As social sciences researchers we are all guided by a desire to bring about positive change in the wider community. This change may result in a visible end product, or may emerge through the processes that occur along the way. By engaging communities and individuals in our research, we provide them with a voice they might otherwise not have. The diverse range of topics to be presented at this student conference highlights the multitude of ways that students within the faculty are engaging with their communities to allow this positive impact to become reality. In addition to student presentations we are fortunate to welcome two notable researchers to share their experiences of working with communities. Hugh Mackay, acclaimed social researcher and author, will discuss the impact of community engagement and social connectedness on the health of individuals and communities. Dr. Lyn Phillipson will present on her work on empowering individuals through the use of Participatory Action Research. Research is not only about empowering those we are working with, but also about empowering ourselves. Engaging in collaborative, interdisciplinary research is a process that assists you, as a researcher, to grow. There is so much wonderful research taking place in the world; be it in your office, your building, your school, your faculty or across the university, but often we are not aware of it. This conference is an opportunity to discover some of the unknown.
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