As an evidence-based organisation, research is central at Yooralla.
Yooralla’s research program is focused on achieving better health and wellbeing outcomes for Yooralla customers and carers, while also driving thought leadership to benefit people living with disability across Australia and internationally.
In line with our Strategic Plan 2021–2024, our research program has the following objectives:
To grow our reputation as:
- An important contributor and partner of choice in research
- An employer that encourages employee participation in research
- A trusted source of advice to regulators, advocacy groups and governments.
To use, participate in and lead research that:
- Matters to our clients and the community
- Informs the design of our current and future services
To advocate for:
- Client-driven research, including new ways for clients to engage with research programs
- Research in areas of importance to our clients and the broader disability community.
Across the organisation, Yooralla is committed to continuous quality improvement to become a true learning organisation.
To find out more about our past research projects please refer to the 'Reputation' section of any of our previous annual reports.
Our research priorities
Yooralla’s Research Advisory Group has set the following themes as Yooralla’s research priorities for the next few years:
- Workforce (Disability Support Workers)
- Inclusive Service Models
- Health Care and Interface
- Employment for People with Disability
- Goal Attainment for People with Complex Communication Needs.
Yooralla proactively seeks to partner with researchers from universities and research institutes in pursuit of projects directly related to our research agenda. As a long-established and well-recognised service provider, Yooralla offers deep subject matter expertise based on the breadth of disability support services we provide. We use co-design principles and take a collaborative approach to finessing research questions. While our priority is to work in partnership with academics on projects that are most significant to us and the people we support, we are open to considering ad hoc requests to contribute to other research opportunities.
We encourage any approach involving potential collaboration on a research idea and proposal for a partnership grant application or post-graduate scholarship.
External parties are welcome to approach us about projects that may be of interest to the Yooralla community. We require evidence of the project having been approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) a plain language statement (PLS), the study’s timeline and milestones, and the nature of the demands and any remunerations and reimbursements that will apply to clients and employees who choose to take part (see Yooralla’s Approach to Compensation below). These applications will be assessed by Yooralla’s Research Advisory Group. Please allow up to six weeks to receive a decision.
Yooralla's approach to compensation
Yooralla supports the view that researchers should “tangibly value participants’ contribution” (Amsters, 2019). We offer compensation at $50/hr by the means preferred by the client.
Amsters, D., 2019. Exploitation of disability and rehabilitation research participants – resolving to do better. Journal of Social Inclusion, 10(2), pp.65–69.
Our research team
Brooke Treacher - Executive Director, Quality, Strategy and Risk
Bachelor of Business, Double Major in Marketing and Business Management, Master of Health Services Management
Brooke joined Yooralla in 2021 and brings over 20 years’ experience and leadership in the health and disability, specialising in strategy and planning, quality, complex project management and risk management.
Prior to joining Yooralla, Brooke worked in the Victorian Department of Health, initially to oversee the reform of the hospital incident management under the auspices of the Victorian Agency for Health Information, before assuming the role of manager of Research and Innovation in Digital Health.
For over a decade, she was based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where she held substantive roles included managing service and capital planning for the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and being the Risk and Patient Safety Manager.
While undertaking a Master of Health Services Management, Brooke uncovered a passion for quality and safety. Brooke’s thesis titled “Patient Safety and Accountability: from no blame to a just culture” looked at the role of culture in quality and safety.
Brooke has established relationships across the health sector, academia, industry, community and government, and has a track record delivering complex, multi-sectoral, innovative and politically sensitive projects.
Yooralla has collaborated with RMIT University’s Workforce Innovation and Development Institute and Able Australia to conduct valuable research into the retention of disability support workers.
This applied research project explored the experience of a specific cohort of fifty Disability Support Workers (DSWs) who had worked at Yooralla and Able Australia for a period of 6 to 12 months.
Insights into Practice
Yooralla is publishing the 'Insights into Practice' series to provide plain language summaries of key topics in disability support. The aim is to raise awareness, discussion and reflection on research evidence to drive practice improvement.
You can download our latest 'Insights into Practice' below.