Welcome

The Economic and Social Participation Research Initiative (ESPRIt) will develop our understanding of how participation in and engagement with social, economic and political institutions can be enabled across the life course irrespective of gender, socioeconomic status, ethnic or racial background, as well as other key characteristics. To that end, it will coordinate research efforts across at least six Faculties, bringing together researchers through a range of facilitated events designed to enable them to discover common interests and develop cross-unit and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Participation in work, education, community and sporting clubs, volunteer organisations and social networks of friends and family are essential for individual, family and community stability and well being. With its emphasis on social and economic participation this Hallmark initiative brings together researchers touching on the three Grand Challenges. Issues related to social and economic participation attract the attention of many eminent scholars around the University, but this research is dispersed, often taking place in isolation within individual disciplines and faculties.

ESPRIt is coordinated by two chairs and two academic convenors, who work in consultation with a Steering Committee made up of representatives from a range of disciplines. 

Belinda Hewitt

Co-Chair Professor Belinda Hewitt

Belinda is Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts. Her research interests are gender differences in the experiences of family, work and health over the life course, such as the impact of paid parental leave for mothers, paid and unpaid labour in households, and the causes and consequences of family life course transitions for individuals.

Guyonne Kalb

Co-Chair Professor Guyonne Kalb

Guyonne is Director of the Labour Economics and Social Policy Program at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, Faculty of Business and Economics. Her research interests include labour supply issues, in particular related to women; the interaction of labour supply, social security and taxation; labour supply and childcare; and labour supply of disadvantaged groups

Barbara Broadway

Academic Convenor Dr Barbara Broadway

Barbara is a Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, Faculty of Business and Economics. Her research focuses on welfare policies and family policies, and how they affect female and maternal labour supply as well as the labour force participation of older workers and people with disabilities.

Anna Zhu

Academic Convenor Dr Anna Zhu

Anna is a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, Faculty of Business and Economics. Her research interests include: evaluating the impacts of welfare policies, particularly for mothers and children; labour supply of disadvantaged groups; and early childhood development.