About us

The mission of the Institute for Human Security and Social Change (the Institute) is to better understand, support and enable the practice of positive social change.

Our work is practice-based. 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.

We believe that addressing complex problems in ways which contribute to systemic change requires new practices and different relationships. Directly addressing cultural and gender diversity, race and power dynamics is central to our way of working.

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.

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.

Goals

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

Mark Clisby, Principal and CEO, Research Coaching Australia (Acting Chair)

Conny Lenneberg, Non-Executive Director, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

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

Chris Roche, Director, Institute of Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University

Lisa Denny, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, Institute of 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

Our History

The Institute for Human Security was established by Professor Dennis Altman in 2010 and 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.