Arts Design & Architecture

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • (2022) Kasatkina, Valeriia
    Thesis
    Collaboration is a routine part of practice in social service organisations, including those in non-government domestic and family violence (DFV) services. Like other aspects of practice, the ways collaborations occur and their effectiveness matter to service delivery outcomes and practitioners’ experiences of their work and their sense of efficacy. This thesis deepens understanding of the nature and motivation for collaboration and investigates what makes collaborations effective, using the perceptions and experiences of DFV practitioners who collaborate in their daily work. The study draws together insights from resource dependence theory, interorganisational network theory, and feminist social work theory. It utilises data that was collected using a sequential mixed method approach, designed to capture practitioners’ accounts and experiences of collaborating in the specific context of DFV services in New South Wales. The first stage involved case studies of three DFV service organisations. The case studies explored how practitioners experience and perceive collaboration, their motivations for collaborating, the forms collaborations take, how organisations and practitioners evaluate effectiveness, and the factors contributing to success. The second stage involved a quantitative survey that supplied information on collaborations, including frequencies of motivations and forms, various internal and external factors, and their correlations with the perceived effectiveness of collaboration. The study delivers a range of significant results that concern many aspects of working in the sector, including trust, formal and informal approaches to evaluation, and partner selection strategies. Reported results demonstrate that collaborations are most frequently motivated by the desire to provide the best possible quality of services to clients. Practitioners frequently understand collaboration as a referral of a client to a partner organisation as they focus their efforts on service delivery. The study showed that in successful collaborations, interpersonal ties play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining them, with trustful and mutually beneficial relationships being perceived by practitioners as the most effective. The study argues that adherence to feminist values and promoting relational skills can be the key to effective collaboration between DFV services.

  • (2022) Scott, David
    Thesis
    This research aims to understand why the Australian Government left unemployment benefit payment rates unchanged in 2012 following a high-profile advocacy campaign and Senate Inquiry, despite broad consensus that the payment rates were inadequate. This thesis compares the policy debate surrounding the 2012 Senate Inquiry with three cases that did result in a significant change to income support payments to identify features and critical institutional and discursive legacies that worked against a payment rate increase. The three comparative cases are the increase in the Age Pension in 2009, the introduction of Commonwealth unemployment benefits in 1943, and the introduction of the New South Wales Age Pension in 1900. Kingdon’s multiple streams framework, extended to capture discursive and institutional factors, is used to analyse each case. While the Australian Government was responsible for leaving payment rates unchanged, this research identifies five contributing factors that worked against an increase, though uncertainty remains as to their relative importance. First, a narrow focus on the inadequacy of unemployment benefits by advocates was insufficient to prompt government action. In the comparative case studies, the living conditions of destitute Australians were not enough on their own to guarantee government intervention. Second, the advocacy campaign did not successfully counter concerns about the potential weakening of work incentives arising from an increased payment rate. Third, advocates did not successfully counter a political argument that a payment rate increase would threaten the Budget surplus. While policy actors can make Budget affordability arguments for tactical reasons, there was no worked-through policy proposal that addressed this concern. Fourth, unlike the comparative cases, no policy actor in 2012 appeared to bargain actively for a politically acceptable policy compromise. Finally, the weak political influence of people receiving unemployment benefits and a partisan political environment worked against an increase. People receiving unemployment benefits were depicted as undeserving, and politicians perceived that voters would not reward a payment rate increase. This thesis provides a new understanding of the layers of Australian social security institutions that leave many Australians in poverty. It also provides practical insights for policy actors to enhance advocacy efforts on behalf of marginalised Australians.

  • (2023) Stirling, Robert
    Thesis
    In Australia, there is no standardised approach to measuring performance of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services. Non-government organisations (NGOs) that provide AOD treatment in Australia manage contracts from multiple funding sources, with performance measures varying between funders. They have reported a high reporting burden and inconsistent expectations from different funders to demonstrate accountability. The primary aim of this thesis was to establish a list of performance measures that are acceptable to service users, treatment providers, and funders; explore approaches to improve implementation of performance measures; and make recommendations to funders of non-government AOD treatment. The research approach involved three phases: 1) an assessment by three independent raters of existing measures used in contracts against best practice; 2) focus groups with service users, treatment providers, and funders (n=10 focus groups) to identify the most important performance measures among diverse stakeholders and explore the challenges associated with implementation; 3) a Delphi process with a purposeful sample of service users, treatment providers, and funders to prioritise a core set of performance measures. Phase One found over 500 unique measures used in contracts for AOD treatment services, with most not adhering to best practice. Further, the majority were output and process measures. In Phase Two, focus groups identified that access, outcome, and experience measures were the most important measurement types across all stakeholder groups, with structural measures also important to service users. In Phase Three, 17 performance measures reached consensus. In contrast to Phase One, the final set were mostly outcome, access, and structural measures (n= 11/17) with only one measure each for output and process. Further, key findings from the focus groups highlighted that identification of measures is only part of a robust performance measurement system. Support systems for collecting, analysing, interpreting, and reporting performance data are also needed. At the policy-level, implementation of the final set of measures can improve accountability of public funds, and support the collection of standardised performance-related data to inform funding decisions and treatment planning. At the practice-level, the measures have the potential to reduce reporting burden, improve organisational efficiency, and inform quality improvement initiatives.

  • (2021) Li, Yiran
    Thesis
    This thesis aims to examine an emerging regime of public education provision in the Chinese context of planned urbanisation. The regime, referred to as property-led education in this study, has risen from three social phenomena. First, the launch of New Urbanisation Plan marks the national strategy to translate urban growth model to the countryside. Two, there is an acute demand of high-quality education in the basic education sector along with China's continuous economic development. Three, private education providers are increasingly engaged with public education. Claiming to be an innovative approach to realising urbanisation agenda while meeting educational demand, property-led education entails ‘franchising’ elite schools through government procurement of services from education enterprises. More importantly, these education public-private partnerships (PPPs) are directly or indirectly financed by the private capital from the local housing or land markets. This prompts the core inquiry of the study: how has the private sector been involved in property-led education and what are its impacts? The core inquiry is unbundled into three aspects for a comprehensive examination: governance, financing and economic-social outcomes. Integrating the neoliberal and Polanyian paradigms, the thesis presents an in-depth qualitative research with a critical case study of a widely promulgated and fast expanding education PPP network in Shandong Province, China. The critical case includes multiple PPP schools within the same network which are studied as nested cases. Research findings confirm that, as an education provision regime, property-led education is a form of and a contributor to property-led development. This regime of education provision on one hand incentivises both the private and the public sectors to invest into high-quality basic education and on the other makes housing more attractive to urban families. In the end, while housing developers appear to be the source of financing, property-led education is ultimately funded by parents. Their pursuit of better education incentivise the local governments and developers to lure good schools to the newly built housing complexes. The study also reveals that property-led education is employed as an effective tool for the public and private sectors to legitimate their economic activities. Meeting the public demand for quality education appears to be a by-product, and educational equity is at the risk of being compromised.

  • (2021) Chen, Cliff Xiaoou
    Thesis
    This study explores the life experiences of Chinese queer (same-sex attracted) migrants to Australia. It examines Chinese queer migrants’ transnational life courses with a focus on their articulation of their identity, social integration and community engagement in Australia, and how changes in Chinese and Australian policy and society have affected the life courses of succeeding cohorts of queer migrants from Mainland China to Australia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Sydney and Melbourne with forty-four Chinese queer migrants to collect their life histories. A life course perspective and a variety of theoretical perspectives including Foucauldian biopolitics, neoliberalism, multiculturalism, LGBTQ liberation and Bourdieusian capital were combined to analyse these migrants’ life experiences. Such an approach highlights these migrants’ reflexive agency by investigating how they negotiate the macro-social dynamics in their lived contexts. The generation-cohort approach further examines how social changes in China and Australia have conditioned the different identity articulations and social practices of two generations of Chinese queer migrants. This thesis finds that Chinese queer migrants are increasingly adopting more diverse and flexible approaches to integrate into Australian society as a result of benefiting from policy and social changes in Australia since the late 1970s/1980s, especially in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, these migrants still face racialised and class-based social constraints as both racial and sexual minorities. In order to improve these migrants’ lives and support their meaningful integration into Australian society, this thesis suggests that multicultural policy take an intersectionality approach and incorporate a sexuality perspective into its policy-making process when addressing the issues Chinese queer migrants face. It also suggests that multicultural policy should emphasise the lived experiences of Chinese queer migrants by paying attention to their agency and struggles in real life. This thesis proposes a different policy process in which Chinese queer migrants are more involved in developing and implementing policy solutions.

  • (2020) Newman, Bronwyn
    Thesis
    Background: Access to information is a right articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability that remains unrealised for many people with intellectual disability. Information access, including the provision of easy read documents, is one strategy recommended to address the widely recognised inequality in mental health outcomes and service access for people with intellectual disability. This research explores how easy read information about mental health is used to make mental health information more accessible for people with intellectual disability. Method: A mixed methods study was undertaken which included policy analysis, resource mapping and semi-structured interviews. Australian and New South Wales (NSW) State and Local Health District mental health policy documents were reviewed (n=66). Semi-structured interviews were conducted across four sites in Sydney NSW to explore how easy read was used. Participants (n=49) included people with intellectual disability, their carers or families, advocates and mental health staff. The activities of accessing, understanding, appraising and applying information as defined in Sørensen et al.’s integrated health literacy framework were used to analyse the data. Findings: Mental health policy rarely incorporated communication strategies for staff to use when working with people with intellectual disability, despite agency commitment to the principle of accessible information. Easy read was one of several strategies people used to make information easier to understand and assist people with intellectual disability to appraise and apply information. Relationships between people with intellectual disability, family or carer and service providers affected information access for people with intellectual disability. Most mental health staff did not use accessible information and did not consistently offer people with intellectual disability opportunities to understand, appraise and apply mental health information. Implications/Significance: People with intellectual disability did not routinely have access to mental health information, confirming that agencies are not meeting their obligations to provide accessible information. Enabling information access requires urgent systemic change, so that staff attitudes, service agency policy and structures uphold the right to information. Inclusive practices, that incorporate using easy read in health contexts, including mental health, are needed to facilitate change.

  • (2022) Madden, Annie
    Thesis
    People who use drugs have been participating in high level drug policy settings for decades, but little critical work has been done to interrogate ‘drug user representation’ in these highly politicised contexts. The aim of this thesis was to open up this terrain and make a scholarly contribution to understandings of both the theoretical underpinnings and the practices of ‘drug user representation’ in these policy settings. Having done decades of ‘drug user representation’ in these same settings, this thesis provided a unique opportunity for me to critically interrogate the practices involved, their underlying assumptions and the effects of these ‘ways of doing things’ for ‘drug user representation’. This research draws on a range of critical perspectives informed by the “ontological turn” including scholars working across disciplines in poststructuralism, critical feminism, Science & Technology Studies (STS) and posthumanism approaches. A qualitative study design was employed to examine ‘drug user representation’ in high level policy settings (such as the United Nations, Commission on Narcotic Drugs) drawing on documentary sources and semi-structured interviews (n=42) with participants engaged in and involved with ‘drug user representation’ within Australia and internationally. The ontopolitical orientation of the research allowed for a critical focus on questions of representation, performativity, power, and resistances underpinned by a reflexive approach consistent with this orientation. This research shows how, alongside increasing calls for greater involvement of people who use drugs in drug policy processes, dominant discourses and other drug policy practices are constantly working to enact drug user representatives as illegitimate political subjects, even before they get to the ‘policy table’. Despite these negative subjectification, discursive and material effects for ‘drug user representation’, the realities being produced through drug policy practices are not pre-determined and singular but emergent, multiple, and therefore, inherently political, and open to the possibility of being done differently. In the context of these ethico-political implications, this research considers how a greater commitment to caring for ‘drug user representation’ as a neglected and under-valued doing might open up new possibilities for ‘drug user representation’ – what it is and what it might become.

  • (2022) Macdonald, Diane
    Thesis
    The agency of women with disability is undermined by long-held ideas of what women with disability can or should be. These narrow, reductive views of their identity are limiting and harmful, and lead to exclusionary practices. My research used a feminist framework to challenge these views. My research addressed the social inclusion of women with physical disability in two stages. First, it investigated identity and inclusion through photographic self-portraits by women with physical disability. Second, my research examined the role of arts-based research in shifting negative community attitudes about disability. In the first stage, six women with physical disability photographed aspects of themselves using the photovoice method to focus on their strengths and issues affecting them. Photos, stories, interviews and discussions were analysed thematically. Findings from the first stage indicate that these six women engage in the ‘work of disability’. They articulated identity through their depictions of gender and disability. They challenged expectations through portraits of strength, sexuality and connection. They illustrated the gendered realities of daily life with disability that explain disability to non-disabled others. This research emphasised the personal capacity of the women to critically challenge how women with disability are portrayed. In the second stage, I explored the extent to which a public exhibition of disability self-portraits could be an effective platform to provoke social change. Audiences responded to open-ended questions about their thoughts and feelings after viewing the exhibition. I employed interpretive thematic analysis through a generic social processes framework to analyse responses. My findings indicate that audiences acknowledged underlying conscious or unconscious biases that contribute to their negative attitudes about disability. Audiences connected with the exhibition in ways that not only explored the women’s stories, but also led to better understandings of their own value sets. Audiences reassessed their assumptions about disability as a direct result of viewing the exhibition. My research findings demonstrate the valuable role of arts-based research. The agency expressed through self-portraits and stories helped shift negative attitudes and perceptions of disability to counter prejudice and promote equality. My research reveals a new pathway for the public to see women as they see themselves through art.

  • (2023) Si, Yafei
    Thesis
    This thesis consists of three empirical studies focusing on the health and health care utilisation of older adults using the healthy ageing framework proposed by the World Health Organization in 2015. In Essay 1, I examine the relationships between life-course factors and intrinsic capacity, a break-through and strengths-based composite measure of ageing. I find that unfavourable early-life factors directly decrease late-life intrinsic capacities, particularly cognitive, sensory and psychological capacities rather than locomotor functioning and vitality, and these effects are exacerbated by the cumulative socioeconomic inequalities over a person’s life course. In Essay 2, I employ the method of standardised patients to identify the overuse of health care, document its patterns, and quantify its financial impact on patients in primary care in China. My findings suggest that overuse is pervasive in primary care in China and leads to a significant increase in health care expenditure. The overuse in my setting seems unlikely to be attributable to physician incompetence. My findings shed light on the cost escalation of primary care in China, which is a form of medical inefficiency that should be urgently addressed. In Essay 3, I further investigate the impact of physician over-service on the quality of care provided, since physician over-service can also contribute to physicians’ learning and therefore better health care. I report new evidence that physician over-service is associated with a significant increase in physicians’ investment in learning, such as consultation length, adherence to checklists, and patient-centred communication, but no significant change in giving a correct diagnosis, correct drug prescriptions or a referral. Moreover, over-service in drugs is associated with a significant increase in physicians’ better learning and the provision of correct drugs. However, my findings imply that physician over-service does not improve the accuracy of physicians’ decisions. The higher rate of correct drug prescriptions was mainly explained by the prescription of more drugs.

  • (2022) Okeke, Sylvester
    Thesis
    This study used mixed-methods design to explore BBVs/STIs risk and protective practices among international students in Sydney from East Asian and sub-Saharan African countries and territories, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty international students from East Asia (N=10), and sub-Saharan Africa (N=10) to explore sexual practices, and the socio-cultural factors shaping these practices. Additionally, an online anonymous survey (N=149) was conducted to investigate BBVs/STIs protective practices and their predictors. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with sixteen international students from East Asia (N=7), and sub-Saharan Africa (N=9) to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted BBVs/STIs risks. Qualitative data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis method while quantitative data were analysed using logistic regression model at 0.05 alpha level. Analysis of the interviews data revealed that participants perceive sexual norms in Australia as permissive and casual. In line with sexual script and social norm theories, some participants indicated that it is near impossible to maintain sexual abstinence norm in Australia. Interestingly, some participants hold the view that BBVs/STIs are rare in Australia. This perspective could impact BBVs/STIs risk practices as indicated in interviews data around condomless sex. Condomless sex was a common BBVs/STIs risk practice among participants who are sexually active in Australia. Factors shaping this practice include curiosity, condom-related stigma, alcohol use, seeking greater intimacy and pleasure, and gender stereotypes. Findings from the quantitative data showed that sexual acculturation was the only modifiable predictor of BBVs/STIs protective practices (OR = 0.883, 95% CI = 0.820–0.952). Thus, participants with greater acculturation were less likely to report BBVs/STIs protective practices. Moreover, findings from the qualitative data indicated that pre-COVID BBVs/STIs risks were elevated by the COVID-19 pandemic among some sexually active participants. The findings of this thesis provide evidence for contextualised sexual health services for international students from more conservative cultures. Such services should be cognisant of perceptions around sexual norms with the aim of supporting international students to manage migration-related changes in their sexual practices in a safe manner. Additionally, it is vital to address structural barriers to reduce risk, and strengthen BBVs/STIs protective practices among this population.