Strategic Plan

Our Vision

To deliver transformative research and translation to break the cycle of deep and persistent disadvantage and improve outcomes for all Australians.


To produce new knowledge, precision methods, transformative social interventions, enduring infrastructure and new capacity that supports all Australians to achieve their potential over their life course.


  1. Increase commitment in Australia to reducing deep and persistent disadvantage.
  2. Research, design, implement and evaluate policy and practice that address factors associated with social and economic disadvantage, informed by life course theory and enabled through diverse disciplines.
  3. Demonstrate international leadership in advanced research and social interventions to address disadvantage in ways that are truly responsive to individuals and communities.
  4. Show leadership in evidence-based research to improve measurement and understanding of disadvantage.
  5. Collaborate with policy makers, service providers and communities to support transmission of research findings, evidence-informed policy and practice to address disadvantage.
  6. Build Australian capacity and capability through training in life course approaches for early- and mid-career researchers, supported by leading international scholars and cross-sector external partnerships.

Leadership and Governance

The Centre’s leadership will ensure that the Centre’s focus remains strongly on its research mission, that Centre activities are benchmarked against world’s best practice, and that the Centre’s values are reflected in its decisions and actions. The Centre’s governance structure is designed to deliver inclusive and transparent decision making across the Centre’s partnerships, nodes, research teams and participating disciplines.

Objective 1.1
To forge effective working relationships with the Centre’s participating organisations, partner organisations, key stakeholders and communities that deliver mutual benefits and make use of the unique skills and capabilities of the parties.

Objective 1.2
To ensure strong performance for the Centre and effective use of Centre resources through regular reporting and evaluation against agreed timeframes and measures.

Objective 1.3
To pursue strategic growth for the Life Course Centre by balancing the Centre’s core research program, vision and mission with emerging areas of importance and need.

Objective 1.4
To ensure the sustainability of the Life Course Centre throughout its funding period and beyond through leadership training and careful succession planning.


Research excellence and impact are primary goals of the Life Course Centre. The Centre’s leadership is responsible for ensuring the research programs achieve these goals and that the research conducted in the Centre is of the highest standard, benchmarked internationally, responsive to emerging international trends and scientific developments, and of value to the Australian people.

Objective 2.1
To develop highly strategic and innovative research and capabilities for Australia in research areas relevant to understanding and reducing the level and transmission of social disadvantage over the life course and across generations.

Objective 2.2
To firmly establish the Centre’s core research agenda, as outlined in the Centre Proposal, as a baseline for future research growth and development.

Objective 2.3
To establish and promote the Centre’s Flagship Research as models of collaborative, codesigned and multi-disciplinary applied research.

Objective 2.4
To identify critical areas in research development, including Indigenous data sovereignty, citizen consent and ethical use of data. To demonstrate leadership and best practice in these areas by working with national and international experts, and provide strong risk management for Centre projects.

Capacity Building

Builds the capacity of the Life Course Centre to actively produce and use evidence to drive transformation in Australian society to prevent and reduce deep and persistent disadvantage among children and families. This includes developing Higher Degree Research Students and Early Career Researchers, and contributing to capacity building for Life Course Centre partners.

Objective 3.1
To develop highly strategic and Enhance multi-methodological research design and methods skills, and offer opportunities for inter-disciplinary research experiences.

Objective 3.2
Develop capacity to obtain research funding, through
both formal funding schemes and researcher-initiated opportunities.

Objective 3.3
Strengthen capacity in research design, delivery and project management.

Objective 3.4
Strengthen scientific communication to enable accessible dissemination to a broad section of society.

Objective 3.5
Develop capacity for engagement with partners, stakeholders and communities.

Knowledge Transfer

Enables the Life Course Centre to achieve impact through transformational change in the lives of the
most disadvantaged households and communities in Australia. The portfolio is responsible for identifying and promoting innovative ways to ensure the Centre’s research is disseminated and translated for policy and practice to the broader public and key stakeholder groups such as
government, business, not-for-profit organisations, and those experiencing deep and persistent disadvantage. It will enable Centre members to engage with consumers and stakeholders to inform and drive research questions that are policy and practice relevant and to inform the effective translation of findings into policy and practice.

Objective 4.1
Creation and implementation of a ‘Life Course Centre Knowledge Transfer Strategy’ that embeds Knowledge Transfer throughout the research process and encourages engagement with the full spectrum of stakeholders for Life Course Centre projects.

Objective 4.2
Develop Knowledge Transfer best practice guides and training that is flexible for different disciplines and projects.

Objective 4.3
Develop a ‘Community, Consumer and Stakeholder Engagement Plan’ that is ethical and effective, enabling disadvantaged groups and individuals to participate in the research design, be engaged throughout the research process, receive outputs from the Centre in the most accessible and effective format and inform the use, uptake and translation of research findings.

Research Linkages

Builds the capacity of Life Course Centre members to develop and maintain effective research partnerships and linkages with collaborators from a broad range of institutions and disciplines. Promote alliances relating to policy advocacy and collaborations on major initiatives that promote effective research linkages.

Objective 5.1
Provide leadership, mentoring and funding for initiatives that support external linkages and research alliances across multiple institutions and sectors in areas related to the Centre’s research program and mission. This can include funding of workshops, sponsorship of outside events and other initiatives, through a competitive funding program.

Objective 5.2
Plan and design a Summit for the Life Course Centre, where Centre partners, key stakeholders and community members can reflect on and engage with the Centre’s research program.

Objective 5.3
Promote our research links and communities through innovative use of communications designed to reach an external audience and promote increased collaboration.

Our Values

ValueWithin SocietyWithin the Centre
ExcellenceWe promote excellence through the rigour, depth and quality of our research and across all aspects of our mission and operations.We provide opportunities for Centre members to achieve excellence in their research and their careers.
RespectThe Centre endeavours to understand the unique needs of Centre partners, stakeholders and communities, and to work productively to deliver meaningful outcomes for them.Members feel supported to share their unique contributions and genuine constructive feedback is given.
CollaborationThe Centre creates opportunities for collaboration with Centre partners, stakeholders and community members, and is open to approaches for collaboration on projects aligned with the Centre’s mission and vision.Members actively seek to break down research silos, and collaborate across nodes, disciplines, and sectors.
CommunicationThe Centre provides regular insights into Centre research for partners, stakeholders and the broader community, in formats that are meaningful and useful for them.Decisions are made with transparency, building a sense of cohesion, trust, respect and community.
IntegrityThe Centre is an impartial research organisation, but considers the impact of its research on others and is responsive to the concerns of partners, stakeholders and the community about the conduct of research.High quality research is produced that is open, honest, maintaining confidentiality, and with appropriate credit given to all contributors.
CommunityThe Centre seeks to obtain community input into research design and delivery, and endeavours to report research findings in a way that is meaningful to the community.Members are kind, generous and respectful, and are mindful of how their actions affect others.
GrowthThe Centre is responsive to the changing needs of Australia and seeks to increase its capacity to deliver value to the Australian public.Supporting all members to continually develop their skills and abilities.