About us

We are Australia’s first Institute dedicated to all aspects of Care Economy research.

The Care Economy Research Institute was established in 2023 by La Trobe University in recognition of the crisis facing our care sectors, and our conviction that together researchers and industry partners can make a positive difference.

Our goal is to break down silos in the health and social care sectors and create a platform to co-design and implement the next generation of services across all care economy domains.

We aim to:

  • develop care models based on evidence and trialled in the field
  • demonstrate scalability and replicability of care models
  • accelerate the adoption of technology by incorporating insights from our dedicated group of care end-users
  • harness data to demonstrate the real-world impact of services and products
  • leverage collective research and industry capacity and capability to advocate for systemic change.

What is the Care Economy and why is it important?

It’s the sector of the economy responsible for care and service provision contributing to the health and wellbeing of Australians of all ages and abilities. This covers everything from early education, disability services, alcohol and other drugs, mental health services to aged care and more.

The Care Economy is the fastest growing industry, and largest single employer in Australia, with over 1.8 million people (mostly women) currently working in health care and social assistance jobs.

However, the Australian care sector is in crisis with recurring issues such as:

  • chronic workforce shortages,
  • low consumer confidence,
  • poor uptake of digital technologies, and
  • major inefficiencies in the administration of delivering care.