Human dimensions research

Human dimensions research is part of ABARES’ applied social research and analysis. Reports have been prepared for the Department of Agriculture, other government agencies, research and development corporations, and industry bodies.

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Who talks to whom about marine pest biosecurity? An analysis of the Australian marine pest network

Published: 20 August 2019

Marine pests can cause significant negative social, ecological and economic impacts to infrastructure, marine habitats, water quality, marine industries and coastal amenity values. Maintaining an effective marine pest biosecurity system that minimises the risk of marine pests to Australia is a priority for the Australian Government. The Department of Agriculture commissioned ABARES to investigate the current state of Australia’s marine pest biosecurity stakeholder network by means of a social network analysis.

Key issues

The findings of the study provide a broad understanding of the current marine pest stakeholder network by identifying key players in the network and relationships, and patterns of interaction, between them. The study showed that involvement and interest in marine pest biosecurity is extensive and complex. A wide range of government and non-government organisations and groups participate in the network. The analysis identified opportunities to tap into existing stakeholder networks and build on current structures to further improve network function.

Who talks to whom about marine pest biosecurity? An analysis of the Australian marine pest network

ABARES Insights: Snapshot of Australia’s Agricultural Workforce

Publication date: 13 December 2018

This snapshot describes Australia’s agricultural workforce, providing key information and statistics in one place. We cover where workers live, what sub-industries and occupations they work in, and the mobility and educational attainment of the workforce.

Snapshot of Australia’s Agricultural Workforce

Diversity in Australia’s agricultural, fishing and forestry industry workforces - 2015

Publication date: 20 February 2015

These three facts sheets provide statistics and trends in employment participation and workforce demographics in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.

There is no 'typical' picture of someone engaged or employed in our primary industries.

The Australian agricultural, fisheries and forestry workforce is made up of a diverse range of people of varying ages, genders, cultural backgrounds who contribute significantly to these primary industries.

In addition to being an important source of labour, women, youth, Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse people have been fundamental to the sustainability, competiveness and productivity of primary industries in Australia over many years.

Unless otherwise specified, this facts sheets use data from the 2006 and 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Census of Population and Housing. For further information, or for assistance interpreting these statistics, please contact ABARES.

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Diversity in Australia's agricultural workforce (revised 2015-03-23) PDF PDF Icon9744 KB
Diversity in Australia's fishing industry workforce PDF PDF Icon7651 KB
Diversity in Australia's forestry industry workforce PDF PDF Icon7673 KB

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Seasonal Worker Programme labour productivity study - What difference does labour choice make to farm productivity and profitability in the Australian horticulture industry?

Publication date: 6 February 2018

The productivity and cost of labour have considerable impacts on farm profitability, especially in labour intensive industries such as the horticulture industry. The analysis in this study compared the productivity and implications for farm profitability of workers employed under the Australian Government Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) (referred to as ‘seasonal workers’ in this report) and working holiday makers.

We investigated other factors that could influence growers’ decisions about the sources of labour they employ. Data was obtained from a small sample of growers who are approved employers under the SWP.

Using a mixed-method approach we used a grower survey, growers’ records of weekly employee payments (referred to as wages in this report) and hours worked, and semi-structured interviews with growers and labour hire approved employers.

Seasonal Worker Programme labour productivity study - What difference does labour choice make to farm productivity and profitability in the Australian horticulture industry?

Improving engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse persons in agriculture, fisheries and forestry

Publication date: 30 June 2010

There has been increasing recognition of the role that Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) persons play in Australia's primary industries, particularly:

  • the knowledge and innovation they have contributed to improving productivity, profitability and sustainability in the sector
  • their contribution to emerging and growing food markets such as Asian vegetables
  • their ability to assist in managing key primary production issues such as biosecurity, natural resource management and sectoral adaptation to climate change
  • their contribution to government initiatives in areas such as the Australian Government Social Inclusion agenda
  • their contribution to domestic food security, for example 80 to 90 per cent of market gardens in the Sydney basin are managed by CALD persons. Market gardens in the Sydney basin are estimated to supply the Sydney metropolitan area with 90 per cent of its perishable vegetables.

In this context the Department of Agriculture commissioned this research. The key objectives of this research were to provide a better understanding of:

  • the participation and distribution of CALD persons in agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries
  • factors relevant to and influencing CALD persons participation in agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries
  • •the level of representation of CALD persons in decision-making positions within agriculture, fisheries and forestry industry organisations
  • •barriers influencing CALD persons representation in decision-making positions within agriculture, fisheries and forestry industry organisations
  • •strategies for improving engagement with people from CALD backgrounds working in agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries

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Improving engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse persons in agriculture, fisheries and forestry PDF PDF Icon48403 KB

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Fishing for women: understanding women's roles in the fishing industry

Publication date: 1 January 2000

This study forms part of a larger research project initiated by the Women's Industry Network (WIN), a South Australian-based non-government organisation for women in the fishing industry, and the Social Sciences Centre of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

The research deals with women in the commercial fishing industry (sometimes termed the “seafood industry”), covering wild catch fisheries and aquaculture.

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Fishing for women: understanding women's roles in the fishing industry PDF PDF Icon109503 KB

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2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia series

Publication date: 17 April 2008

The 2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia series describes the patterns of social and economic change of people and communities in non-metropolitan Australia.

The atlas is complemented by specific thematic studies which use information from it to analyse specific issues, changes and responses in education and training, social and economic circumstances, employment, social fabric and the impact of drought in rural and regional Australian communities.

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2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia main report PDF PDF Icon1547.8 MB
2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia - Summary PDF PDF Icon81.5 MB
2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia - Education PDF PDF Icon14527 KB
2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia - Employment PDF PDF Icon18648 KB
2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia - Social Fabric PDF PDF Icon18575 KB
2008 Country Matters - Social Atlas of Rural and Regional Australia - Drought PDF PDF Icon18763 KB

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Social Fabric of Australian Fishing - A case study in South Australia

Publication date: 8 June 2006

The case study outlined in this booklet illustrates the breadth and scope of information which social assessments can provide.

This information can assist the fishing industry and other stakeholders in decisions designed to improve the industry’s sustainability.

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Social Fabric of Australian Fishing - A case study in South Australia PDF PDF Icon20835 KB

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Defining social catchments in non-metropolitan Australia

Publication date: 1 July 2001

The principal aim of this discussion paper is to present a review of recent thinking and knowledge about social catchments - areas occupied by people and households who regularly interact with each other, across non-metropolitan Australia.

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Defining social catchments in non-metropolitan Australia PDF PDF Icon602.3 MB

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Drivers of regional agritourism and food tourism in Australia

Publication date: 13 October 2010

Agritourism and food tourism have been a part of the rural and agricultural landscape in Australia for some time. Recently there have been more coordinated regional approaches to agritourism and food tourism as a strategy for growth and improving the resilience of individual businesses or rural communities.

In this context, the Department of Agriculture requested this study to improve understanding of the drivers and barriers to regional agritourism and food tourism in Australia. ‘Regional agritourism and food tourism’ refers to the act of going to a region to visit a working farm or other, farm or food-related business (including restaurants, markets, produce outlets and natural attractions) for enjoyment, education, or active participation in activities and events.

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Drivers of regional agritourism and food tourism in Australia PDF PDF Icon1171.4 MB

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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