What type of Australia are we content to be? This is the question at the heart of the Life Course Centre, a national ARC Centre of Excellence, administered by the Institute for Social Science Research. There are more than 1 million adults and children experiencing deep and persistent disadvantage in Australia today. We will compromise their life chances if we fail to innovate and disrupt the cycle of disadvantage. They will be less likely to complete high school, less likely to find a good job and less likely to have stable, secure housing. We will see the effects of social isolation and lack of opportunities increase, and our nation will continue to see increasing economic costs. The fragmentation and divisions that come from a society where there are ever-widening gaps between the haves and the have‐nots undermines trust and cohesion, eroding the social fabric that holds our communities together. Disadvantage accumulates over the life course and can persist across generations. The Life Course Centre is working with partners to identify solutions to these ongoing challenges and improve the lives of Australian children and families living in disadvantage. This webinar will provide an overview of the Life Course Centre focusing on some key recent findings from current work and outlining the directions and research agenda for the new Life Course Centre commencing in 2021.

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Professor Janeen Baxter


Janeen Baxter is Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course and Group Leader in the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland.

Janeen has research interests in social disadvantage, gender inequality, family dynamics, life course and longitudinal studies and has published widely in these areas. She is leading the Evaluation of the Try, Test and Learn Fund for the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Janeen is currently Section Editor for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies and a member of several other journal editorial boards. She is an elected fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a former member of its executive committee.

She is a member of the Council for the Committee for Economic Development in Australia, a member of the Expert Advisory Board for the Singapore Longitudinal Early Development Study and serves on the Advisory Council for 100 Families WA.

This webinar is organised by the Institute for Social Science Research, as part of Social Sciences Week.

About Social Sciences Week 2020

As part of Social Sciences Week, The University of Queensland's School of Social Science and Institute for Social Science Research invite you to virtually attend a series of UQ events offering insight into the impact of social sciences on our lives.