Better research leads to better relationships


The Centre for Better Relationships is the research, advocacy and policy arm of Better Place Australia, and an invaluable resource for our many projects and initiatives. The Centre’s meaningful and insightful research supports our commitment to helping Australians lead a better life through stronger relationships. 

This year, the Centre has focused on several key projects, including: 

  1. An invisible form of control. Research into coercive control within family dynamics.
  2. A dual pathway towards a single outcome. The co-design of a new elder abuse prevention program.
  3. Letting data lead the way. Comprehensive data collection.
  4. The older person’s approach to aged care. Publication of research papers on elder abuse. 


An invisible form of control

Coercive control is a type of family violence but often goes unnoticed due to its subtle nature. In many cases it continues plaguing relationships without ever being identified and resolved. The Centre’s initial survey of family counsellors and mediators found a big challenge in recognising the signs of coercive control within family dynamics. 

The ongoing research has resulted in more in-depth training of practitioners so they can better understand these signs and equip clients with the tools and strategies to overcome this form of control. 


A dual pathway towards a single outcome 

The Centre received funding from the Jack Brockhoff Foundation to explore gaps in existing elder abuse prevention services. The Respect My Home research project team identified the biggest gap as the absence of a referral pathway for the perpetrator. 

The research findings will inform the design and development of a new and integrated elder abuse response model with a dual response that involve providing quality of care to the victim and a referral pathway for the perpetrator. This model will position Better Place Australia as the first organisation of its kind to undertake such an initiative in the elder abuse prevention space.  


Letting data lead the way 

Data collection sits at the heart of the Centre’s work. Whether it’s data on demographics or data from one of its programs, the findings are instrumental in driving research that could have a real and significant impact on people’s lives.


The older person’s approach to aged care 

One of the Centre’s latest research proposals revolves around the older person’s transition into aged care. This eventual publication aims to provide those in the aged care industry with a solid foundation upon which to build their work – whether in academia or human-centered design research.


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