The BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA) Consortium has played a critical role in shaping BWA’s unique enterprise, research methodology and research agenda since it was established in 2011.
Originally known as the ‘Behaviour Change Initiative’ BWA is, in fact, the brainchild of MSDI Chair, Professor John Thwaites, who saw an opportunity to integrate behavioural science into environmental programs. The Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Sustainability Victoria and the specialist behaviour change communications company, The Shannon Company, recognised the benefit of such an endeavour and established the Consortium in 2011.
Under the leadership of BWA Director, Associate Professor Liam Smith, the range of projects grew rapidly and BCI was renamed BehaviourWorks Australia to reflect this. And the Consortium grew to include the Office of Environment and Heritage NSW, WorkSafe Victoria, VicRoads and, more recently, the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
The Consortium has proven to be highly effective in terms of providing the partners with a vehicle to collaborate, share intellectual property and build capacity for, and understanding of, behaviour change within their respective organisations, often at board level.
The model actively supports and encourages academics to learn from and share knowledge with behaviour change practitioners in industry and government. This practical, hands-on knowledge and approach has influenced the development of a unique methodology for unpacking problems, identifying and prioritising behaviours and trailing interventions.
Today, the BWA Consortium continues to provide professional development opportunities without parallel in Australia.
It also means that BWA has access to some of most inspirational and experienced leaders, including Professor Thwaites, MSDI Director, Professor Rebekah Brown, Environment Protection Authority Victoria CEO, Nial Finegan, Sustainability Victoria CEO, Stan Krpan, and the Chief Executive of VicRoads, John Merritt, who sit on BWA’s Advisory Board to provide direction and support on a range of business and research-related issues.
BWA continues to experience rapid growth and represents a strong and successful example of Monash University’s goal of being enterprising … of “building enduring partnerships with industry, government and other organisations to enrich our ability to innovate, to infuse our students and staff with enterprising capabilities and provide opportunities to apply our research to make a significant impact for the betterment of our communities”.