Research in Healthy Communities and Social Futures

  • Social Work - the over-arching theme of the program's research has been the translation of theory and research to inform social policy, social work education and practice. This research network has the following established areas of strength: community engagement and capacity building; child protection; creativity and art in social work; environmental social work; evidence-based social work; family estrangement; international, indigenous and decolonizing social work; social work and health; social work supervision; knowledge production and transfer in social work; neoliberal managerialism and its impact on social work and the human services; social development; social enterprise; social policy; social work education; and, social work practice in rural, regional and remove locations.
  • Speech Pathology - this research network is distinctive in its diversity (speech, language, fluency, disability, aphasia) and focus on the impact of communication disorders and disabilities in everyday life and on key stakeholders supporting them in education, health and employment. At the University of Newcastle, Speech Pathology is a health discipline in the Faculty of Education and Arts that has research expertise across all domains of speech pathology. Our Speech Pathology researchers have active collaborations with other researchers in the field at leading national and international universities.
  • Linguistics research strengths include a number of important projects. Firstly, our Endangered Languages Documentation, Theory and Application (ELDTA) Research Program, focuses on documenting, describing, and investigating indigenous languages of Australia and the Pacific region. Secondly, we specialize in applied linguistics with particular emphasis upon second language acquisition and bilingualism. Our history of success in achieving competitive national and international grants enables us to offer PhD scholarships in endangered languages research. PhD and Masters by Research students benefit from working with researchers who have extensive expertise in all aspects of endangered language research. This includes: documentation, fieldwork and recording techniques; linguistic annotation tools; digital archiving; linguistic analysis and grammar writing; as well as the investigation of aspects of issues of wider scientific and socio-cultural significance in the endangered languages of our region.
  • Lab for Applied Language Science - The university’s Lab for Applied Language Science (LALS) is open for anybody who is interested in language development and language use. We aim to offer opportunities for novel interdisciplinary collaborations among linguists, language teachers, psychologists, speech pathologists, educational tool developers, engineers, etc. and to provide trainings for researchers and students who wish to develop skills in experimental approaches to language science. Associate Professor Kiwako Ito directs the lab.
  • Open Clinics
    • Speech Intelligibility - this clinic offers communication enhancement to individuals who are non-native speakers of English (NNSE). Some NNSE find that others have difficulty understanding them in English because the sound system of their first language "interferes" with their English pronunciation. Our programs are aimed at assisting you to minimise breakdowns in communication as well as training you in conversation repair strategies for when breakdowns do occur.
    • Stuttering - this clinic offers treatment from experienced speech pathologists to children and adults who stutter. It also provides clinical education to speech pathology students under the guidance of experienced speech pathologists.
    • Voice – the voice clinic treats any number of the following: tension, strain or discomfort when speaking; constant need to clear your throat; persistent or dry cough; lack of voice power; loss of voice; deterioration of your voice over the day; breaks or sudden pitch changes in your voice. If you think you may have a voice problem and feel you may benefit from a voice assessment and voice therapy, please contact our clinic.