BSL's Research and Policy Centre and the University of Melbourne have a longstanding collaboration founded on a shared commitment to developing high quality research and a mutual concern for social justice and equity.

BSL and the University share a history of collaboration that spans at least 50 years. In 2003 the organisations formalised this relationship as a partnership underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding. At the University of Melbourne responsibility for the partnership rests with the School of Social and Political Sciences in the Faculty of Arts; however partnership activities are University-wide.

The partnership has four main objectives:

  • Develop a joint research program
  • Develop a joint learning and teaching program
  • Develop a program of joint events
  • Jointly develop, fund and select appointees to key positions within the University

A Partnership Board and Steering Committee oversees the collaboration and works to ensure the partnership has a University-wide impact. In February 2021, members of the board were:

  • Conny Lenneberg, BSL
  • Shelley Mallett, BSL
  • Danielle Thornton (also Secretary) BSL
  • Karen Farquharson, Head School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Abigail Payne, Director, Melbourne Institute
  • Bruce Bonyhady, Director, Melbourne Disability Institute

Joint academic appointees work across both the Brotherhood and the University of Melbourne:

This longstanding partnership has a joint research agenda that addresses social inclusion across the life course, with a focus on helping to shape inclusive growth, social inclusion and poverty-prevention policies.

Research council initiatives developed as a result of the partnership have included

  • ARC funded Challenging and Preventing Workforce Vulnerabilities in Midlife and Beyond 
  • NHMRC funded Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre projects

The partnership has also engaged with:

  • the Children and Family Centre for Research Excellence, based at the University of Queensland and locally through the Melbourne Institute (with contributions from the BSL)
  • the Hallmark Research Network on Ageing, managed locally through the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and funded by University of Melbourne.

Contact Danielle Thornton