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Australian Workplace Innovation
and Social Research Centre (WISeR)

WISeR Informing Decisions
WISeR focuses on how organisational structure and practices, technology and economic systems, policy and institutions, environment and culture interact to influence the performance of workplaces and the wellbeing of individuals, households and communities.

WISeR's Dr Kate Barnett awarded a Churchill Fellowship in ceremony with SA Governor

WISeR's Deputy Director, Dr Kate Barnett has been awarded the prestigious Churchill Fellowship to investigate designing, implementing and sustaining teaching nursing homes.

Kate - pictured above second from right with other recipients and SA Governor the Hon Kevin Scarce, centre - is widely recognised as a leading thinker in this area, and will continue to lead the field of research with the international and comparative study of teaching nursing homes that she will conduct over the coming years.

WISeR's John Spoehr assists Federal Budget Cuts SA Taskforce

WISeR's Executive Director Associate Professor John Spoehr has been invited to provide input to the South Australian Government's Taskforce on measures to address the Federal Government's budget cuts in the State.


More information about the Taskforce is available on the Premier of South Australia's website.

The contradictions of austerity

WISeR and the Don Dunstan Foundation hosted a lecture on the claims of austerity success in the Baltic countries, presented by Professor Charles Woolfson, Professor of Labour Studies at Linköping University in Sweden.

The PowerPoint presentation and a recording of the lecture is available on our website.

WISeR Words now available

The July 2014 issue of the WISeR newsletter is now available for download from our website.

Stretton Centre construction underway

Artist's Impression of the Stretton Centre


View's article on recent developments here.

View Channel 9's TV segment on the project here.

Exploring the Teaching Nursing Home Model: Literature review to inform the national evaluation of the TRACS program

The Teaching and Research Aged Care Services (TRACS) Literature Review, which supports the national evaluation of the TRACS Program, is intended to be a resource for TRACS Projects in particular, and for those involved in, or intending to establish, a teaching and research aged care initiative.

The report is now available here: Exploring the Teaching Nursing Home Model

New Report - Workplace Futures Employer Survey

The Workplace Future Survey provides a snapshot of Employer demand for skills in the cities of Playford and Salisbury.

Reports now available

Investigating flexible work arrangements for nurses and midwives in the acute hospital sector

Achieving work life balance and spending quality time with our families is a target in South Australia’s current strategic plan. SafeWork SA and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) commissioned this research project as part of the Work Life Balance Strategy.

This work investigates strategies and cutting edge initiatives to implement and support flexible working arrangements in South Australian hospitals providing acute medical and surgical care. This report presents the perspectives and experiences about flexible work arrangements (FWA) in the public and private acute care hospital sector in metropolitan and regional South Australia via an online survey.

It also provides findings from interviews with senior management (Directors of Nursing) discussing hospital policy and processes.

The report is available on our website under the Workforce industry development research section (Quality work).

Work and technology over the lifecycle

Funded by SafeWork SA, this report examines the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the workplace. ICTs include email, iPads, mobile phones and video conferencing, to name a few.

In particular, this work explores the experiences of employees of a finance organisation around job security, health, innovation and invasiveness in relation to ICTs. Responses are distinguished by organisational role (management compared to other staff), generational differences (Generation Y, Generation X and Baby Boomers) and extent of technology-related stress or ill-health.

The findings have implications for new organisational work practices and what these mean for worker health, safety and well-being.

The report is available on our website under the Human dimensions of change research section (Technology).

New Report on the impact of the motor vehicle closure in Australia available here.

Hear John Spoehr talk about the report on ABCs Four Corners

Assistive Technologies, first Industry Information Session held 3 April

On 3 April the first Industry Information Session for the Assistive Technologies Mapping & Opportunities Project was held at the National Wine Centre.

Information about the session and related resources will be available soon.

New WISeR report quantifies the benefits of financial counselling services

Paul Clitheroe AM, Chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and prominent financial commentator released the new WISeR report Paying it forward: Cost benefit analysis of the Wyatt Trust funded financial counselling services. The report commissioned by the Wyatt Trust shows that $1 invested in financial counselling services generates $5 of benefits for recipients.

The report is available now for download.

Strength in Diversity: a comprehensive response to generating new economic pathways in northern Adelaide

Image on left

WISeR, in collaboration with the City of Playford and the City of Salisbury, has developed a submission to the Commonwealth Review of South Australia's Economy.

The paper, which can be downloaded from WISeR's website, serves as a foundation for wider discussion about the need to more vigorously pursue a comprehensive and integrated approach to industry, urban and workforce development in northern Adelaide, in light of the coming closure of GMH manufacturing operations and the impact it will have on the region beyond the next decade.

Unmasking the impact of Austerity in Australia

The Federal Government's Commission of Audit will soon release its report recommending deep cuts to the new government's first budget. Austerity measures are likely to follow in Australia and place pressure upon public services, the community sector and average Australians.

A series of reports prepared by Dexter Whitfield, of the European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU), and WISeR details the experience of austerity in Europe and the United States. The final report in the series looks at what alternatives to austerity policy in Australia could look like, and how investment and innovation are a more beneficial solution to economic growth.

The series of three reports is now available on our website.

New report focuses on lessons from major company closures

With the collapse of the automotive industry, John Spoehr outlines what we can learn from the management of company closures in the past.

The report is available on our website.

New report verifies WISeR findings of the impact of GMH closure on the SA and national economies

A report from the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) commissioned by WISeR supports the findings of a recent WISeR report indicating the damaging impact of a closure of Holden's plant at Elizabeth in Adelaide's north and provides a graphic glimpse at the likely national impact of the automotive industry's exit.

The report by the NIEIR explains that the Australian economy could suffer an annual shock of $4 billion and result in the loss of over 65,000 jobs by 2020 if Australia's car manufacturing industry ceases operations - nearly 12,000 of these jobs being lost in South Australia.

Holden cars outside the Elizabeth Plant (Image: ABC News)

A recent WISeR report by John Spoehr and Barry Burgan reported job losses in the state at around 13,200 were GMH to announce closure of its operations at Elizabeth.

Fast growing Playford: New Stretton Centre report reveals employment must keep pace with population growth

WISeR's first Stretton Centre report, Playford Profile, provides a comprehensive overview of key economic and social indicators for the City of Playford to inform policy and planning. Click here to access the report and accompanying Fast Facts (Released November 2013).

WISeR report estimates loss of over 13,000 jobs from potential Holden closure

A report released today by WISeR details likely job and other losses for South Australia flowing form the potential closure of Holden's plant at Elizabeth.

Prepared by WISeR Director John Spoehr and Barry Burgan of Torrens University, the study estimates job losses as double those estimated in a report released recently by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, discussed by John in an interview with ABC TV.

Closure of Holden's manufacturing facilities in SA could result in the loss of 13,200 jobs and $1.24 billion in Gross State Product.

The report is available here.

See John Spoehr discuss its findings in the 5 November edition of the 7:30 Report on ABC TV.

State of South Australia - Turbulent Times Book Launch

L-R: Associate Professor John Spoehr, Premier Jay Weatherill and Vice-Chancellor Professor Warren Bebbington

The 2013 edition of State of South Australia was launched by the Hon. Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia and introduced by Professor Warren Bebbington, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Adelaide on Thursday 21st October 2013.

State of South Australia provides analysis and reflection on the major social, economic, cultural and political trends and policy challenges facing South Australia. It brings together a group of respected academic researchers and commentators concerned about ensuring prosperity for all in South Australia.

Edited by John Spoehr
Published by Wakefield Press

Click for more information

Austerity Policies Risk Recession in Australia

Image on left A new report from WISeR examines austerity policies in Europe and the US.

The risk of Australia experiencing recession is high if austerity policies are adopted, warns Dexter Whitfield, Director of the European Services Strategy Unit and author of the report.

WISeR's Executive Director, Associate Professor John Spoehr warns that unemployment would rise sharply in Australia if a future Federal Government embarked on a radical program of cost cutting.

The report and press release are now available on the WISeR website.

WISeR report prepared for NVEAC informs tertiary education policy

WISeR recently prepared a research paper for the National VET Equity Advisory Council (NVEAC) titled Learner Representation and Advocacy in VET. The report identifies and examines effective models of learner representation and advocacy in vocational education and training (VET) that shape and support the inclusion of the learner voice. It will inform decisions of the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE).

The research paper is now available on the NVEAC website.

ARC Linked Data Project Partnership

WISeR is partnered with Swinburne University of Technology, RMIT University and Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) in a new project titled Linked Data Project Hub, a new infrastructure project supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment grant for 2013.

The Linked Data Policy Hub will transform the accessibility and utility of social science publications, grey literature and data in Australia by linking documents and data from multiple collections across the internet, enabling innovative new forms of social and policy research and analysis.

Pushing Austerity

Jamie Peck

The Failure of Austerity

Dexter Whitfield

Austerity and Australia

John Quiggin

Smarter Manufacturing for a Smarter Australia

Prof. Roy Green


Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre

Level 2, 230 North Terrace
The University of Adelaide


T: +61 8 8313 3350

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