Our vision is to enhance opportunities for children and communities to thrive.

The Child and Community Wellbeing Unit builds evidence about systemic and service-based opportunities to promote positive health and wellbeing for children and their families; and to support communities to thrive in times of stability and to adapt and grow in response to disruption. We focus on current and emerging health and social issues including:

­­­­­­­­Our strong focus on research translation is characterized by a partnership approach with key stakeholders to support the development of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence. This ensures our research projects address community and service needs and result in immediate and seamless translation into policy and practice. We are committed to excellence in the generation, translation and sharing of knowledge.

Kids in circle

2021 Annual Report

Read our report here

In 2021 our focus on disaster resilience for individuals, families, schools and communities has continued to grow in response to recent disaster events in Australia. We were also proud to provide increased understanding and guidance for long term disaster recovery and resilience through the release of the 10 years Beyond Bushfires Report.

Beyond Disasters

Beyond Disasters is a program of research within the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.

Beginning with the Beyond Bushfires study of long-term community recovery after the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires, this body of work has since expanded to include many projects across various streams of disaster resilience and recovery research.

Visit the Beyond Disasters website

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We live and work on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin nation, and we pay respects to their Elders past and present.

This artwork was commissioned from Yaegl artist by Frances Belle Parker, who explains:

"The healing process is vastly different for everyone. It is a pivotal part of our own recovery. This icon features five figures depicting a sense of community connectedness. They come together to help each other heal. The central figure is a symbol of calm, knowledge and healing. The remaining figures represent children as well as adults coming together to collaborate and learn from the Indigenous knowledge of healing. The ray of light represents the hope we experience following a disaster. The flowing pattern below the figures captures a sense of momentum as well as the movement within the journey of healing. "

Kids in Action on COVID-19

The Kids in Action on COVID-19 is an international collaboration that aims to provide a platform for children and young people’s ideas to promote best outcomes during and after the COVID-19 restrictions.

In this project, adult and young researchers will collaborate locally and internationally to find out how children and young people have contributed during the COVID-19 pandemic and create a digital exhibition. Local projects will also engage with their communities to disseminate their findings.

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Vale Professor Elizabeth Waters

Upholding a legacy

The team at the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program were extremely saddened by the passing of it's founding Director, Professor Elizabeth Waters in September 2015. Committed to justice, equity, and human rights, Liz and her team worked in partnership with a wide range of policymakers, practitioners, communities, families and children, with the deliberate intent to generate relevant, useful evidence and apply evidence to decision making and practice. The program, renamed the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit in 2018, will continue her legacy of generating and promoting the best quality evidence for child public health.

Thanks to Liz’s family and friends, the next generation of researchers focussed on child health and wellbeing have the opportunity to apply for an annual Professor Elizabeth Waters’ Memorial Travel Scholarship and through the travel experience enhance their career development, their work and the work of the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit

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The foundation of the Program commenced in 1995, and has been based on the principle of collaboration in Australia and internationally. Since then, we have formed strong practice-research partnerships across a wide variety of sectors and disciplines, including government, education, community health, dental health, disability, emergency management, social welfare and childcare.

In 2008, the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program was the grateful recipient of the Jack Brockhoff Centenary gift. This gift has made a significant contribution to building long term human resource investment in our program and enabled substantial developments to novel and important ways of working.

On Wednesday 31st October, The Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program celebrated its 10 year anniversary (pictured).

The Program is part of the legacy of Sir Jack Brockhoff who, through his generosity, established The Jack Brockhoff Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to provide philanthropic support to organisations whose activities are designed to have a positive and enduring impact on the health and wellbeing of communities.

The Foundation awarded the Jack Brockhoff Centennial Grant to the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program in 2008 for a 10 year funding period from 2009-2018.

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