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"Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
 to all the people you can,
as long as ever you can."

John Wesley
Research Projects    Minimize

Work-related deaths and the experience of their widows with workers’ compensation

by John Bottomley

Our System Isn’t Geared for Death is a report of Creative Ministries Network into the experience of workers’ compensation for widows bereaved by a work-related death.  This is Australia’s first theological and sociological pilot research study on the topic and is based on interviews with ten widows on workers compensation bereaved by their husband’s death. 



Hard Work Never Killed Anybody

by John Bottomley

Hard Work Never Killed Anybody challenges the soul-destroying belief that hard work is essential for personal and national wellbeing. Author John Bottomley has written a thought-provoking book questioning our belief that the absolutising of work should be the primary source of meaning for human life in western cultures.


Hard Work Never Killed Anybody

by John Bottomley

Hard Work Never Killed Anybody challenges the soul-destroying belief that hard work is essential for personal and national wellbeing. Author John Bottomley has written a thought-provoking book questioning our belief that the absolutising of work should be the primary source of meaning for human life in western cultures.


Refugee Resettlement 

Mapping the Refugee Settlement Projects of the Australian Churches A project of the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, with advice from Prof. Sandy Gifford, Director of the Refugee Health Research Centre, La Trobe University.

The churches have historically played a highly significant role in the settlement of refugees in Australia, not only in providing services and support, but in establishing networks of inclusion, community and integration. The study will help churches identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in their work with refugees. The results will help inform responses from governments as well as churches in helping sometimes traumatised refugees settle into Australia.



Caz Coleman: Best practice in settlement for asylum seekers and refugees

Until recently director of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project and a current member of a government advisory committee, Caz Coleman has taken over this research into how to resettle asylum seekers and refugees in the most humane and effective way. Drawing on her extensive experience, she is outlining what has worked well in the past, and how to extend the community settlement schemes in Australia. The project intends to help shape government policy and inform public opinion about better policies for asylum seekers.


The morality of torture in the light of Christian social traditions, with special reference to Australian public opinion

This project surveys what the main Christian traditions have said about the morality of torture, and examines the thinking of leading Christian ethicists in current debates. The project considers the military codes of practice of the Australian intelligence and defence forces, in relation to US military or intelligence practice, with special reference to treatment of people detained as possible terrorists following the 9/11 attacks on New York. It also considers use of interrogation techniques in policing. In addition, the project examines debates about the reliability of information gained through torture.

Relevance of the project: a study by the Australian Red Cross to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions revealed that 40 per cent of respondents thought captured soldiers sometimes deserved to die, and 43 per cent of respondents believed it “OK” to torture captured soldiers to obtain “important military information”.

The research proposal aims to clarify Christian social thinking on this issue, with a view to helping inform public opinion.



Youth, Religious Belief and Social Justice

Sociological studies have indicated an association between religious commitment and involvement in social welfare / justice activities. Research focusing on youth (aged 13-24 years) also suggests an association between faith orientation and social concern and involvement. The research is a study of youth engaged in social justice activities and the religious / non-religious factors associated with such engagement. A main question posed by the research relates to the motivation behind youth engagement in social justice activities: To what extent is it motivated by basic human compassion, religious faith, or some other factor or combination of factors? Further to this is the issue of what factors help to sustain social justice involvement: For example, to what extent does religious faith help to sustain this type of engagement? To what extent is modelling important?



Long-term health costs of extended mandatory detention of asylum seekers

This report is part of a project by the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, funded by the Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand. The project aims at developing mechanisms to assist the processing of asylum seekers, and to improve the ease of transition into Australian society for successful asylum claimants.

This first stage of the project, Long-term health costs of extended mandatory detention of asylum seekers, was completed by Dr Tony Ward of Milbur Consulting, and was launched in Melbourne by Rev Alistair Macrae, President of the National Assembly of the Uniting Church of Australia on 12 October 2011. Dr Ward reported that prolonged detention had significant effects on people's mental health, and this would result in increased costs for mental health treatment, amounting to 50% more than average over a lifetime. The report attracted significant media interest, includin in the Age newspaper. The full report is attached.




Bishop Hilton Deakin and the Church's role in East Timor's Struggle for Independence:

researchers, Drs Jim and Therese D'Orsa

Drs Jim and Therese D’Orsa have been working with Bishop Hilton Deakin to write up his recollections of the involvement of the Catholic Church in East Timor’s struggles for independence. They are currently organising extensive collections of material, and working closely with Bishop Deakin, are planning to complete the project by the end of 2013. We expect that this project will make a significant contribution to understanding this critical period, involving the interlocking religious and political dimensions for Australia and internationally. To read more about this project, click HERE.

Fr Kevin Mogg and the development of Catholic social services in Victoria:

researcher, Anne Tuohey

Ms Anne Tuohey has wide experience in social services in Victoria and is well placed to work with Fr Kevin Mogg with these memoirs. Fr Mogg initially was involved with youth movements and the YCW groups, and became very concerned about the wellbeing of poor and disadvantaged groups. Inspired by the Second Vatican Council, he became part of various initiatives, especially prison visitation and chaplaincy. Later as the episcopal vicar for Catholic service providers, he helped coordinate the many Catholic social welfare organisations into Catholic Social Services Victoria.

REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT   Minimize

Please click HERE to read more about the Refugee Resettlement project with Dr Kirsty Sangster.
THE MORALITY OF TORTURE   Minimize

Photo courtesy pierre pouliquin, flickr. CC
Please click HERE to read more about
Dr. Ledsham's project on the morality of torture
Youth and Social Justice   Minimize

Photo courtesy pierre pouliquin, flickr. CC
Click HERE to read more about Dr Joan Daw's project on Youth, Religious Belief and Social Justice 
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