Social Research, Policy and Planning

These projects aim to better understand social issues and develop creative and practical solutions.

Faith and Vocation for UnitingCare CEOs, boards and agencies

The report was compiled from interviews and questionnaires from ten CEOs of UnitingCare agencies in Victoria. The report  “In, but not of the World”  locates the issues facing UnitingCare agencies and their leaders in the ongoing conflict between God’s call to the Church to be partners with Christ in building God’s desired kingdom, and the desires of worldly powers to build their own empires. The report proposes a range of faith development and training programs to support CEO’s leadership.

Hope for Justice and Reconciliation

This book is concerned with the importance of a prophetic ministry for Australia that reincorporates the two critical themes of judgement and mercy in the prophetic literature of Isaiah.  The project explores this thesis through a unique conversation between John Bottomley and Prof. Howard Wallace, who together bring practical and academic ministry perspectives to a range of ministry issues too often neglected in the Australian context.  Order Hope for Justice and Reconciliation



Work Injury and Mental Health

Previous research by the CMN  identified a possible relationship between long-term work injury and suicide.  By interviewing long-term injured workers it is hoped to shed light on mental health issues which may arise following a long-term work injury.  This project is being undertaken in 2012 – 2013 by researcher Sarah Pollock under the guidance of a Reference Group which includes union representation.

Sarah Pollock: narrative resume of work experience

Initially I taught in the publically funded adult education system in the UK and then later in TAFE in Victoria, where my interest in workplace justice developed. I became interested in how people working on the ‘shop floor’ could be given more control over their immediate work environment. At this time, the training and consulting work I was doing in textile, clothing and footwear factories was often focused on quality improvement through building workers’ skills and giving them more say and control over how things were done.Bright Stones, Dark Pool: Photography Margaret Neith

Whilst I was working at RMIT and URCOT, I my interest developed in the impact of organisational dynamics on the possibilities for worker autonomy and implications for workers’ health and well-being in much of my consulting and project work. My masters’ degree in organisational change and consulting gave me a way of understanding and working with the dynamics that I was part of in the organisational settings and in the projects I worked on. Over the last ten years, I have applied my skills in applied research, public policy and strategic development to working in firstly in community services and currently in mental health. I am currently completing PhD studies, exploring the possibilities for service user autonomy in different community services settings.

Through my diverse employment, I have developed skills in working with diverse and marginalised groups, and practical research skills in working with people. Some of my past research work has focused on workplace health and safety, including violence against women at work and workplace bullying. The ‘work injury and mental health’ project I am undertaking with Creative Ministries Network continues this interest in workers’ well-being and workplace justice.  Sarah Pollock’s CV