THE UNITINGCARE Chair in Social Policy and Research established in partnership with The University of Queensland was launched on 3 June in Brisbane.
This is the first time the University of Queensland’s School of Social Work and Applied Human Services has established a Joint Chair with a non-profit organisation.
Chief Executive Officer of UnitingCare Queensland Anne Cross said that the importance of evidenced based research in shaping the future development of UnitingCare Queensland’s service delivery agenda could not be underestimated.
“The people we serve include children and families caught up in domestic violence, frail older people who might be leaving their family home for the first time to enter accommodation with supported care, and older people who rely on support so they can continue to live in their own home,” she said.
“They include patients in our hospitals, children or adults with disabilities, individuals who are marginalised for whatever reason, and other members of the community who are going through rough times.
“The development and implementation of a clear research agenda will enable us to better understand the complex and changing needs of the thousands of people that we help each year and to better tailor our services to meet those needs.
“We will seek to invest in research that will result in practical outcomes by informing the services we provide across our agencies in the future and how these can provide the best outcomes for our clients.”
Professor Jill Wilson AO, the inaugural Chair introduced at the launch has been associated for more than 30 years with the health and community services of the Uniting Church, including 10 years as Chair of the UnitingCare Queensland Board.
Professor Wilson has a strong national and international profile as a researcher and as an academic in social work and human service practice and until recently she was Head of the School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences at The University of Queensland.
“It is a great honour to be the first incumbent in this key position,” Professor Wilson said.
“UnitingCare has taken a clear and innovative lead in the non-profit sector in establishing this Joint Chair with the University of Queensland and in planning to develop a research framework that will ensure that the organisation manages its sustainability into the future by providing services that are responsive and relevant.”