Centre for Social Impact UWA

Catalysing social change


The Centre for Social Impact UWA (CSI UWA) creates and delivers education that transforms, research that informs best practice, and public engagement that inspires and mobilises change makers.

We develop solutions that are rigorous and purpose-driven and work with people, communities and organisations across Australia to grow their capabilities.

The Centre for Social Impact is a collaboration of four universities: Swinburne University of Technology, Flinders University, University of New South Wales and The University of Western Australia.

Together as a network, our purpose is to catalyse positive change, to help enable others to achieve social impact. 

Download the CSI UWA brochure


Educating the social impact leaders of today and tomorrow

Undergraduate Unit

BUSN2102 Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance and Enterprise highlights how innovation and entrepreneurship are solving major global social and economic challenges such as hunger, poverty, homelessness and intergenerational disadvantage and unemployment.

Professional Development

CSI UWA has developed the Outcomes Measurement Workshop, an  interactive learning workshop designed to develop understanding of outcomes measurement and how to implement it in organisations. For an Outcomes Measurement Workshop tailored to your organisation's needs, contact our team.


Graduate Certificate in Social Impact

The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact (GCSI) has a uniquely comprehensive curriculum based on systems thinking and social design principles. Our teachers are regarded as some of the leading lights in social impact, social investment, social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, and social innovation.

It is also pathway to the MBA (Flexible).

Master of Business Administration (Social Impact)

Deciding to study an MBA (Flexible) with a specialisation in social impact is a strong and committed decision to fusing business and social impact together to benefit community, business and yourself. Students of the GCSI can progress into the MBA (Social Impact) as part of the MBA (Flexible). The course draws on the GCSI courses for the social impact specialisation.

Scholarships available.


Evidence-based research to help catalyse positive social change

CSI UWA has extensive experience in researching and evaluating a broad range of programs that address social issues such as entrenched disadvantage, family domestic violence, homelessness, mental health, disability, employment and financial inclusion.

What we can do for you:

  • Undertake leading research that supports positive social impact
  • Provide social impact measurement and evaluation expertise
  • Provide knowledge and experience in innovative approaches to capturing evidence and measuring outcomes
  • Co-design measurement frameworks and participatory methodologies
  • Develop tools and provide findings that will best support ongoing efforts to improve lives of individuals

    Our multi-disciplinary team has a proven record of producing deliverables that are robust in development, easy to use in context, timely, align with contemporary government practices and enrich our understanding about what is effective

    We collaborate with a diverse range of partners including:

  • Charities, not-for profit organisations and peak bodies
  • Community-based organisations
  • Corporate organisations, businesses and social entreprises
  • Philanthropic foundations
  • Commonwealth departments, State/Territory government departments and local government



    Research Projects

    Reimagining the Role of Lodging in Ending Homelessness

    The report "Reimagining the Role of Lodging in Ending Homelessness: An Evaluation of Foundation Housing’s Lodging and Support Services" highlights how lodging accommodation managed by community housing provider, Foundation Housing, provides a cost-effective and successful model that could be further expanded to address the housing crisis.

    The evaluation of Foundation Housing Lodging – which has 15 lodging houses in Western Australia –finds this model offers affordable long-term stability while addressing the holistic needs of residents through engagement and support services, promoting health, wellbeing, and social connection.
    Social impacts of drought

    The 'Understanding the Social Impact of Drought Report' provides a comprehensive review of the evidence around the social impacts of drought and factors which may mitigate the adverse social impacts.

    This report also presents an overview of the factors which make a community more resilient to drought, and factors which make a community more vulnerable to drought.

    Looking through an Aboriginal lens: Ngalang Moort Wangkiny (100 Families WA)

    Extending from the 100 Families WA project, the Ngalang Moort Wangkiny (Noongar for “Our People Yarning”) project reports on the experience of Aboriginal entrenched disadvantage in Perth and the major lessons that should be drawn by the community sector on ending entrenched disadvantage in Perth.

    The overarching goal of the 100 Families WA project is to develop an ongoing evidence base on poverty, entrenched disadvantage, and social exclusion in Western Australia that will be used by the policy and practice community.

    Centrecare's EntryPoint Outreach Program: Supporting families facing homelessness

    How can we support families facing homelessness to access and sustain permanent housing?

    CSI UWA was engaged to evaluate Centrecare’s Entrypoint Outreach Program (EPO) — A preventative early intervention pilot funded by Lotterywest designed to stop homelessness before it occurs by diverting families and individuals away from homelessness (often in the rental housing market).

    The brief intervention (2–6 weeks) targeted families who were newly homeless or were at immediate risk of homelessness in a very tight rental market.


    Workplace Sexual Harrassment

    To understand the prevalence of Workplace Sexual Harassment in WA and Australia, the Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia (CSI UWA) has partnered with Circle Green Community Legal and undertaken new research to help identify legal need priorities related to workplace sexual harassment and discrimination in Australia.

    Circle Green is the lead agency delivering the Workplace Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Legal Services Project (referred to as “the Workplace Respect Project”) in Western Australia.

    In its new report, Understanding workplace sexual harassment: Trends, barriers to legal assistance, consequences, and legal need, the Centre for Social Impact UWA builds on existing literature on workplace sexual harassment, as well as interviews conducted with community legal centres and other stakeholder organisations, and people with lived experience of workplace sexual harassment, to identify and understand its prevalence, nature, and occurrence in WA.

    Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more on our work on Workplace Sexual Harassment.

    Family Domestic Violence One stop hubs stakeholder engagement and co-design consultancy

    This research contract with the Department of Communities examines the issue of family domestic violence.  It involves the review of stakeholder engagement and co-design strategy and development of customised co-design methodology and process using best practice design approach and advance facilitation techniques.  This will include the coordination and facilitation of ongoing engagement sessions with Government stakeholders and peak body organisations (many of which are ACNC registered) including the development of service-user journey maps to enable the development of a comprehensive written report addressing service specific recommendations (relating to family domestic violence), cultural considerations, disability and access considerations.

    Door-to-Door for Mental Health (Assisting Communities through Direct Connection)

    The largest ever door knock delving into the mental health of households across the country has revealed the true extent of our national crisis, with nearly half of people reporting being in distress and more than one-third saying they need more support – but many encountering barriers to receiving help.

    The ACDC (Assisting Communities through Direct Connection) project, run by Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, knocked on about 37,500 doors across the country to kickstart conversations about mental health and encourage people to access support services.

    Evaluation of the project by the Centre for Social Impact UWA shows that 49.4% of respondents reported being in moderate to very high distress, and 36.7% of respondents said they needed more support.

    Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more about the ACDC project.

    Making mental health support work better for regional communities

    Despite their resilience and strengths, regional communities in WA and around Australia have the greatest need for mental health support. Inadequate services, insufficient funding and difficulty in accessing support need to be urgently addressed.

    The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) has engaged the Centre for Social Impact UWA to better understand what is different about living in regional areas that leads to poorer mental health and difficulties accessing support, and what further support is needed to improve the lives and wellbeing of people living in those communities.

    New report ‘Going the distance: Making mental health support work better for regional communities’ highlights challenges that are common to rural communities as well as the needs that are unique to individual places. Participants reported the need for tailored, community specific services – be they community services that address the social determinants of mental health, peer support groups, education programs or treatment services.

    PLAN to help vulnerable parents bridging the gap

    In 2020 Bridging the Gap (BTG) identified a significant gap in services for parents experiencing domestic violence, homelessness or housing instability, unemployment, mental health issues and financial hardship in areas of the Peel region (WA). To address this, the Parents, Learning, Advancing, Nurturing (PLAN) project was created to assist vulnerable parents aged 18-64, offering holistic, high-touch case management with both practical and relational aspects of support that transcended traditional service boundaries.

    Funded by Lotterywest and evaluated by the Centre for Social Impact UWA team from October 2021 to June 2023, the PLAN project gives targeted support through a bespoke suite of activities.

    Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more on how the PLAN project transformed the lives of vulnerable families.

    Safeguarding Children and Young People

    The Centre for Social Impact UWA conducted an impact evaluation of the Australian Childhood Foundation's Safeguarding Services.

    This research project was grounded in qualitative methods and involved collaborating with organisations that have partnered with the Foundation to enhance their capacity and foster a supportive environment for the well-being and safety of children and young people who engage in their services.

    The findings from the report titled Understanding the social impact of safeguarding services for children and young people demonstrated that the Foundation and its partners are actively contributing to shaping the narrative of safeguarding practices and their impact across Australia.

    These insights are leading the way towards a deeper understanding of the best approaches to establish a robust and enduring culture of safeguarding within organisations.

    Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more about the Safeguarding Children and Young People project.

    A dedicated multi-disciplinary team

    CSI UWA team


    Research staff


    Teaching staff

    Danjoo Koorliny team

    Danjoo Koorliny logo with


    The Centre for Social Impact UWA is proud to host Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together, a large-scale, long-term systems change project designed and led by Aboriginal leaders to help us walk together as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people towards 2029 (200 years of colonisation in Perth) and beyond. 


    • Dr Noel Nannup OAM
    • Dr Richard Walley OAM
    • Emeritus Professor Colleen Hayward AM
    • Carol Innes AM



    Contact us


    Subscribe to our CSI UWA e-newsletter



    +61 8 6488 5691