Social psychology academics at the Australian National University, Canberra have played a key role in the evaluation of the Cape York Welfare Reform (CYWR). The CYWR is a package of policy initiatives introduced in 2008 designed to address the deterioration of social and economic conditions in largely Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland Australia and re-build individual and social responsibility and capability. Associate Professor Kate Reynolds, Dr Emina Subasic and Ben Jones have authored a chapter in the 2012 Evaluation managed by the Australian Federal Department of Family Community Services, Housing and Indigenous Affairs (see Chapter 5: Authority, Leadership and Social Norms). The chapter focuses on the role of social psychology and social identity processes (building and strengthening group goals and aspirations, cohesion, authority legitimacy, leadership) in understanding and investigating social norm change as part of the CYWR which involved 4 Queensland communities: Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge. Survey responses from over 500 members of these communities many of them indigenous were the basis of the analyses. Investigating social and behavioural change dynamics in complex field settings is important for theory and research as well as policy development and practices.
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