Project team

Professor Julian Thomas

Director – Enabling Capability Platform for Social Change at RMIT University

Julian Thomas is Director of the Social Change research platform, and Professor of Media and Communications at RMIT in Melbourne. He works on new communications technologies and public policy. Recent publications include Measuring the Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (2016 and 2017), Internet on the Outstation: The Digital Divide and Remote Aboriginal Communities (INC, 2016), The Informal Media Economy (Polity, 2015), and Fashioning Intellectual Property (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Julian was previously the Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research (SISR). Julian is Chair of the management committee of the website Australian Policy Online, and is a member of the Telstra CEO’s Consumer Forum, the ARC College of Experts, and the Advisory Board of QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre.

Professor Jo Barraket

Director, CSI Swinburne

Professor Barraket is a leading researcher in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. She has an abiding interest in the use of online and mobile technologies by individuals and by not for profit organisations. Professor Barraket has recently led work for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation on the relationship between social innovation– including digitally enabled social change – and health equities at household, community and population levels. She has in the past conducted research for the Federal Government on access and equity issues in online technology use in higher education, and is highly cited for her work on the sociology of online dating. Professor Barraket’s primary area of research for the past eight years has been social enterpreneurship; she has extensive networks with the not for profit sector, social businesses, and policy and strategy professionals as a result of her leadership in this area. As part of the CSI network, Professor Barraket also leads research on measuring social impacts, including developing indicators for measuring complex social interventions.

Dr Scott Ewing

Senior Research Fellow at Swinburne Institute for Social Research

Dr Ewing has more than twenty years’ experience as a social researcher, both at Swinburne and in the private sector. He is currently managing the Australian component of the World Internet Project, a global survey of internet use and non-use. Scott has considerable expertise in information policy, the social impact of new technologies, the use of quantitative data and economic evaluation. He completed a thesis in 2013 that examined the use of statistics to understand the evolving internet and its implications.

Scott has taught at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level and currently teaches into the suite of Housing Management and Policy courses at Swinburne. He is currently the Academic Director- Research Development for the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities in Faculty of Health, Arts and Design and the School’s Research Ethics Advisor.

Dr Chris Wilson

Research Fellow at RMIT University

Dr Wilson’s research areas include media, communications and creative industries policy with a current focus on communication infrastructure provision, its underlying social, technological, economic and governmental determinants, and downstream impact on cultural production and innovation. He is currently engaged in two substantial programs of research: Public Wi-Fi as Urban Infrastructure examines the development of publicly accessible wireless networks in Australia and internationally; Governing for Innovation examines the impact that the liberalisation of access to radio broadcast spectrum in Australia in the 1990s had on local cultural innovation within and beyond broadcasting.

Associate Professor Ellie Rennie

Principal Research Fellow at RMIT University

Associate Professor Ellie Rennie is a Principal Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, and a member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre. She investigates digital inclusion and automation, with a focus on public policy. Her authored or co-authored books include: Using Media for Social Innovation (forthcoming 2018); Internet on the Outstation: The digital divide and remote Aboriginal communities (2016); Life of SYN: A Story of the Digital Generation (2011); and, Community Media: A Global Introduction (2006).

Julie Tucker

PhD Student at Swinburne University of Technology

Julie Tucker is a PhD student at Swinburne University’s Centre for Social Impact. Her work includes investigating strategies to enable the digital inclusion of older social housing residents, and co-designing an online community to connect women and men affected by asbestos-related disease with their peers. Julie worked on the first Australian Digital Inclusion Index Report.