was initially focussed on the Gulf Region of Far North Queensland but has since expanded to include the Central and Lower Darling region of NSW Project details
  • the on-going Reviving Regional Railways project for which A/Prof Gray a new documentary "Living Rail – In Junee and the Riverina" was launched at the Junee Roundhouse Museum's 70th birthday celebrations in 2017.Project details
  • research on community resilience in disaster management
  • on-going Regional and gender labour market research
  • an investigation of including older people in the teaching of ageing with industry partners Nambucca Valley Care, Navorina Nursing Home in Deniliquin, Holy Spirit Nursing home in Dubbo and Riverina Institute of TAFE.
  • a project in the mid North coast of NSW looking at improving water supply to various coastal communities.
  • the building of a digital library of CSU and its pre-curser institutions' student media publications
  • a collaboration with the Museum of the Riverina for a history project about LBGT memory in Wagga Wagga and surrounding regions
    development of curriculum material and a 3D walkthrough of the Bonegilla Migrant Experience
  • the Women in Regional Trades: Understanding Resilience project which has held industry consultations in Wagga Wagga; Bathurst and Albury
  • a project on Free Trade Agreements and their implications for Australian agricultural products trade and regional farm economies.
    involvement in a three year project (2018-2020) administered by the Graham Centre and funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia looking at the economic impact of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) on Australian horticultural (fruits and vegetables) crops
  • a research project on an ethnography of standing stone Aboriginal heritage sites throughout the Pilbara and into the eastern desert areas of WA. The project is being funded through BHP's Heritage Research Division, Perth
  • an exploration of gender and indigenous issues including the gender spaces of social work.
  • a research project funded by CenWest and WabiSabie, a company which gives people the opportunity to customise their message before they pass away.
  • two social media research projects, one in relation to Australian audiences and service industries - customer engagement for water businesses; and another on branding research for non-profit organisations
  • a project that aims to evaluate the customer engagement (CE) strategies of the 2018 Victorian water price review process.
  • the development of a new on-line platform Wayfinder, described as A Resilience Guide for Navigating Towards Sustainable Futures.  The platform, which was two years in the making, was created in partnership with the  Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the Resilience Alliance.
  • participation in an exhibition "The Habitat of Time", Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, April 19 to May 5, 2018 as part of part of an international research initiative between UNSW Art & Design in collaboration and the  Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in the UK
  • a photographic exhibition as part of the Kiska Exhibit, Alaska Aviation Museum, April 12, 2018  to January 27, 2019
    a project to extend Albury newspapers coverage on Trove, with the digitalising of papers back to 1881 and forward to 1942.
  • development of spatial models of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Albury-Wodonga.