About us

The Centre for Human Security and Social Change (the Centre) is a Research Centre in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University. The Centre's mission is to better understand, support and enable the practice of positive social change. We aim to learn from practice and share that learning in Australia and internationally, bringing to bear the latest thinking in international development and social change.

We deliver on our mission through directly supporting social change initiatives and undertaking research, teaching and training and outreach. We work with a wide range of individuals, organisations and networks that are involved in social change with a particular but not exclusive focus on Indigenous Australia, the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Rather than provide one-off services, we strive to build long term relationships with our partners on the basis of equity, mutual respect and solidarity. We aim to be a trusted and critical friend to our partners. These relationships allow us to interact with our partners at multiple levels, to make space for dialogue and debate and generate on-going two-way learning.

We can support our partners with action research; political economy analysis; monitoring, evaluation and learning; research design and management; thinking and working politically; adaptive programming; coalition building, and partnership brokering. We take a developmental approach to our work which promotes partner ownership and control, amplifies the voices of people projects are designed to benefit and builds partner and participant capacity. Directly addressing cultural and gender diversity, race and power dynamics is central to our way of working.

If you are interested in working with us, then please contact Chris Adams at c.adams@latrobe.edu.au.

Vision and mission

Our  vision is that locally led and participatory processes of social change are contributing to more just, equitable and inclusive societies.

Our mission is to understand, directly support and enable the practice of positive social change in Indigenous Australia, the Pacific and Southeast Asia.


Our goals are to:

  • Better understand the front-line practice of social change agents and the institutional arrangements which help or hinder their practice at individual, organisational  and system levels.
  • Directly support social change agents - individuals, organisations and broader alliances - that are working for positive social change in Indigenous Australia, the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
  • Help create enabling capacities and institutional arrangements for the practice of social change.

Our Advisory Committee

The Centre receives advice and support from an Advisory Committee. The current members of the Advisory Commitee are:

Conny Lenneberg, (Chair), Consultant and Non-Executive Director, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.

Bec Strating, Director La Trobe Asia and Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations.

Lawrie Zion, Associate Dean, Research and Industry Engagement, Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University

Chris Roche, Director, Centre for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University

Lisa Denny, Deputy Director and Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University

Countries we support work in

  • Indigenous Australia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Vanuatu
  • Fiji
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Kiribati
  • Samoa
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Cambodia
  • Lao PDR
  • Thailand

Annual Reports and Strategic Plans


Institute Newsletter November 2023

Institute Newsletter June 2023

Institute Newsletter March 2023

Institute Newsletter December 2022

Institute Newsletter August 2022

Institute Newsletter May 2022

Institute Newsletter November 2021

Institute Newsletter September 2021

Institute Newsletter April 2021

Institute Newsletter December 2020

Institute Newsletter September 2020

Institute Newsletter June 2020

Institute Newsletter April 2020

Institute Newsletter March 2020

Institute Newsletter November/December 2019

Institute Newsletter October 2019

Institute Newsletter September 2019

Institute Newsletter August 2019

Institute Newsletter July 2019

Institute Newsletter May 2019

Institute Newsletter April 2019

Institute Newsletter March 2019

Institute Newsletter December 2018

Institute Newsletter November 2018

Institute Newsletter October 2018

Institute Newsletter September 2018

Institute Newsletter July 2018

Institute Newsletter June 2018

Institute Newsletter May 2018

Institute Newsletter March 2018

Institute Newsletter December 2017

Institute Newsletter October-November 2017

Institute Newsletter September 2017

Institute Newsletter August 2017

Institute Newsletter July 2017

Institute Newsletter June 2017

Institute Newsletter May 2017

Institute Newsletter April 2017

Institute Newsletter March 2017

Institute Newsletter February 2017

Our History

The Institute for Human Security was established by Professor Dennis Altman in 2010. It was renamed the Institute for Human Security and Social Change (the Institute) in 2013 under its new Director Professor Chris Roche. Since then, the Institute has worked to develop its reputation and resources, establish key industry partnerships and work intensively on complex challenges faced by development practitioners. The Institute has developed collaborations across La Trobe with a range of relevant disciplines and academics. In December 2023, in line with University naming conventions, the Institute changed its name to the Centre for Human Security and Social Change.