We actively engage and collaborate with various stakeholders, including government and non-governmental organisations, on research programs and projects that address the themes of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These research programs help us to produce new knowledge and global leaders who deliver innovative, solutions-focused outcomes and drive change to address real-world challenges. 

Policy-Focused Research Programs and Collaborations 2022

Below you can explore a sample of the research programs that our university was involved in and collaborated on, throughout 2022 that have influenced government policy changes.

Enhancing Foodbank's Stakeholder Engagement

We have partnered with Foodbank Australia for the Enhancing Foodbank's Stakeholder Engagement project. This project is funded by Fight Food Waste CRC and focuses on a multi-stakeholder approach to minimise food waste and improve food security in Australia.

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

The Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (QCDFVR) is based in Mackay and contributes to the prevention of domestic and family violence by informing, promoting and supporting the actions of individuals, communities, services and governments through state-wide leadership in research, professional development, education and community engagement.

Barriers to Palliative Care 

Research undertaken by CQUniversity's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences has contributed to the Australian Department of Health's policies on palliative care and pregnancy care guidelines

Experimental Gambling Research Lab

The mission of the Experimental Gambling Research Lab (EGRL) is to support the understanding of games of chance through experiment, simulation, and observation. Ongoing provision of EGRL research evidence, into various Australian State and Federal Governments’ policy and regulation of gambling, has informed proactive regulatory decisions including: to ban wagering advertising during general television viewing times, and ban promotion of various punter inducements; limit setting availability and mandatory gambling information messaging for online betting; youth-focused educational initiatives; the Australian National Self-Exclusion Register for pokies; and, Commonwealth-proposed mandatory warnings on computer games with gambling-like content. 

Musculoskeletal Health and Rehabilitation Research Group

The vision of the MSK group is to improve the quality of life and reduce the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in people living in regional Australia and beyond.

Quality and Safety in Healthcare

This priority area comprises research focused on keeping patients safe from preventable harm via improving the quality and safety of healthcare. 

10,000 Step

Our 10,000 Steps program is one of the largest and most successful health promotion programs in Australia. Originally developed by researchers to help raise awareness and increase participation in physical activity by encouraging the participant to accumulate ‘incidental’ movement as part of everyday living, the program’s impact has gone far beyond awareness and participation and was just recently ranked ‘high’ in the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Impact and Engagement Assessment.

Appleton Institute

The Appleton Institute is one the flagship research institutes at our University. The Appleton Institute is a multidisciplinary research institute with a focus on health and well-being at work, rest and play.

Policy-Focused Research

Education for Global Competence and Sustainable Development

Research in CREATE's Education for Global Competence and Sustainable Development cluster spans:

  • Examining whole school, classroom and virtual approaches that foster global competence/global citizenship and promote sustainable development
  • Identifying, developing, and measuring the impact of professional learning
  • Examining international, national, and state education policies and curricula
  • Exploring the impact of pre-service teacher education, teacher agency, and teacher beliefs

CQUniversity researchers are engaged as the preferred supplier to act as critical friends and researchers for each of the Phases of the Queensland Department of Education International’s (DEi) Global Competence Pilot Program (the Pilot). The aim of the pilot is to design a Global Competence Framework based on the OECD PISA framework and build supporting resources for implementation through a collaborative consultation process with teachers and leaders from Queensland state schools. 

Learning Innovations for Educational Equity

Researchers in CREATE's Learning Innovations for Educational Equity (LIFEE) cluster work with educators and learners to devise solutions to equity-related education problems in a range of contexts including:

  • Initial teacher education
  • Professional learning for educators
  • Early childhood education
  • Primary and secondary school education
  • Vocational and higher education
  • Community and arts-based education


Gladstone STEM Central

STEM Central is a multidisciplinary team who conduct research, educational experiences, and community engagement events. We actively collaborate with local, State and National groups. We work in partnership with Government, industry, educational institutions, and community organisations.

Choices Program

CQUniversity in collaboration with community service entities and other universities has developed the Choices program to educate year 12 school students on safe behaviour in their post year 12 school celebrations.

Advancing Young and Mature Women in STEM+C Education

WinTech (Women in Technology) STEM club is committed to improving gender disparity in Science Technology, Engineering and Maths + Computing (STEM+C) education, and in doing so STEM+C workshops and mentoring opportunities are hosted every year for young and mature women across the community. These workshops are conducted in response to bringing change in STEM education, making female students more interested and more confident in taking up STEM+C subjects as their career. 

Women in Agri-tech

The ‘Women in Agri-tech’ project will create and foster a strong network of females who will become leaders in digital literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship in regional, rural and remote areas. They will be guided and mentored by female researchers, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop engaging learning resources which will, in turn, inspire girls in the classroom to realise the opportunities available to them.

Women in Agri-tech offer a range of programs and events for students and women in agriculture. This includes the Pitch Competition and the free access to twelve learning modules suitable for Year 7-12 students featuring agri-tech tools and systems which were written by the participants of the Women in Agri-Tech Project.

Work, Employment, Regulation and Governance Research

At CQUniversity, we have a wealth of research experts involved in major local, national, and international research projects focusing on sustainable business practices aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The industry linkages and research activities of WERG group members principally focus on the rapidly changing workplace environment, transformation in institutional and leadership practices, and emergent social, economic, regulatory, and policy challenges influencing business and society.

Regional and Rural Economies

The vision of the Regional and Rural Economies research theme is to improve analysis and decisions around resource and sustainability issues in regional and rural areas using economic frameworks.

Key capabilities include:

  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Bioeconomic modelling
  • Nonmarket valuation
  • Policy assessment

First National Community Industry Engagement Guide

CQUniversity's First Nations Community Engagement Industry Guide Phase 1 was used by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility as selection criteria in their funding decision making. 

QLD Child and Youth Mental Health

CQUniversity's research influenced the practices and engagement processes of the QLD Child and Mental Health team. 

Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good

CQUniversity partnered with Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good to develop a submission to the National Children’s Commissioner focused on the need for preventive programs that heal Indigenous young people. Programs that are responsive to a young person’s individual circumstances, their strengths, hopes and needs, while being inclusive of their family and community. This contributed to a change in response from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney general towards supporting the DIYDG service model.

Heart of our Identity: Whitsunday Arts, Cultural and Heritage Plan (WACH Plan) 

The Whitsunday Regional Council is developing an Arts, Cultural and Heritage Plan and community feedback, visions and ideas have been gathered to inform the region’s Arts and Cultural and Heritage Plan. CQUniversity was awarded a contract to undertake community consultation and professional development to inform the development of the Plan, which is due for release in 2023. Using an arts-led engagement methodology across four phases, the team has developed a five year plan responding to community needs, priorities, and opportunities.  

The plan will inform local policy and community activity within the Whitsunday region until 2028.

Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network (CQRASN)

CQRASN is striving to deliver excellent regional arts programs and services to ensure that our Central Queensland communities are connected, creative and cultural communities to live and work. This project leads a series of activities and events across the Wide Bay and Burnett. Delivering workshops and forums, as well as networking and festival events.

Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre

Our Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) has been established to work with coastal industries, communities and governing bodies to develop practical and sustainable solutions for our unique coast and marine environments. The following projects are examples of CMERCs commitment to research that influences positive change and influence on policy:

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health

We are a partner in the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health and collaborated on research relevant to the Fitzroy Basin Report card. The purpose of this project is to provide technical, scientific advice and coordination through the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health (FRPH) Independent Science Panel to drive research to support the continuous improvement of the Fitzroy Basin Report Card. The project involves the implementation and review of data-based reporting products, including the annual Ecosystem Health Index, as well as general advice and review around water chemistry and environmental monitoring and reporting aspects within the Fitzroy River Basin.

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership

We work with the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership to monitor the health of Gladstone Harbour and is informed by open, transparent and independent peer-reviewed science, through an Independent Science Panel (ISP). The role of the ISP is to provide independent scientific advice on the piloting and system testing of the GHHP-endorsed Gladstone Harbour Report Card. This includes:

  • the monitoring program to support the Gladstone Harbour Report Card;
  • overseeing the synthesis work required to ascertain report card grades to ensure the independence of the grades;
  • over sight of the continued development of the Gladstone Harbour Model that will be used by the GHHP to underpin advice to policy, management and regulatory agencies, industry and other stakeholders;
  • monitoring and implementing any improvements that may be needed to increase the efficiency and/or effectiveness of GHHP practices

Fitzroy Basin Association

We partner with the not-for-profit organisation Fitzroy Basin Association to conduct research on environmental and agricultural issues.

Koala CQ

Our Koala Research – CQ group was established in 1994 to collaborate with communities and industries to enhance koala conservation through research. 

Enhancing Foodbank's Stakeholder Engagement

We have partnered with Foodbank Australia for the Enhancing Foodbank's Stakeholder Engagement project. This project is funded by Fight Food Waste CRC and focuses on a multi-stakeholder approach to minimise food waste and improve food security in Australia.