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Date: 3/25/2021
Subject: March 2021 Newsletter
From: TASA Applied Sociology TG Convenor

Applied Sociology TG logo
Newsletter of the
Applied Sociology Thematic Group 

March 2021


Hi everyone, 
Hope you are well and hope you aren't affected by the floods!

Update from March Virtual Meeting
We had a lovely discussion about collaborative solution-focussed methods and dissemination; specifically how to go about beyond focus groups to disseminating findings to stakeholders and involving them in problem solving solutions collectively.
Katherine mentioned Deliberative discussion groups as they can be done in small groups, and Kim mentioned Collective impact sessions which can used in a community context such as neighbourhood centres. We also talked about World Cafe methodology, which Sophie has been involved in a few times now (best with a larger group 20+), such as for bringing diverse stakeholders together to design a new model of health care for First Nations families - described here. If anyone has specifically used Deliberative Discussion, perhaps email; am sure she'd love to have a chat with you  :)


We also talked about getting data back to services so they become users of their own data to generate their own reports; the capacity building/training that might be involved with that. 

And Hannah shared a big win from the weekend about bringing together participants from her project with families of refugee students doing well in school. Participants had the opportunity to hear the study findings, meet other families who have done well at school, from all different backgrounds and age groups. They came up with some great ideas for resources. Sounds like a magical moment. 
We also talked about different ways of capturing family interactions and the trickiness of this if researchers are 'outsiders'; the richness to be gained from involving families themselves in the data analysis, not just data collection. Video ethnography can be a creative way to capture some of this.Katherine mentioned the hologrammatic effect, and some limitations discussed by Rick Iedema on Video Reflexive Ethnography. Sophie shares one exceptional project done in partnership with Yolngu families in NT Top End, check it out: Growing Up Yolngu

Another way of disseminating your research is through media outlets such as The Conversation. Thanks for the conversation those who attended:)
Next monthly catch-up
Thurs 29 April, 1pm AEST (Qld time); should already be in your calendars - please email me for details if you don't have them :)
Date change for TASA Applied Sociology seminar
I've had some unexpected work changes involving travel and will have to reschedule our first seminar to Tues 4 May 3pm AEST (QLD) time; will send revised Zoom calendar shortly. 
Update from Alan Scott
Unfortunately Alan won't be continuing the monthly contact letter but we look forward to seeing him at our online session when available. Thanks Alan for your big contribution to the TG, much appreciated
Message from Dr Janet Congues
One of our members, Janet, shared with me a bit about the work she is involved in and has given me permission to share with you all:
" I think that the work we do at FamilyCare is a great example of applied sociology in practice - particularly when it comes to the development of systems, policies and procedures that support the practice of continuous improvement and the delivery of quality services within the human services sector. My CEO also does some great work actively addressing political issues of injustice across the welfare sector and he often draws on my sociological skill set to evaluate the quality of what is reported in some of the published reports like the Orima reports on the Cashless Debit Card trials and the Parents Next programs - just to double check his bias levels as much as anything so I am often using my social research method skills to assess how the data and findings have been presented rather than just focusing on results or recommendations. We don't get a lot of time to undertake research but we do work closely with others who do including La Trobe Uni here in Shepparton. Some of Philip Mendes' recent research is conducted through FamilyCare too."
Happy Easter break; looking forward to catching up with you soon

Dr Sophie Hickey

Convenor TASA Applied Sociology Thematic Group
Postdoctoral researcher

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

College of Nursing and Midwifery

Level 11, East Tower

410 Ann St, Brisbane Qld 4000 Australia

Charles Darwin University


Twitter | ORCID


Our latest paper: Kildea, S., Gao, Y., Hickey, S., Nelson, C., Kruske, S., Carson, A., Currie, J., Reynolds, M., Wilson, K., Watego, K., Costello, J. & Y. Roe (2021) Effect of a Birthing on Country service redesign on maternal and neonatal health outcomes for First Nations Australians: a prospective, non-randomised, interventional trial. Lancet Global Health (pre-print).

Charles Darwin University acknowledges the traditional custodians across the lands on which we live and work, and we pay our respects to Elders both past and present.