Research Impact is defined as ‘The contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment and culture beyond the contribution to academic research’ (ARC 2018)

Research with impact improves, influences or informs practices, products, services, policy, understanding or behaviour, and awareness or the decision making of the research end user.  Impact can be local, national or global. It results in measurable or identifiable change.

You’ll find examples of just some of the impactful research projects undertaken by our academics below. One such researcher, Associate Professor Neil Perry says: “The impact of my research stems from the assistance I provide to non-profit organisations as they oppose ill-considered policy, and for government departments who desire due diligence when analysing new policy or valuation frameworks.”

   Articulating value in housing cooperatives

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

The research involves the development and application of a methodology to articulate the value created by housing cooperatives and specifically those housing cooperatives in the social housing sector in Australia. Based on cost benefit analysis theory, we apply a cost consequences approach to determine how tenant-member and Community Housing Provider inputs lead to social benefits for members and society such as reduced cost of housing provision, social capital and enhanced skills for members.

Dr Neil Perry
Associate Professor Louise Crabtree | WSU Institute for Culture and Society
Dr Emma Power | WSU Institute for Culture and Society

External Researchers:
Professor Wendy Stone | University of Swinburne
Dr Sidsel Grimstad | Griffith University

Australian Research Council
Australian Cooperative Network

Funding Amount:


  • Crabtree, L., Perry, N., Grimstad, S. and McNeill, J. 2021. “Impediments and opportunities for growing the cooperative housing sector: an Australian case study.” International Journal of Housing Policy 21(1): 138-152.
  • Crabtree, L., Grimstad, S., McNeill, J. Perry, N. and Power, E. 2019. “Articulating value in cooperative housing: International and methodological review”. January. Available here (opens in a new window)
  • 2020      “Housing for thriving post-Covid.” Arena 4 (Summer): 33-42. (With Louise Crabtrree, Joanne McNeill, Sidsel Grimstad, Emma Power and Wendy Stone).

   DPIE Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan - Research Strategy and Implementation

SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 15 - Life on Land

The Research Strategy will:

  • help to improve knowledge about the area’s threatened species and ecosystems and our ability to manage, restore and monitor plant, animal and ecosystem responses to our efforts
  • deliver the data and new knowledge needed by the different stakeholders who are working to conserve and restore the native plants and animals of the Cumberland Plain.

The Cumberland Plain is the Country of the Darug, Dharawal and Gundungurra peoples while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from many other groups also live in, or have care relationships with, the area. The Strategy will also recognise the need to undertake research to support Aboriginal peoples to maintain their distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationships with the land and waters in the Cumberland Plain.

The draft Research Strategy proposes research priorities around four key themes, Supporting Aboriginal connections, Engaging with peoples and cultures (which the School of Business leads), Conserving threatened species and ecosystems and Restoring and reconstructing ecosystems

Dr Neil Perry
Associate Professor Paul Rymer | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Dr Uffe Nielsen | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Professor Jeff Powell | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Professor Jaun Salazar | School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Dr Ben Moore | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Dr Rachael Nolan | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Professor Elise Pendall | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Dr Yolima Carillo | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Dr Catriona MacDonald | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Associate Professor Matthias Boer | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Professor Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews | Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership

Department for Planning Industry and Environment

Funding Amount:


   Endo@Work: Developing workplace guidelines for people with Endometriosis

SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing SDG 5 - Gender Equality SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Endometriosis affects one in nine women in Australia.

Those with endometriosis are more likely to work part-time hours, and significantly more likely to transition out of the workforce entirely. Prior work has found that people with endometriosis in Australia have identified several changes that improved their productivity and ability to manage their symptoms, but further work is needed to implement across a diverse range of workplaces. This project intends to understand the experiences of those with endometriosis in the workplace; explore organizational perspectives on providing practical and appropriate support; and finally, to create guidelines and recommendations for employers to implement.

Dr Michelle O'Shea

   Family Friendly Workplaces Review

SDG 5 - Gender Equality SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

In this project we will be undertaking a review of the Family Friendly Workplace certification and benchmarking assessment tool. Parent’s At Work (PAW) (opens in a new window) are the peak organisation for supporting working families and have pioneered the Industry Accreditation of Family Friendly Workplaces.

The aim of the review is to assess whether the current benchmarking assessment tool for Family Friendly Certification is fit for purpose, whether it aligns with PAWs social impact framework, and for cross mapping purposes to assess whether questionnaire items are aligned with PAW’s recommendations for Family Friendly certification. This review comprises 3 parts across the National Work and Family Standards, the Family Friendly Certification Questionnaire, and the Benchmarking tool that assesses the minimum national standards required for certification.

Dr Emilee Gilbert
Dr Sarah Duffy
Dr Michelle O’Shea
Dr Alina Ewald

   Metro North West - Evaluating land use, place making and wider economic benefits

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 13 - Climate Action SDG 15 - Life on Land

This project is fundamentally tied to research on Just Transitions and works with community, industry, and government to build skills and capacity towards interconnected resilience across key areas of the natural, built, economic and social environment. The project will include diverse activities to promote affordable housing and resilient landscapes, including energy use, food growing, and citizen science, together with arts and social enterprise opportunities that will enable recovery and engagement, and create local work opportunities. Importantly this project will engage people across the age spectrum from school children through to older citizens. It will help the community to process the fires’ impacts, create a vision of regional resilience, and take key steps to implement that vision.

Dr Neil Perry
Mrs Deb Bardon | Director of the Lithgow Transformation Hub
Associate Professor Louise Crabtree | Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Associate Professor Brendan Choat| Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
Dr Ian Wright | School of Science
Dr Leo Robba | School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Associate Profesor Mary Hardie | School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment
Associate Professor Rachel Hendery | School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Dr Sebastian Pfautsch | School of Social Science
Associate Professor Ricky Spencer | School of Science
Associate Professor Ann Dadich

Transport for NSW

Funding Amount:

   Regenerating Lithgow – People, Place and Planet

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

This study aims to assess whether the predicted placemaking, land-use and Wider Economic Benefits (WEBs) of the Sydney Metro North West (SMNW) line’s cost benefit analysis and business case have been or are being realised. We develop and apply innovative methodologies designed to measure and evaluate these social benefits ex-post. The research is being conducted over three years (May 2020-November 2023) and employs a mixed-methods approach to collect and analyse data relating to the placemaking, land-use and WEBs of the SMNW.

Dr Neil Perry
Dr Rae Dufty Jones | WSU School of Social Sciences

National Bushfire Recovery Agency

Funding Amount: