Transforming Lives and Regions

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Transforming Lives and Regions

About this Challenge

Chris Gibson

How do we transform lives and regions? 


Transformations are taking place across the globe, impacting on the way we live and how we interact with the world around us.

We live in an uncertain world, a world of climate change, of social transformation, of rapid economic change. Most cities and regions have inherited their physical infrastructure, their local population, their skills base and their culture. But in order to survive in this changing world, cities and regions must adapt. 

The University of Wollongong’s innovative Global Challenges Program is on a mission to understand and tackle these economic, social and cultural challenges by bringing world-class researchers together with government, community organisations and business.

Transforming Lives and Regions is both an overarching theme for the UOW Global Challenges Program and its own distinct challenge, recognising the interconnected nature of regional transformation. Professor Chris Gibson (pictured above) is the Executive Director of Global Challenges and oversees the theme of Transforming Lives and Regions.

Active Projects

Chris and the Global Challenges team are currently engaging with Researchers and Stakeholders on the following projects.     

Art education in Kingdom of Bhutan iconTrace Arts Education from Early Childhood to High School in the Kingdom of Bhutan

The project aims to better appreciate current early childhood, primary and high school visual arts pedagogy in Bhutan in order to support pedagogical transformation for teachers and pre-service teachers.

Mapping local indigenous communities iconMapping how local indigenous communities are sustaining their cultural heritage in the Pacific: the case of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand

This project aims to map what activities three indigenous communities, based in Australia', New Caledonia and New Zealand, are engaging in to sustain their cultural heritage despite facing rapid changes.

Micro finance and empowering womenMicrofinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting

How can accounting contribute to female empowerment? The proposed study seeks to address this question via several challenging research questions by drawing on innovative theoretical and methodological tools.

Pearling Industry Broome iconAn iconic regional industry and identity: helping to secure value for the pearling industry of Broome

This project explores how external and/or modified pearls that are potentially being brought into the Australian market and represented as true ‘Australian South Sea’ pearls undermine the reputation of the pearling industry in Broome, and how it affects Broome’s social and economic position.

Sustainable Eco villagesAn investigation in the sustainable economic practices of eco-villages

The aim of this project is to explore the mix of local and introduced practices that support the development of emerging sustainable ecovillage economies.

Obesity PreventionStronger culture, healthier lifestyles

The development of an afterschool cultural and activity program for Aboriginal children living in the Shoalhaven.


Multi-sensory room 180 by 160SMILE: Sensory Made Inclusive Leisure Environment

This project is designed to gauge the feasibility and benefits of developing a multi-sensory environment for disability services and community engagement in the Illawarra. 

Greener Cities Healthier Lives IconGreener Cities Healthier measuring the wider societal benefits

Does a greener neighbourhood promote better health outcomes for pregnant women, young children and retirees living in urban areas?


Caring for the incarcerated 180 by 160Caring for the incarcerated: lessons from the past, policy for the future

This research aims to unveil how historical forces come into play in the delivery of today's health care within the prison system.  

Gamifying ActivityGamifying Activity

This project uses gamified physical activity and motor skill development for pre-school families using smartphones.


Caring for Community Caring for Community

This project engages with Aboriginal communities in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven to develop an understanding of their long-term social and health needs.

Enhancing employee engagement 180 by 160Enhancing employee engagement and wellbeing in at-risk units at Illawarra hospitals

This project looks at developing strategies to help improve the engagement and wellbeing of medical and nursing staff in at-risk units in Illawarra public hospitals. 

Previously Funded Projects

Last reviewed: 31 January, 2018