Research Work – got a suggestion?

Research Work

Work is changing fast. My job is changing – your job is changing. There is a genuine question mark on the future of work; having a job with rights, security, status, structure and even pay could soon be thing of the past.

Are the new work rites (sic) the rules of the jungle? Have we reached ‘peak’ employment and is the future mostly casual and gig work? What’s does the future look like for entry level workers? And equally, how will older workers (unable to afford retirement) keep going?

Research Work is a journalism and grassroots research project organised by Edunity. The aim is to discover, document and discuss contemporary work issues. We don’t claim to have the answers – or even fully understand the questions – but we are convinced that we (as a community) need to talk about how work is working for everyday people.

Suggest a story for Research Work. We’ll partner with you to get that story into the public discussion about the future of work. We can’t follow-up every story, but we can bring an experienced eye to your story ideas.

Discretion assured – anonymous tip offs welcome

Anonymous tip offs are welcome however we are more able to follow-up stories if we have your contact information. Feel free to use snail-mail for documents (Research Work, 202/517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000)

Greg Day is a journalist and social researcher with three decades of experience in communicating about work issues.

Highlights include
Concept and content for the popular ACTU’s Worksite for schools.
Creation and fundraising for ACTU / Red Stitch touring theatre for schools
Multiple campaigns for the Commonwealth on vocational opportunities for youth

Meet the people of Divercity March / April 2017

coverMeet the women Councillors who are bold for change; meet Mr Creece the new school principal from Ferrars Street; meet the clean beach heroes from West Beach in St Kilda; meet the cleaning crews who work daily before dawn; meet the primary school waste warriors and IT winners.
Divercity is people places and participation.
Plus dozens of events.
Plus a lift out with hundreds of classes and courses.

Read Divercity 87 now

Read the Courses and Classes lift-out

Great education destinations

Edunity’s Education Destination service is taking a break. But our tour partners are still delivering great walking tours of Melbourne’s CBD.


For architecture and sustainable design, contact Melbourne ArchiTOURS. Esther Sugihto and her crew will work out a plan for your school group. Email

For history, heritage or settlement, contact Melbourne Walks. Meyer Eidelson has a great range of tours available for schools. Email

Summer is better beside the seaside

Divercity has your guide to the big and little events of summer in Port Phillip. You’re invited to rock, run, ride or relax as you please. Ride the beachside bike paths from Elwood to the new Webb Point observation deck. Run in the Carmen’s Women’s Fun Run or the Gatorade Triathlons. Relax at the open air cinemas or Shakespeare in the Park or chill in the new Acland Plaza. Read about kids being wildlife ambassadors, locals giving unwanted dogs a second chance or find new ways to get involved in your community.

And don’t forget to meet the new councillors headed up Mayor Cr Bernadene Voss and Deputy Mayor Cr Katherine Copsey.

All in the summer edition of Divercity.


Divercity 86

Our Lane is going green

Our Lane off Flinders Lane is getting a green treatment.

Katherine Place is one of three lanes were selected by council-appointed engineers, sustainability experts and landscape architects from 800 public nominations made after the plan was floated in March.

Read more at The Age

Celebrating cultural assets

The latest Divercity will be in letterboxes from 4 July – but you can preview it now
Storytime in local libraries, landmarks of Indigenous heritage, festival of film, Divercity celebrates the cultural assets of Port Phillip.
Red Stitch Actors Theatre turns 15 plus dozens of local events, including theatre, heritage, active and community.
Divercity covers topics of interest to residents of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, St Kilda Road, St Kilda, Elwood and Ripponlea.
Read now


Divercity autumn gold


Discover some autumn gold from Port Phillip. See how to share your love of books with little free libraries, get a bus load of faith by visiting local places of worship, find inspiration at St Kilda’s own film festival and peruse dozens of local events. Divercity covers topics of interest to residents of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, St Kilda Road, St Kilda, Elwood and Ripponlea.

Read Divercity now

Could labour mobility be a force for a fairer deal for new workers?

Policy makers in employment and industrial relations may be in denial about rates of underpayment amongst new workers, especially student visa workers and youth. Research with student visa holders points to widespread underpayment. Helping these workers to ‘move on’ to a fair workplace could be a practical strategy to reduce exploitation.

Thorough research by Dr Stephen Clibborn, Associate Lecturer in The University of Sydney Business School’s Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies found widespread underpayment amongst students with visas. His survey found that 60% of working students were paid below legal minimums. He concludes that “Australia’s 400,000plus international student guests are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers as they are often young, inexperienced, away from support networks, financially insecure and unaware of employment rights and enforcement institutions.”



A joint Fairfax ABC investigation into students working for 7-Eleven convenience stores by The Age’s Adele Ferguson pointed to widespread and systematic underpayment. Leaked company reports suggest that up to two-thirds of stores are paying workers as little as $10 per hour. In what is being dubbed the ‘half-pay scam’, staff were allegedly paid for only half the hours they work, with time sheets fudged to record hours that met visa limits.

Working with Chinese speaking journalism students, Edunity interviewed a range of current student visa holders about their experiences in Australia, including safety, accommodation and employment. The interviews showed an understanding of minimum wages but an acceptance that most first jobs involved below legal pay. The respondents knew it wasn’t right but felt they had to start somewhere, but hoped and eventually got employment at proper rates. Then the properly paid jobs in respectful workplaces were highly valued.

Other work by Edunity suggests that young workers, especially those desperate for first jobs are at risk of underpayment and even no payment as unpaid interns or trial workers.

Move on to a fair deal

Policy makers should explore ways to support and motivate underpaid workers to move on to a fair deal – quickly and confidently.

Use social – reach out with stories of underpaid people moving on to fair wages, emphasizing the friendlier atmosphere of workplaces that play by the rules

Show how to recover lost wages – step by step instructions to recover of lost wages and benefits after moving on.

Act now to avoid reputation damage – the education industry is important to Australia and negative work experiences are a significant threat to our reputation as a destination of first choice for study. Policy makers should address ’employment risk’ alongside already identified concerns like safety, accommodation and language.

Greg-web Greg Day is a journalist and communications consultant in social issues, including the future of work and grassroot responses to technology disruption.
Twitter @gday_edunity


no_fomo Theatreworks’ Festival of Live Arts (FOLA) is just one of the great theatre highlights in the March April Divercity. There’s also special mate’s rates at ANAM for music lovers and a host of heritage events including an ANZAC Day tour of the St Kilda Cemetery.

Say bravo to St Kilda Mums for getting an award from the Premier and Yvonne who’s volunteered for 35 years delivering library books to house-bound locals.

See the site of a new multistorey primary school in South Melbourne and new ward boundaries in the council election scheduled for 22 October.

Add to this hundreds of courses and classes at local community centres, and you’ve got two months of great things to do in Port Phillip.

Divercity is delivered to over 60,000 households across Port Phillip including Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Middle Park, Albert Park, St Kilda, St Kilda Road, East St Kilda, Balaclava and parts of Ripponlea.

Editorial suggestions are welcome:

Read Divercity now

Summertime and the living is … local

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Watch on as hundreds of sailors converge on St Kilda for the ISAF Sailing World Cup in December. Cheer as young Linus from Elwood joins hundreds in events for off-the-beach boats.

Just up the beach, you might catch the ‘oarsome’ surfboat crews from the St Kilda Lifesaving Club. With summer holidays looming, there’s still time to get kids enrolled in holiday programs, like MSAC Planet Sport.

Hanukkah is also coming and so is the Ripponlea street party on 6 December in Glen Eira Road from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm.

Seniors are invited to get involved in the Linking Neighbours program for coffee chats, bike rides and all sorts of outings.

There are so many things to do across Port Phillip; Indigenous art at the Town Hall Gallery, Summer Solstice Healing, cemetery tours, opera in the pub, skateboarding show-off and much more.

Spend your shopping time in local style at local markets; South Melbourne, Esplanade Craft and St Kilda Twilight, all buzzing in December and beyond.

All this and more, in the latest Divercity