Quitting smoking, healthy school lunchboxes and human trafficking are just three of the issues that Griffith researchers will address at the biennial International Social Marketing Conference in Melbourne.

The significant strides made by the Social Marketing @ Griffith Centre since it opened less than 12 months ago are indicated by the input of its researchers to the conference program.

Dr Joy Parkinson, Ra’d Almestarihi, Renata Anibaldi, Dr Denni Arli, Abi Badejo, Julia Carins, Timo Dietrich, Mohammad Kadir and Dr Lisa Schuster will all present papers during the two-day conference in July, hosted by Monash University.

Their research also covers religion’s relationship with charities, changing attitudes to binge drinking, eating habits in the Australian Defence Force and the fight against childhood obesity.

JPweb.small“It shows how research-active we are in this space,” Dr Joy Parkinson (left) says. “We are quickly moving ahead with national projects and many state based projects with work underway in Queensland and Victoria.”

Along with presenting case studies, evaluations and research insights, the conference also offers an ideal backdrop for innovations in the sector.

“It brings together academics and practitioners to consider new evidence-based insights and approaches to changing social behaviours for the good of society,” Dr Parkinson said.

“It’s really useful sharing experiences with like-minded researchers, particularly when we can take something we’ve learned in one context and apply it in a completely different context. New ideas are often born at conferences like this.”

Social Marketing @ Griffith, only the second centre of its kind in Australia, was showcased in the United States last month by Dr Parkinson and centre director, Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, who outlined evaluation techniques used by researchers at Griffith.

Social Marketing @ Griffith is the first social marketing research centre to extend its focus beyond health, to include a broad range of areas needing change. Social marketing involves the use of commercial marketing techniques to influence and facilitate behaviours that benefit individuals and communities.

The ISM Conference opens at 9am on Thursday, July 17, and includes keynote addresses by David Paterson, chief innovation officer of World Vision, and Professor Simone Pettigrew, an expert in health promotion using consumer behaviour strategies at Curtin University.