Dr Cameron Duff is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for People, Organisation and Work in the School of Management at RMIT University in Melbourne. Grounded in political science, and with a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity, his research program has three main areas of activity: (A) theoretically informed investigations of ‘social context’, place and community; (B) empirical investigations of the ways notions of ‘place’ and ‘community’ are mobilised in social innovations in the community sector; and (C) organisational studies focusing on the role of workforce development and program delivery in the design of innovative housing and/or mental health supports. Across these activities, he has been especially interested in how social innovation drives social change in the community and not-for-profit sectors, with a focus on housing policy and mental health care. He regularly collaborate with researchers at the Centre for People, Organisation and Work, the Social and Global Studies Centre, and the Future Social Services Institute where he is embedded in key research programs in social care, housing and mental health research.
Across these activities, his research indicates how demands for social change typically reflect enduring struggles over place and belonging, identity and social inclusion. His work seeks to disrupt established accounts of place and community and introduce novel ways of thinking about the dynamics of social innovation. His research is grounded in detailed empirical studies of innovative responses to mental illness, homelessness and addiction in varied settings. Along with his collaborators, Cameron publish the results of this research in the top international journals in organisational studies, sociology, geography and planning, public health and medical anthropology.
Cameron is currently leading a large AHURI Inquiry Program exploring pathways out of institutional settings for individuals with a history of housing insecurity. Working with colleagues at the University of New South Wales, Curtin University and the University of Tasmania, the program involves three linked projects; one exploring experiences of people leaving residential treatment for mental health and/or substance use conditions; another exploring experiences exiting custodial settings; and a third project exploring transitions from out of home care.