2018 Keith Hancock Lecture #1: Prof. Ross Homel

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Ross Homel is Foundation Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith. He is a former Vice-President of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Homel has published approximately 200 books, edited volumes, peer-reviewed papers, chapters, and high impact government reports. He has won many awards for his research on the prevention of crime, violence and injuries and the promotion of positive development and wellbeing for children and young people in socially disadvantaged communities. In 2008 he was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) “for service to education, particularly in the field of criminology, through research into the causes of crime, early intervention and prevention methods.” In 2010 he received the Sellin-Glueck Award from the American Society of Criminology for criminological scholarship outside the United States.

Creating pathways to child wellbeing in disadvantaged communities

Presented by Professor Ross Homel AO

Children living in economically deprived areas, especially First Nations children in these areas, are more likely than those from more affluent communities to drop out of school, become trapped in inter-generational cycles of poverty and welfare dependence, or get caught up in the child protection or youth justice systems. Despite the best efforts of governments and caring organisations, and the billions of dollars they have spent over several generations, the gap is not narrowing. Today, where children live has an even greater impact on their life chances than it did 30 years ago. The recent widespread adoption of collective impact frameworks for place-based initiatives is a promising innovation, but robust methodologies based on rigorous research have yet to emerge. The challenge now facing Australia is to build prevention science methods and insights into large scale, sustainable, economically efficient, early prevention delivery systems. This will require the establishment of new types of infrastructure, including ‘intermediate organisations’ that can foster the methodological innovations and ‘triple helix collaborations’ between actors from research, government, and non-government organisations that are essential for achieving measurable, ongoing improvements in wellbeing across the life course. Methods for engaging authentically with and empowering communities and families are fundamental to the success of this enterprise, but remain elusive. This lecture will describe the achievements to date of one recent triple helix collaboration, including the invention and implementation of new electronic measurement tools and other prevention science resources, and the formation of the new profession of ‘collective impact facilitator.’


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