Issue 6
Monday, 08 May 2017
Charles Darwin University
Dr Georgie Nutton: creating social change
Dr Georgie Nutton: creating social change

Program boosts prospects of 4000 children

By Andrew Hall

Education lecturer Dr Georgie Nutton is helping guide a program that is optimising life opportunities for more than 4000 children and young people living in the Sanderson area in Darwin’s northern suburbs.

The Sanderson Alliance is a collaborative effort between seven schools and several community organisations in the area that sets up communication and connection pathways in ways that are designed to break the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage.

The program is based on a model called “Collective Impact”, which was developed by researchers at Stanford University in the United States.

“You could describe Collective Impact as a movement that is about creating social change from the grass-roots,” Dr Nutton said.

She said it provided an organisational structure and established ways for stakeholders to relate to and engage with each other.

Dr Nutton said CDU played a significant data-gathering and analytical role in the program; specifically in the priority area of early childhood development.

“I was asked to participate as a local expert and ‘critical friend’ to expand on what kind of conversations the group needs to have and how to go about making informed decisions,” she said.

“One of the foundational platforms of Collective Impact is that we make data-informed decisions and implement evidence-based programs.

“My job is to be the research and evaluation partner along with other colleagues in the School of Education and Centre for Child Development and Education at Menzies School of Health Research.”

 CDU and the Sanderson Alliance will sign a Memorandum of Understanding soon, which forges an ongoing research partnership with Opportunity Child, the sponsor of Sanderson Alliance.