The Southgate Institute’s research activity focuses on what can be done about the underlying factors that determine the distribution of health and well-being outcomes. We are a leading partner in the Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity.

Our activity areas cover social exclusion; the structure of suburban environments; economic, social and structural determinants of risky and unhealthy behaviours; and social, cultural and economic barriers to health and other related service use; and studies of social determinants and equity in health policy. Our research is intended to help inform initiatives and policy at local, regional, state and national levels to promote population health and reduce health inequities and their underlying causes.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

The Southgate Institute strives to conduct respectful, participatory research in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, programs and communities. We also ensure the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is consistently prioritised in any social determinants and health service research we conduct. The research group is co-led by Dr Tamara Mackean and Dr Toby Freeman and regularly partners with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-being.

 

Health Equity and Policy

Health Equity and Policy focuses on the scope and potential for public policies and programs to promote population health and health equity. Governments increasingly accept health promotion and reduction of disease through action on the determinants of health as a central and urgent goal of public policy. Led by Professor Fran Baum , this area of research is based on a collaborative research approach aiming to produce policy relevant research. 

The aim of the Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity is to advance understanding of how government policy can work more effectively to address the social determinants of health, so as to improve health and promote the fair distribution of health in society.

Our research focuses on a wide range of policy sectors that affect the social determinants of health including social security, health systems,trade, urban land-use, digital technologies and Indigenous health.

Major projects: Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity, Health in All Policies (HIAP)

 

Neighbourhoods, Communities, Housing, and Health

Neighbourhoods, Communities, Housing, and Health is interdisciplinary in approach, crossing boundaries that include urban planning, housing studies, sociology and public health. Led by Associate Professor Kathy Arthurson, our focus is on cities and neighbourhoods and investigating the pathways by which characteristics of particular areas are interrelated with achieving health equity, community resilience and social inclusion.

This research also includes a strong focus on refugee health. The major aim of this research is to develop an evidence base for policy makers and service providers to form innovative responses concerning health and well-being and social inclusion amongst refugees and asylum seekers entering Australian society. Led by A/Prof Anna Ziersch and A/Prof Kathy Arthurson, this research will result in best-practice guides in relation to housing and the links to social inclusion, health and wellbeing.

 

Primary Health Care and Community Services

Primary Health Care & Community Services aims to investigate the quality of primary health care, health promotion and population health initiatives and has a focus on equity in health access and outcomes, social determinants of health, primary prevention, and health services and policy. Led by Professor Fran Baum, this area of research is based on a participatory approach engaging policymakers, practitioners and primary health care clients within primary and community health services. 

Major project: Regional primary health care organisations , Comprehensive primary health care in local communities (CPHC)

 

Stigma and Discrimination

Stigma and discrimination can harm health and wellbeing and also effect opportunities for full social inclusion. Led by A/Prof Anna Ziersch, researchers at the Southgate Institute are undertaking research in this area, aiming to:

  • Advance understandings of how stigma and discrimination can impact on social inclusion and health and wellbeing
  • Identify mechanisms to address stigma and discrimination, and also to interrupt negative effects on social inclusion and health and wellbeing.
  • Explore which policies and practices are most effective in addressing discrimination and supporting social inclusion
  • Contribute to research training in the area of stigma, discrimination and health.

 

Work and Health

Work is an important social determinant of health. Led by Professor Fran Baum, researchers at the Southgate Institute have been investigating the links between work and health and wellbeing, focusing in particular on the ways that job loss, changing forms of work, and non-standard employment can affect social inclusion and health and wellbeing.

 

Mindfulness and Health

Within this research theme we are interested in the role of mindfulness in developing resilience. This theme is led by Associate Professor Kathy Arthurson, who is a member of the Mindfulness Research Special Interest Group (MRSIG) at Flinders University.

 

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