An evidence-based approach to learning

View some of the following research projects and studies that have been initiated in the Great Southern region:

10 year Early Years Initiative

New ways to deliver more effective, evidenced-informed child development services will be forged through an innovative community partnership in the Central Great Southern.

The Central Great Southern Shires of Katanning, Broomehill-Tambellup, Kojonup and Gnowangerup will work with State Government services and researchers to develop new ways to improve the health and wellbeing of its youngest residents.

Read more here.

Resilience or Risk? Exploring the Impact of Rurality on Youth Mental Health

Funding has been secured through the Lishman Health Foundation to research the impact of living in a rural area on the mental health of young people. The study seeks to explore the risk and protective factors of a rural address on youth mental health.

Risk factors for mental illness are magnified in rural communities, with stigma, lack of anonymity, and access to services being dominant factors. In contrast, a rural residence confers a number of protective factors which warrant further exploration. The strengthening of these factors has the potential to mitigate the risks of rurality on youth mental health.

The study will utilise qualitative methods, based on a phenomenological world view which will attempt to understand the lived experienced of young people in rural communities. The study will be guided by the principles of participatory action research, in which the group being researched – rural young people – will be actively involved in the research process (Baum, MacDougall, & Smith, 2006). Participatory Action Research (PAR) includes involving those most affected by the issue under investigation, being directly involved in the development of the inquiry process as well as the implementation of any actions that arise from the process (Crane & O’Regan, 2010).  Read more online here.

The Lishman Health Foundation is an independently funded, not-for-profit organisation supporting regional health.  Read more about the Lishman Health Foundation on their website.

If you have a research project that is being conducted in the Great Southern and would like us to feature it, email us at

Interested in conducting research in Aboriginal communities in the Great Southern?

If you wish to conduct research in Aboriginal communities within the Great Southern, you are required to demonstrate appropriate consultation and follow the regions necessary processes and gain approval prior to submitting your application to the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee.

The Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC) is one of three Aboriginal specific Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and is recognised and registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) the peak ethics body in Australian Health and Ethics Committee (AHEC).

The WAAHEC was established to promote and support quality research that will be reflective of the needs of the community, as there was concerns with the increased research being conducted in Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. The WAAHEC’s objectives are to effectively monitor ethically sound, culturally appropriate, determine priorities to the research and ensure the benefits to Aboriginal people.

For further information visit