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Research Theme

Work of Social Care

Paid care work is a major area of employment growth and a key site of change affecting the future of work globally. How care work is funded, organised and rewarded is critical to the well-being of millions of workers, overwhelmingly women, worldwide. The Work of Social Care research theme focuses on the organisation and regulation of social care work. It is centrally concerned with the quality of paid care work, including aged care, disability support and childcare, and with addressing gender inequality in work. Research in this theme directly supports RMIT’s contribution to the UN ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and ‘Gender Equality’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Theme Leader

Fiona Macdonald photo

Dr Fiona Macdonald is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the School of Management. Fiona’s research focuses on three interconnected themes: the changing nature of work and employment relationships; regulating for decent work and gender equality; and the political economy of work. The empirical focus of Fiona’s current research on the social care workforce also brings in her long-standing interest in social policy and welfare systems.

In 2016 Fiona was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award to examine the workforce challenges of Australia’s new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Her research has strong policy relevance, and she works closely with industry as well as with national and international networks of employment and care scholars. In 2017, she received the RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research impact – Early Career Researcher. Fiona is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the recently established International Journal of Care and Caring.


Current Projects

Past Projects


On-Demand Work in Australia

Publications Campbell, I, Macdonald, F and Charlesworth S (2019) ‘On-Demand Work in Australia’ in O’Sullivan, M., Lavelle, J., McMahon, J., Ryan, L., Murphy, C., Turner,

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