Three Monash Arts projects successful in 2019 ARC Linkage round

Three Monash Arts projects have been awarded grants in the 2019 Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage round: ‘Measuring the benefits of reuse in the circular economy’ led by Dr Ruth Lane, ‘Ethical, Social and Regulatory Issues in Advanced Prenatal Testing’ led by Professor Catherine Mills, and ‘Deafblind communication: Building professional competencies’ led by Dr Louisa Willoughby.

The ARC Linkage Projects grant opportunity supports projects which initiate and develop long term strategic research alliances to apply advanced knowledge to problems, acquire new knowledge and serve as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

‘I am delighted that three deserving Monash Arts projects have received significant 2019 ARC Linkage grants,’ said Professor Jo Lindsay, Associate Dean Enterprise. ‘The diversity of our successful projects reflects the quality, scope and impact of research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Monash University.’

Monash Arts received a total of $1,050,709 across the three projects, which span the diverse fields of environmental history, bioethics and inclusive communication strategies for the deafblind.

Find out more:

Measuring the benefits of reuse in the circular economy

ARC funding awarded: $295,713

Primary Chief Investigator:
Dr Ruth Lane (School of Social Sciences)

Other Investigators:
Dr Julian Yates, (Chief Investigator, School of Social Sciences)
Prof Carl Grodach (Chief Investigator, Monash Art Design and Architecture)
Mr Omer Soker (Partner Investigator, National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations Inc)

Partner Organisations:
National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations Inc
Sustainability Victoria
Green Industries South Australia
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government

This project will take strides towards Australia’s green future by advancing our understanding of reuse commodity chains, their societal benefits and contributions to a more sustainable circular economy. By collaborating with charitable and community reuse organisations, Dr Ruth Lane and her team will identify factors facilitating or inhibiting reuse, and develop methods for assessing the benefits of reuse organisations in terms of quantities of materials processed, employment, skills development and contributions to regional economic development. This project will strengthen Australia’s approach to reuse commodity chains by informing government policy and decision-making.

Ethical, Social and Regulatory Issues in Advanced Prenatal Testing 

ARC funding awarded: $475,000

Primary Chief Investigator:
Professor Catherine Mills (School of Philosophy, History and International Studies)

Other Investigators:
Dr Michelle Taylor-Sands (Chief Investigator, The University of Melbourne)
Associate Professor Lisa Hui (Chief Investigator, The University of Melbourne)
Professor Julian Savulescu (Partner Investigator, University of Oxford)
Professor Martin Delatycki (Partner Investigator, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Dr Mark Pertile (Partner Investigator, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)
Mr Peter Coleman (Partner Investigator, Illumina Australia Pty Ltd)

Partner Organisations:
Victorian Clinical Genetics Services Limited
Illumina Australia Pty Ltd

This project aims to investigate the social, ethical and regulatory issues arising with the rapid advancement and increased use of genomic non-invasive prenatal testing in early pregnancy in Australia. Genomics uses a person’s own genetic makeup to analyse and understand their disease or cancer and unlock personalised treatments that specifically target their disease. Professor Mills and her team will work to generate new insight into key issues such as consumer information before and after testing, consent, and equitable access to genomic health technologies in human reproduction. Expected outcomes include recommendations for addressing these issues, supported by ground-breaking social research and ethical and regulatory analysis. The project is expected to have major benefits, addressing the gap between policy and practice that has emerged in prenatal testing in Australia and shaping the ethics and regulation of pregnancy care

Deafblind communication: Building professional competencies 

ARC funding awarded: $279,996

Primary Chief Investigator:
Dr Louisa Willoughby (School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics)

Other Investigators:
Dr Howard Manns (Chief Investigator, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics)
Dr Shimako Iwasaki (Chief Investigator, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics)
Dr Jim Hlavac (Chief Investigator, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics)
Dr Meredith Prain (Partner Investigator, ABLE AUSTRALIA SERVICES)
Associate Professor Eli Raanes (Partner Investigator, Norwegian University of Science and
Technology)

Partner Organisations:
ABLE AUSTRALIA SERVICES
NAATI

This project aims to improve the quality of interpreting/support services provided to deafblind Australians by analysing the communication strategies used by deafblind sign language users.

Many deafblind people use a modified form of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) to communicate, yet little is known about how interpreters or support workers should adapt their signing when working with deafblind clients to ensure effective communication. Dr Louisa Willoughby and her team will seek to develop evidence-based training and resources for these professionals.

This project has the capacity to improve communication between deafblind clients and professionals and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of support service provision for deafblind people.