ACU staff are welcome to apply for the shortlisted projects below.

These projects will be co-designed by the ACU project teams in collaboration with each of the partner agencies. The applications below are a starting point for those conversations and there is room for negotiation of the research questions and other project details.

The project details included below have been copied without modification from the original applications made by the organisations.

If the application requests the analysis of existing data, please be aware that this will need to be considered by ACU’s Ethics Secretariat before ACU can commit to this work.

Notes have been included at the end of each project with some of the recommendations from the SESU Advisory Group that you should be aware of before applying

Proposed research project title

A strengths and assets based needs assessment for youth development in Baucau Diocese, Timor-Leste

Description of lead organisation

Australian Marist Solidarity (AMS) works to ensure that all young people have access to educational opportunities.

We believe education has the power to eradicate poverty. With our Australian community we support grassroots movements run by local people, by resourcing them to deliver the changes they want to make in their communities.

Working across Asia and the Pacific, our projects focus on providing access to education for vulnerable young people, building facilities for the future to ensure safe spaces for learning, and investing in resilience and readiness to help young people who need a little extra support to thrive in learning environments.

Together, we transform the lives of young people by raising awareness of the power of education, and the funds that make it possible. Together, we bring hope.

AMS is a Catholic faith-based organization, guided by the Marist Brothers' principles and the Catholic tradition of service, compassion, and commitment to justice. Our work, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, focuses on education and skill development, drawing inspiration from the teachings of Saint Marcellin Champagnat. AMS aims to foster dignity, hope, and solidarity, creating inclusive communities where education serves as a pathway to social justice, ethical leadership, and community service, reflecting our deep-rooted Catholic values and mission.

Existing relationship with ACU

AMS and ACU have an informal relationship through engagement with shared community partners in the Baucau district of Timor Leste and collaboration between staff. AMS also receives funds from the Emerge Foundation each year via ACU, to support its work at the ICFP Teacher Training College in Baucau, Timor-Leste.

Context of the research project

AMS acknowledges the critical role of youth services in fostering development and empowerment among young people in Baucau, Timor Leste. Our current and past partnerships with local organisations, including CTUF Uai Lili and CYC Ponta Leste, have been instrumental in addressing the unique needs of the youth in this region. However, these partnerships face significant challenges, particularly in maintaining the necessary accreditation and meeting stringent reporting expectations, which are crucial for the sustainability and effectiveness of these youth services. There have been instances where these challenges have seen the cessation of, or reduced impact of, much needed services.

Youth development is deeply aligned with the Marist Charism, emphasising education, social justice, and community support as pathways to personal and communal growth. The Marist Brothers, in collaboration with AMS, acknowledge therefore a desire to continue delivering such services. But the specific needs, existing capacities as well as the optimal model – stand alone, partnership, broader collaborations – is not currently well understood.

The project would leverage the linkages and relationships developed over more than 20 years of continued service and engagement of the Marist Brothers within the Baucau district – work that began as soon as the young nation achieved independence in the late 1990s. These linkages include the Brothers themselves, staff, connections within the broader network of Catholic orders and the Baucau Diocese as well as the alumni and current students of the ICFP teacher training college. It is the capacity for AMS to access this large network of contacts and relationships that provides a potentially fruitful context for a new model and prospective new program.

Proposed research questions

  • What are the development needs of youth in the Baucau Diocese of Timor Leste? (including social, economic and cultural dimensions)
  • What are the current assets, resources, strengths, and capacities that exist within the community to meet these needs?
  • Which assets can be further developed to improve the capacity to meet these needs?
  • What is the optimal model for the Marist Brothers and AMS to be engaged with sustainable and effective youth development within the Baucau Diocese?

Objectives of the research

The objectives of this research project, focusing on youth development needs in the Baucau Diocese of Timor Leste, revolve around developing a comprehensive understanding and strategic approach towards enhancing the lives of young people in this region. The research is driven by a desire to directly engage with the youth, and those involved in delivering youth services, to capture a detailed narrative of the community's needs from the perspective of its most vibrant yet vulnerable demographic. Recognised stakeholders in this endeavour include multiple religious orders, the Baucau Diocese, faith-based and government educational institutions, and existing non-governmental organisations dedicated to youth welfare.

Central to our objectives is the deployment of an Assets-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach for asset mapping within the community. This methodology is chosen for its positive focus, emphasizing existing strengths, capacities, and potentials, rather than deficiencies and problems. By identifying current assets and resources, from individual assets such as community leaders, through physical infrastructures like schools, community centres and public spaces to intangible assets such as community spirit and local knowledge, we aim to construct a detailed inventory of what Baucau currently has to offer to its youth.

Furthermore, this project seeks to pinpoint opportunities for Australian Marist Solidarity (AMS) and its partners to enhance these existing assets. The goal is to facilitate mutually beneficial capacity-building initiatives that not only leverage but also amplify the value of what is already in place. Such an approach ensures that development efforts are grounded in the community's existing foundation, thereby enhancing sustainability and effectiveness.

The ultimate ambition of this research is multi-faceted. Firstly, to gain clarity on the specific needs of Baucau's youth,exploring the challenges they face and the aspirations they harbour. Secondly, to map out the current landscape of assets, strengths, resources, opportunities, and capacities within the community that are or could be harnessed to meet these needs. Thirdly, to identify the gaps in capacity that require development, whether they be in skills, knowledge, infrastructure, or other critical areas. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, to conceptualize an optimal model for AMS and the Marist Brothers' involvement in youth development within Baucau. This model will aim to be community centres, sustainable, effective, and deeply resonant with the Marist ethos of service, education, and community support, ensuring that the youth of Baucau have the resources, opportunities, and support network they need to thrive.

Anticipated outcomes and outputs

Anticipated key outcomes:

Comprehensive Needs Analysis: The project is expected to yield a detailed understanding of the specific development needs of the youth in Baucau Diocese. This will include insights into the educational, vocational, social, and emotional support required to foster a conducive environment for their holistic development.

Asset Inventory: A thorough mapping of existing community assets and capacities that can support youth development will be completed. This inventory will highlight the physical, institutional, and human resources available within the community, including schools, community centers, local organizations, and key community leaders and influencers.

Identification of Capacity Gaps: The research will identify gaps in the current system that hinder the effective delivery of youth services. This will cover areas such as educational content and delivery, vocational training opportunities, access to healthcare and emotional support, and availability of safe and engaging community spaces for youth.

Strategic Development Model/s: A key outcome will be the formulation of optimal potential model/s for sustainable and effective youth development in Baucau. The model/s will outline how AMS, the Marist Brothers, and other stakeholders can best contribute to and support the identified needs and utilize the mapped assets. It will include recommendations for capacity building, partnerships, and program development.

Actionable Recommendations: The project will provide actionable recommendations for AMS, the Marist Brothers, and their partners to enhance their current programs and initiatives or develop new strategies to address the identified needs and capacity gaps.

These outcomes will inform the strategic direction of AMS and the Marist Brothers in Baucau and provide a framework for collaboration with local stakeholders, including government and non-government organizations, to ensure a coordinated and impactful approach to youth development in the area.

Organisations’ anticipated timeframe

Acknowledging the added complexities provided by an international context it is expected that this project may take longer than some domestic SESU projects. Much of this will be encapsulated in the initial stages – particularly the process of obtaining ethical clearance both in Timor Leste and within Australia. Furthermore, the language context/barrier may increase the lead times on development of some resources such as surveys. It is expected that at least one of the research team will need to spend time in country to effectively conduct this research – approval and execution of which may also add time to the completion. However, the fact that most of the required network of contacts etc. are already in place and maintained by the Marist Brothers in country removes some of the potential time intensive barriers. In consideration of all of these elements this it is expected that a timeframe of 12 – 18, possibly up to 24 months would likely be required to complete this program.

Existing data


Involvement of minors

Yes, AMS intends that data will be collected from persons under the age of 18.

Organisations’ project lead, expertise and their desired support from ACU

As an international development organisation AMS has extensive expertise and experience working interculturally and has been working in Timor-Leste in various capacities since the Marist Brothers first established their teacher training college in Baucau following Timorese independence. AMS been present and had partnerships with community groups in the Baucau Archdiocese for more than 12 years, including in central Baucau and in the subdistricts to the East and South of Baucau town. Given the Marist charism’s focus on supporting young people, the majority of this work has been with youth organisations and schools providing education to children of primary and secondary school age. AMS and the Marist Brothers have staff with strong Timorese language skills, primarily as native speakers. There are also a range of Australians in our network who have extensive experience with Timorese culture and language. We are seeking support with strong research skills and experience from ACU.

In-kind contributions from the organisations

AMS will be able to set up and initiate connection between the researchers and a broad range of related local stakeholders in Baucau. Through our local partners we can assist the researchers with logistical planning for in-community research visits and support local cultural orientation if needed. Assistance with translation can also be provided.

Proposed partner agencies

The Marist Foundation Timor-Leste (FMTL) is the governing body for Marist Brothers programs in Timor-Leste. Established initially to support the development of the ICFP Teacher Training College in Baucau, it is currently also establishing the first Marist school in Timor-Leste near the town of Lautem, to the East of Baucau. AMS collaborates strongly with FMTL to support the ICFP Teacher Training College, particularly through scholarships for young people who are training to be qualified as teachers. AMS and FMTL have also partnered together, and with the Diocese of Baucau, to deliver the school rebuilding program, which has seen AMS renovate/rebuild 14 catholic schools in the Diocese. FMTL is the local implementation partner that oversees the program in-country for AMS. FMTL and AMS also both support the 12 Australian Marist schools who visit Timor-Leste each year for immersion experiences, building strong long-term relationships between Australian and Timorese communities. The organisations share the ethos of the Marist charism, a vision for all young people in need to access hope and education and a commitment to child rights and activity grounded in authentic solidarity and subsidiarity. FMTL, with AMS support and resourcing, would play a key role in hosting the researchers and connecting them with key local stakeholders and communities for the research.

The Catholic Education Office within the Diocese of Baucau, known as Fundacao San Jose (FSJ), oversees 109 schools from pre-school to senior high school level. Within these schools there are over 20,000 students and almost 1,000 teachers. Following the ‘scorched earth’ policy of the retreating Indonesian occupiers, one of the challenges faced by FSJ is that many schools require major structural redevelopment for which they do not have available funds to achieve. FSJ partners with AMS to redevelop strategically selected schools in large catchment areas or schools that are nearing complete disrepair and to date the partnership has resulted in 14 school renovations/rebuilds. FSJ would support the researchers to connect with youth programs hosted/offered by other catholic orders and ministries.

Recommendations from the SESU Advisory Group

This is an international research project. Additional overseas approvals and research ethics requirements will apply, as well as other required actions, which are likely to extend the timeline beyond the usual 18-month timeframe for SESU projects.

The project will be ‘higher risk’ from a research ethics perspective if new data is collected from minors. The risks will need careful attention and management.

Proposed research project title

Interprofessional Student-Led Allied Health Service for Residents in Social Housing: An evidence-based co-designed initiative

Description of lead organisation

cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation. cohealth aims to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and address health and social inequity. We do this by providing community health services, advocating for health and social equity, undertaking research, developing health promotion initiatives and through our partnerships. cohealth provides essential health and support services in Melbourne’s CBD, inner-north and inner-west, and the east coast of Tasmania.

Central to the cohealth approach is:

  • the design and deliver high quality healthcare services in partnership with the community
  • publicly campaigning for health and social equity.

This exciting and innovative collaborative research project will be situated in the City of Yarra. The City of Yarra's 19.5 square kilometres includes the suburbs of Abbotsford, Burnley, Carlton North, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Cremorne, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, Princes Hill, Richmond, Parts of Alphington and Fairfield (south of Heidelberg Road). Yarra City Council has a total capital and operating budget of $162.5 million, which is used to deliver a wide range of community services and maintain essential community infrastructure.

cohealth will act as the lead organisation for this project and partner with the City of Yarra, Access Health and Community (also situated in the City of Yarra) and Austrlaian Catholic University.

Existing relationship with ACU

cohealth has a current Student Placement Agreement with Australian Catholic University, Faculty of Health Sciences. In 2023, cohealth provided professional experience placements to ACU students from the disciplines of Exercise Science and Dietetics.

Context of the research project

Analysis of the 2017-18 Australian Health Survey found that tenants in social housing were more likely to experience health issues than people in other housing. Twenty-four percent of social housing tenants reported that they experienced five or more health conditions including mental health issues, arthritis, back problems, hypertension, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, compared to 3-6% of those in non-social housing.

Social housing in the City of Yarra comprises 9.5% of households, across public and community housing. cohealth provides the City of Yarra with high-quality community health services for residents of social housing. Naturally, the resource demand for health services outstrips available resources. Interprofessional student-led services may be a suitable option to sustainably increase capacity to meet unmet demand for health services. They will provide students with opportunities to experience working in this specialised area, gain valuable and necessary skills in interprofessional working, and increase sustainable work placements for students.

 A detailed needs assessment and business plan is required to ensure the viavbility of this propsoal.

Proposed research questions

1. What evidence supports the use of student-led services to improve health in social housing?

2. What models of co-designed interprofessional learning integrate with and add value to existing models of community care?

3. How effective is an interprofessional student-led service in community-based service delivery?

Objectives of the research

The aims of the research project are to

  • understand how a co-designed Interprofessional Student-Led Allied Health (ISAH) service to improve health for residents in social housing can be developed and delivered, and
  • develop a business case for the setup and implementation of a sustainable ISAH service with the City of Yarra

Objectives of the research project to achieve the aims include:

  • Conduct a rapid literature review of successful domestic and international interprofessional student-led allied health services, with a sub-analysis of the provision of student-led services in the context of social housing;
  • Understand the need for allied health services to identify priority areas of practice for the community;
  • Identify and analyse the resources required to co-design and implement an ISAH service (e.g. cost-benefit analysis for permanent resourcing of an allied health educator position to provide supervision needs);
  • Develop an implementation and evaluation plan (including advocacy for ongoing government resourcing and ongoing collaboration with ACU for student availability);
  • Develop resources to support the implementation of an interprofessional student led service;
  • Develop a research plan, concurrently with pilot (this will provide potential opportunity for community partner organisations and ACU staff to participate in this research. Ethics will be required as part of the process);
  • Implement and evaluate pilot ISAH service.

ACU will provide:

  • research and analytical capacity required to achieve the aims of the research project; this will include students studying the ACU Master Public Health.
  • in-kind contribution to research project meetings.

Anticipated outcomes and outputs

  1. Literature review.
  2. Established need for allied health services in community housing in the City of Yarra.
  3. Blueprint for co-designed model for delivery of interprofessional student-led allied health service.
  4. Interprofessional learning opportunities for ACU students (occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, nutrition, dietetic practice, exercise and sports science, exercise physiology, public health).
  5. Completed research ethics application.
  6. Strengthened relationships/partnership between cohealth, Access Health and Community, the City of Yarra and ACU.

Organisations’ anticipated timeframe

The estimated timeframe for the project will be 18 months. This will be sufficient time for key project activities:

  • Human Research Ethics approval to gather and analyse data from key stakeholders including community health service providers and consumers in the City of Yarra.
  • Data collection and analysis.
  • Data reporting.
  • Development of business case.

Delivery of key deliverables: Project report and business case.

Existing data


Involvement of minors

Cohealth is currently unsure about the collection of data from persons under the age of 18 for this project.

Organisations’ project lead, expertise and their desired support from ACU

cohealth, Access Health and Community and the City of Yarra have a long history of providing high-quality community health services for residents of community housing. The project was initiated by Councillor Kerry McGrath, and key service providers for the City of Yarra cohealth, Access Health and Community, and North Richmond Community Health. Each partner listed has extensive experience in health service planning, delivery and evaluation, project management and innovative solutions. The named partners are highly motivated to establish an interprofessional allied health student-led service with ACU and will continue to provide leadership and coordination in this highly collaborative research project should it be successful.

In-kind contributions from the organisations

cohealth will make an in-kind contribution over the 18 month period in the form of:

  • access to cohealth management
  • access to cohealth allied health professionals
  • meeting attendance

Total estimated [in-kind] contribution [equates to the value] of $20,000 over 18 months.

Proposed partner agencies

Access Health and Community

City of Yarra

Recommendations from the SESU Advisory Group

The current project scope may not be feasible within the SESU’s usual timeframe of 12-18 months for domestic projects and will be explored further with the organisations during the project planning phase to determine whether the project might need to be scaled back.

The proposed involvement of ACU Masters of Public Health students will need further exploration to determine feasibility within a SESU project.

While the organisations are unsure about the involvement of minors in the study, if they are to be included, the project will be ‘higher risk’ from a research ethics perspective. The risks will need careful attention and management.

Proposed research project title

Evaluating Heartprint: Engaging residents, families and care workers in evaluating outcomes of an innovative person-centred care program

Description of lead organisation

St Vincent’s Care Services (SVCS), a proud partner of St Vincent’s Health Australia, is a Not-for Profit Residential Aged Care provider with 26 Aged Care Homes across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

SVCS is a Catholic Organisation. St Vincent’s Health Australia is a ministry of Mary Aikenhead Ministries. Mary Aikenhead Ministries was established by the Congregation of Religious Sisters of Charity of Australia to continue to build on the charism and traditions of the Sisters of Charity through aged care, health, research, education and social services ministries.

Existing relationship with ACU

As partners in Catholic Health, SVCS and ACU have a long and extensive existing relationship within the clinical and hospital areas (the connection with aged care is a natural extension). Relationship highlights include: 1. ACU and SVHA partners in the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD), which should open in early to mid-2025 and is “…a collaborative biomedical engineering centre accelerating the translation and commercialisation of research…”. 2. ACU and SVHA collaboratively run two clinical schools. 3. ACU and SVHA co-fund the Nursing Research Institute. 4. A range of ACU students (nursing and allied health) complete placements at St Vincent’s hospitals. 5. ACU’s Executive Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Suzanne Chambers is a Clinical Fellow of the St Vincents Sydney Health Network and also sits on their Medical and Scientific Committee.

Context of the research project

Most people feel lonely and marginalised when they are admitted to aged care, (Caughey et al., 2020). These feelings become persistent and chronic, and quality of life was perceived more poorly six-months post-admission (Davison et al., 2022). Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence showing that aged care staff are able to build important, meaningful relationships with residents and ameliorate feelings of social isolation and loneliness by delivering person-centred care (Horstmanshof & Louise, 2011). Truly person-centred goes beyond the reduction of indicators of poor quality of life and well-being and involves high quality interpersonal that affirms personhood and includes love, comfort, attachment, inclusion, occupation, and identity (Fazio, Pace, Flinner, & Kallmyer, 2018) {Fazio, 2018 #79} More recently the quality of the relationships between residents and staff are seen as central to achieving person-centred care (Tieu & Matthews, 2024) (These person-centred and relational care models can enable residents to report having more fun and a higher quality of life than prior to entering residential care (Minney and Razijn (2016) .

SVCS is implementing an integrated person centred relational model of Care called Heartprint, The model aims to empower people living in aged care homes to live their lives the way they choose and to promote and foster independence and individuality. Heartprint will foster connections between the residents and the staff that care for them. Services will also be guided by happiness, wellbeing and positive psychology, where the objective is to encourage people to discover and nurture their character strengths rather than focusing on shortcomings.

Our hypothesis is that a person-centred-care model that focuses on connection between residents, their families and staff will facilitate more meaningful relationships, personalised care and activities that will increase the joy and wellbeing while reducing loneliness of people living in aged care.

Proposed research questions

  1. How can we meaningfully evaluate joy, loneliness and the success of interpersonal relationships between people living in residential aged care and workers?
  2. What is the evidence regarding the impact and outcomes for residents and workers of the Heartprint model of care?

Objectives of the research

The overall objective of this research is to develop a framework for the meaningful evaluation of the quality of residential aged care, describe the initial outcomes of the Heartprint model that inform strategies for continuous improvement to optimise relationships and joy for people living in Heartprint residential aged care.

Through an engaged co-design process with residents, families and care workers:

Specific objectives include:

  • identify the key contributors, facilitators and behaviours of meaningful/connected relationships, joy and wellbeing for residents and care staff.
  • develop meaningful evaluation criteria and inclusive** methods for data collection for Heartprint service delivery, that enable engagement of people with including those from diverse backgrounds (cultural, age, gender, ability, geographic, socioeconomic etc).
  • develop an inclusive process for analyses that identifies key insights and meaning from the data for developing the Heartprint service model over time that enables continuous improvements so it can be responsive to evolving resident needs.

Anticipated outcomes and outputs

Residents, their families, and care staff in aged care facilities rarely participate in the thinking, design and evaluation of programs and services. This research is based on the fundamental principle that only by fully engaging residents, families and care workers can we understand the impact and success of service delivery and engage in continuous program development. This research and evaluation places residents of aged care facilities at the centre so that they can directly reflect on their experience and perception of what brings joy to their lives and reduces loneliness and be enabled as partners that contribute to the ongoing development of the Heartprint service model.

Key expected outcomes include:

  1. Develop capability on codesign methods to enable residents, their families, and workers to meaningfully contribute to evaluation and service development.
  2. To deeply understand and identify the key facilitators of meaningful and connected relationships between residents, their families and care workers in residential aged care.
  3. Develop methods to meaningfully assess joy, loneliness and the quality and impact of interpersonal relationships from the perspectives of residents, their families, and workers.
  4. Evaluate the impact of the Heartprint model of care on joy, loneliness, and well-being for residents, their families and workers in aged care.
  5. Identify strengths and weaknesses of the development and implementation of the Heartprint model to inform strategies to continually improve Heartprint services and optimise outcomes for residents, their families and workers.

Develop implementable and sustainable evaluation strategies and processes that enable residents, their families and care workers over time.... That move away from care minutes and more to meaningful minutes.

Organisations’ anticipated timeframe

The co-designed Heartprint evaluation will be completed over a 12-month period and involve residents, their families and care workers at three diverse SVHA locations in Queensland:

  •    Carina (Brisbane):
  •    Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast)
  •    Arundel (Gold Coast

Stage 1 (months 1-3): Explore and identify the initial key facilitators of meaningful and connected relationships. Interview five residents, five family members and five care staff.

Stage 2 (months 4-6): Identify evaluation criteria and data collection methods that deliver insights that are meaningful to and impactful for residents, their families, and care workers. Co-design workshops in each location involving all three participant groups (aiming for 10 in each participant group = 30 in each location).

Stage 3 (months 7-9): Develop implementable and sustainable evaluation strategies and processes that enable residents, their families and care workers over time. Co-design workshops in each location involving all three participant groups (aiming for 10 in each participant group = 30 in each location).

Stage 4 (months 10-12): Deliver evaluation processes in a format that enables implementation in the 26 other SVHA aged care facilities.

Existing data

SVCS would like to use existing data in this project:

  • SVHA has collected monthly quantitative survey data with our residents using the National Mandatory Quality Indicators as part of legislative requirements since the 1st of April 2023. The indicators are brief and largely describe process rather than quality outcomes and include: Activities of daily living – Percentage of care recipients who experienced a decline in activities of daily living
  • Incontinence care – Percentage of care recipients who experienced incontinence associated dermatitis
  • Hospitalisation – Percentage of care recipients who had one or more emergency department presentations
  • Workforce – Percentage of staff turnover
  • Consumer experience – Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience of the service
  • Quality of life – Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ quality of life.
  • While these measures do not address or focus on relationships, joy, wellbeing or loneliness they can be used as baseline and going ‘pulse’ comparison data.
  • SVHA currently doesn’t have evaluation processes or data that were co-designed with key-stakeholders, such as residents, their families, or care workers. Co-designing a meaningful evaluation process for service model with key stakeholders is novel for the aged care industry and is critical to bring meaning to the evaluation and development of aged care.
  • NOTE: The NMQI Data is published by the Australian Government.

Involvement of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

SVCS is interested in involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the study as research participants.

This research is not focused solely on Aboriginal and/or Torres Straight islander peoples and we will include those participants who volunteer within the course of the project. We are in discussion about partnering in this research with an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander specific aged care home - Moopi Moopi. This exciting partnership would foster and support a co-design process for evaluating service delivery that is meaningful and relevant to First Nations Peoples. Their participation is not confirmed as yet.

Organisations’ project lead, expertise and their desired support from ACU

SVHA has a strong and enthusiastic team of practitioners, clinicians and administrators who are committed to developing and delivering a meaningful evaluation process with residents, families and care staff.

SVCS will deploy and dedicate team members as project officers for 3 days per FN to the project. The project leads will be Nicole Devlin, with support from Erin Couper who is the lead for the Heartprint Project.

From 2012-2018, Nicole Devlin was an Investigator on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant addressing Happiness in Aged Care, which also included Professor Laurie Buys. This research was the first research conducted into happiness in aged care internationally.

Nicole Devlin is the Project Lead and Erin Couper is the lead for the Heartprint Project.

Specifically, the team is led by Julia Lawerance, Executive General Manager of Service Delivery SVCS and includes:

  • Sally Kelynack, Head of Service Delivery Governance, BSc
  • Nicole Devlin, Qld State Manager, Bachelor of Nursing, GradDip Diabetes Education, Masters of Education
  • Erin Couper, Development & Delivery Manager, Registered Nurse, PostGradDipPsyc
  • Shelley Hoppen

In-kind contributions from the organisations

We have an established the St Vincents Care Services Consumer Advisory Body that can engage and review the progress of the project and provide expert advice and opinions into the project as it develops. The Consumer Advisory Body (CAB) has 12 members (7 are representatives of current residents and 5 are current residents in our care) who come from services in QLD, NSW and VIC.  There is also an Engagement Advisor who is a member of the CAB and reaches out to consumers and families across our residential aged care homes to strengthen the voice of the consumer. This role and group will give continual resident experience of the effectiveness of a codesign approach to evaluating Heartprint. The CAB is a key part of the new legislative reforms in aged care to improve quality of care.

The Consumer Advisory Body (CAB) has 12 members (7 are representatives of current residents and 5 are current residents in our care) who come from services in QLD, NSW and VIC.  There is also an Engagement Advisor who is a member of the CAB and reaches out to consumers and families across our residential aged care homes to strengthen the voice of the consumer. This role and group will give continual resident experience of the effectiveness of a codesign approach to evaluating Heartprint. The CAB is a key part of the new legislative reforms in aged care to improve quality of care.

This project is based on co-design, which requires full engagement by all stakeholders, including the SVHA team, ACU researchers, and all participants. We are committed to investing time, energy, and funds to ensure its success. St Vincent’s Care will deploy and dedicate team members as project officers for 3 days per FN to the project.

Recommendations from the SESU Advisory Group

If the project involves First Nations communities (which may eventuate given the partnership they are exploring with Moopi Moopi), the project may be classed as ‘higher risk’ from a research ethics perspective. The research ethics application is likely to proceed via the SVCS Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) in the first instance. A researcher with experience with indigenous communities would be a useful asset to the project.

Analysis of existing program data is requested. This will need discussion with ACU’s Ethics Secretariat (even if the project is going forward via the SVCS HREC), who will consider the consent that was collected at the time to ensure there is no risk of a data breach.
Page last updated on 24/04/2024

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