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Multi-million dollar Cooperative Research Centre to improve the wellbeing of young Australians

07 March 2011

In mid 2010 the federal government announced a cash investment of $27m towards the establishment of a Cooperative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing, led by the Inspire Foundation. This CRC will unite young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators from 63 organisations from across the not-for-profit, academic, government and corporate sectors to conduct research which helps us better understand how technologies can be used to ensure that all young Australians are safe, happy and resilient.

The federal government’s investment, combined with close to $7m cash contributed by our 63 partners and over $80m of in-kind support, will resource:

  • the first consolidated Australian data on young people’s technology use, available through an online knowledge hub for researchers, policy-makers and the community;
  • an education and training program for over 350 leaders in youth, technology, cybersafety, mental health and wellbeing;
  • proven online services and tools used by young people and professionals for cybersafety, mental health and wellbeing, available through an Online Wellbeing Centre; and
  • research that supports parents, the community and professionals to respond to the cybersafety and mental health needs of young people.

This CRC builds on the existing research collaborations undertaken by Inspire with organisations like Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, the Brain & Mind Research Institute and the University of Western Sydney, while providing a platform to foster new collaborations across sectors and settings. Its Executive Director will be Associate Professor Jane Burns, Global Head of Research at the Inspire Foundation, VicHealth Principal Research Fellow at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre and Honorary Fellow at the Brain & Mind Research Institute.

We’re thrilled that the federal government has chosen to invest in the CRC. This CRC reflects a collective effort never before seen in the youth mental health sector and we would like to sincerely thank the young people, researchers and practitioners who worked with us over the past 12 months to develop this bid.

Get Involved

The CRC will commence operations in July 2011. In the meantime, interested community sector organisations and academics can register to be part of YAW-NET. This is a network of end-users who will provide vital input and: (1) insight into the needs and experiences of end-user groups including young people, parents and carers, educators, youth and health organisations; and (2) access to specialist resources e.g. social marketing and technical expertise sites from which to engage with potential research participants.

Members of YAW-NET will get exclusive benefits including: priority access to new research, invitations to participate in education and training programs and the opportunity to become a ‘best practice’ site, where new initiatives are developed and trialed. YAW-NET members will have first access to evidence-based programs and services developed by the CRC which can be adapted and utilised in their local communities.

You can follow the progress of the CRC on Twitter or Facebook.

What are CRCs?

Co-operative Research Centres (www.crc.gov.au) are a federal government initiative administered by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Since the inception of the CRC Program, 185 CRCs have been funded. The Australian Government has committed more than $3.3 billion in CRC Program funding and CRC participants have committed a further $10.8 billion in cash and in-kind contributions.