Our world as we know it is changing. Issues of societal wellbeing and the delivery of social services in the face of COVID-19 have created uncertainty for customers, organisations, governments and regulatory bodies - and require evidence-based advice and new ways of thinking.

Changing demographics and social values, along with rapid technological leaps, are creating opportunities for better decision making and improved delivery across Australia’s social and human services.

At UniSA, we help our partners meet the needs of their clients, working in multidisciplinary teams to apply our knowledge to intricate problems. Our academics and researchers work across complex areas, including child protection reform, mobility and identity, arts and culture, sociology and social theory, communication, cross-cultural health, Aboriginal engagement, and welfare reform to create solutions and drive systemic change.

Make an enquiry  


What we do

Developing models for responding to child abuse and neglect

Investigating issues of corporate social responsibility

Creating connections for Aboriginal businesses and communities

Using language to predict cognitive outcomes in old age

Inspiring young talent through project-based PhD opportunities is another way that we work with industry to support thought leadership and address the complex problems of our partners. Our researchers and students work with industry on a variety of projects, including:

  • The effects of job insecurity on family units and their quality of life
  • Exploring the social contexts and support systems that have influenced positive partner relationships in survivors of family violence
  • Investigating the role of support services in the settlement of refugee and migrant background youth
  • Constructing a framework for mining companies to develop Aboriginal engagement strategies and reconciliation action plans.

With expert researchers and state-of-the-art facilities, we have the capabilities to work with partners on transformational change across policy and regulatory challenges, as well as supporting major cultural shifts and thinking.

Our partners

At UniSA, we match our research strengths and capability with the demands and opportunities of our partners, and maximise the mutual benefits of engagement.

Anglicare SA
Uniting Communities
Food Bank
Australian Refugee Association

UniSA's Enterprise Hub

The Enterprise Hub creates and sustains partnerships with organisations of all sizes, leveraging UniSA’s industry expertise and experience to solve problems, innovate and add value. Discover a range of services that can help you achieve your business goals.

Why partner with UniSA?



2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 



2018 ARC Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI), Combined Impact – Approach to Impact and Engagement on Assessed



2023 THE World University Rankings



2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), 4-digit Fields of Research.



2024 THE Young University Rankings – Industry Income Indicator.

Partner case studies

Developing Aboriginal medicines to fight inflammation

Aboriginal Peoples were the first to research and understand the effects of Australian plants, with thousands of years of accumulated knowledge about their properties and how to best to use them. A long-term partnership between UniSA researchers and Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation is leading the way in understanding the healing potential of plant species used in Aboriginal medicine, while also creating a model for equitable partnerships and benefit sharing between Aboriginal and Western scientific researchers.

Read more

“I hope that this work will continue to provide opportunities for Aboriginal custodians to manage and direct research on their land and receive ongoing income from the intellectual property of their heritage, as well as support the passing down of traditional plant knowledge from Elders to younger generations.”

Dr Susan Semple, Senior Research Fellow, University of South Australia

Bridging the language, culture and knowledge divide

UniSA has a strong 30-year relationship with Anangu (Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara) (APY) communities through teaching and learning of language and culture, remote teacher training, and research. Our work in APY communities has become even stronger through a collaborative partnership with Iwiri, a corporation of Anangu members living in Adelaide.

Read more

“This work is only possible because of UniSA, which worked closely with us to get started. This included supported conversations with government and other organisations, supporting the establishment of good governance practices, making connections with financial management organisations, and supporting our major projects and events.”

Aaron Ken, Co-chair, Iwiri Aboriginal Corporation

Keeping Aboriginal women’s hearts strong

Despite our nation’s commitment to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal Peoples, a significant life expectancy gap remains, with heart disease the leading cause of death in women. UniSA PhD candidate Katharine McBride is working with Aboriginal women and health providers such as Watto Purrunna Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service to encourage governments to approach health from an Aboriginal perspective. 

Read more

“As an Aboriginal man, it has given me confidence that the research is meeting community priorities and delivering benefits on the ground for Aboriginal women. Being a partner in the design and process, has taught us we can do so much better.”

Kurt Towers, Executive Director Aboriginal Health, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Explore our research

As Australia’s University of Enterprise, our research centres work closely with industry and communities on projects that that deliver new insights, advice and plans for action. 

Experts in community & social services

Meet our researchers and learn about how they are working towards solving industry and partner challenges.

I am passionate about finding solutions to social challenges that impact on our community, with a focus on gendered violence, mental health and social work. In partnership with Uniting Communities, we are exploring the scope of mental health peer support for young women at risk. With young women two to three times more likely to experience common mental health problems than young men, finding out what makes a successful mental health peer support program for Australian young women is incredibly important.

Professor Nicole Moulding
Director, Safe Relationships and Communities Research Group


Professor Nicole Moulding
Director, Safe Relationships and Communities Research Group

Having worked in both private and not-for-profit settings, I have a strong interest in sustainability accounting and reporting, NGO accountability and governance and, blockchain and the impact of new technology on industry. Partnering with Chrysalis Sri Lanka, we evaluated the impact of the organisation’s participatory governance intervention structure. We developed a model to provide insight into the success and barriers of this intervention, and it mapped pathways to improving future success in addressing structural inequality and social issues in Sri Lanka’s tea sector.

Dr Sanjaya Kuruppu


Dr Sanjaya Kuruppu

My research focuses on housing, service provision, aged care and social participation for older people and other at-risk community groups, including those living with a disability, women and those experiencing homelessness. In collaboration with the university sector and Housing for the Aged Action Group, we undertook the Ageing on the Edge – Older Persons Homelessness Prevention project. This project clarified the challenges older people face in terms of affordable and appropriate housing, providing the data needed to improve the housing system and secure further funding for housing options.

Dr Debbie Faulkner
Co-Director, Centre for Markets, Values and Inclusion
The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise 


Dr Debbie Faulkner
Co-Director, Centre for Markets, Values and Inclusion
The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise 

Find a research expert

Community & social services training and development 

UniSA offers a range of bachelor, master, PhD and Executive Education programs in psychology, social work and human services that align to the sector’s needs in developing and transforming its future workforce.

Community & social services news from UniSA

Explore our industry sectors

Discover our research capabilities across similar industry sectors.

Key Contacts

Sum Borjigin
Manager Business Development, Enterprise Partnerships Unit
City West Campus

Contact the Enterprise Hub

Get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business needs.

Make an enquiry online or call us to discuss your idea