The Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity (the Southgate Institute) aims to be a centre leading high class scholarship on the social and economic determinants of health and health equity by conducting highly relevant research which informs policy development in Australia and overseas in relation to the promotion of population mental and physical health & health equity, and the reduction of social and economic exclusion.
The Southgate Institute has been established through Flinders University’s Centres and Institutes program and the Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship of Professor Fran Baum at Flinders University. The Federation Fellowship is also supported by the SA Department of Health, SA’s Social Inclusion Initiative and the Premier’s Science and Research Fund.
In October 2012, Professor Fran Baum was also honoured as one of Flinders University' most eminent professors with the inaugural award of the title of "Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor".
The Institute's research focus is on what can be done about the underlying factors that determine the distribution of health and well-being outcomes, with a particular emphasis on labour market, social exclusion, housing, structure of suburban environments; economic, social and structural determinants of risky and unhealthy behaviours (including drug and alcohol and other addictions, interpersonal violence, injuries, low physical activity levels and nutrition); and social, cultural and economic barriers to health and other related service use.
The Institute produces research knowledge on why health inequities exist, what can be done about them and how population health overall can be improved.
This knowledge is intended to be used to inform local, regional, state and national initiatives designed to promote population health and reduce health inequities and their underlying causes.
Specifically the Southgate Institute research program:
- Conducts research on the policies, programs and practices that give rise to health inequities and social exclusion;
- Conducts research on what can be done to change policies and programs to promote health equity and social inclusion;
- Adds to the community’s knowledge about the causes, adverse impacts, and possible solutions for health inequities and social exclusion;
- Provides a platform for developing a research partnership with similar national and international research centres and institutes
- Brings together a range of researchers and research groups, from within and outside Flinders that use a range of research approaches.
The Southgate Institute is a hub for early career researchers and doctoral students researching in the area of social determinants of health & well-being and equity.
The Institute builds on the work of the Health & Society Area of Strategic Research Investment in research capacity building including:
- Providing a focus for PhD students and other early career researchers across the University working on topics of relevance to the Institute’s aims;
- Offering the inter-disciplinary Theory Club which allows for exploration of current issues from a variety of lenses;
- Organising the interdisciplinary Journal club
- Expanding the Research Incubator that allows early career researchers to develop research ideas in to firm proposals through a supportive and constructively critical process;
- Developing policy forums to bring together policy makers and researchers to examine evidence on topics associated with health and society and debate policy alternatives;
- Continuing formation of groups of researchers around current and emerging topics (as listed above) and support the development of cross Faculty and discipline research initiatives;
- Bringing leading overseas researchers to Flinders for short and longer term visits and use their presence to develop round tables for Flinders researchers to receive feedback on their research and develop new research ideas;
- Implementing a vibrant and engaging research seminar series by the Southgate Institute researchers and visitors
Southgate Institute Membership
Academic staff of Flinders University can become Members of the Southgate Institute. The Institute welcomes Associate Members from other Universities and is able to offer associate membership and academic status to policy actors and practitioners from a range of government sectors including health, housing, social inclusion, urban planning, community development, transport and sustainability.
Ms Paula Lynch, Executive Assistant to the Director, Professor Fran Baum, Southgate Institute:
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +61 8 7221 8411.