A study of jobless families in three disadvantaged areas across Australia found geographical location posed significant barriers to gaining employm
Life around here
The Life Around Here study was designed to provide information about the factors that influence the participation of families in paid employment and their communities more broadly. In-depth interviews were undertaken with 59 households (involving 71 individuals) across Broadmeadows in Victoria, Mansfield Park in South Australia, and Carole Park (since renamed as Ellen Grove) near Goodna in Queensland. These suburbs - along with Angle Park in South Australia and Goodna in Queensland - have been selected to be the test sites for the Family Centred Employment Project, as according to a number of indicators, such as high levels of family joblessness, they have been identified as being socially and economically disadvantaged.
The study was designed to cover a broad cross-section of people living in each of the areas, rather than a statistically representative sample, in order to gauge the range of issues facing families and to capture change where this was occurring. The participants in the study came from a variety of backgrounds and were at different stages of the life course. The study participants included families with children, retirees, working and non-working parents, and families from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
Authors and Acknowledgements
Kelly Hand is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Professor Matthew Gray is Professor, Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University. Dr Daryl Higgins is Deputy Director (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Shaun Lohoar and Julie Deblaquiere are Senior Research Officers at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
The research that this report is based upon was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The authors are grateful to Dr Alison Morehead, Alice Van Senden, Jennifer Clynk and Professor Alan Hayes for comments on this report.
The research team would also like to thank staff at the Parks Centre in South Australia and Elorac Place Community Centre in Carole Park, Queensland for their support of the study and their assistance in drawing the research to the attention of local residents. Both centres also provided the research team with a very welcoming home base while conducting fieldwork in the area.
Most importantly, this research would not have been possible without the contributions of the many people who took part. We thank you for sharing your experiences and stories with us.
Hand, K., Gray, M., Higgins, D., Lohoar, S., & Deblaquiere, J. (2011). Life around here: Community, work and family life in three Australian communities (Research Report No. 19). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
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