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Communicating our research

Expanding the reach of our research findings to a wider range of audiences, including policy makers, practitioners, other researchers and the general public has again been a key focus for AIFS.

Communicating our research is a key AIFS function. We do this through releasing research publications, both in short and long form, through our information exchange services, such as CFCA, by researchers presenting at conferences and events, and in our webinars. The Institute’s research is widely reported in the media and promoted through our websites, newsletters and social media.

Events

A major part of our knowledge translation activities is to host events, including online webinars and our biennial conference. A significant amount of planning was undertaken to host our 16th AIFS Conference scheduled for 9–12 June 2020. This unfortunately had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. New dates for the conference have been secured for 15–18 June 2021 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and the team will continue to plan for the event in 2020/21. Pleasingly, the vast majority of our 2020 speakers and sponsors have confirmed their participation in the 2021 event. Our revised theme is: Remaking Australia: What is a good life for families?

While we weren’t able to host the conference, we hosted a series of online webinars as part of a Families in Focus series instead. Five webinars were conducted in June 2020 and featured speakers who were originally scheduled for plenary sessions at the 2020 Conference. We also hosted a webinar on early findings from the Families in Australia Survey: Life during COVID-19 on 2 July 2020. The webinars were a great success, attracting almost 2,000 attendees from across the country, with 91% of participants rating the quality of the webinars as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.
Our regular webinar series for CFCA, Emerging Minds and the Families and Children Expert Panel has also continued to be hugely popular, with more than 14,000 participants tuning in throughout the year. With more and more people getting comfortable with online webinar content as a result of working from home more often, we plan on expanding our webinar program in 2020/21.

Publications

We continued to publish high quality research into the wellbeing of Australian families, with 57 papers produced, and more than 3.4 million publications viewed or downloaded from our websites. We also produced a host of short articles, news pieces, infographics, fact sheets, social media posts and practice resources. In the past year, publishing highlights included reports on:

  • Child wellbeing after parental separation
  • Use of health services among children at risk of social-emotional problems: Opportunities for early intervention
  • Children’s social-emotional wellbeing: The role of parenting, parents’ mental health and health behaviours
  • Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Annual Statistical Report 2018
  • National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering: Baseline study
  • Parenting arrangements after separation
  • Elder Abuse National Research Project: Strengthening the evidence base
  • Child Care Package Evaluation: Early monitoring report.