Mounting evidence points to difficulties faced by Australians reliant on government income support in meeting market costs of essential needs. This project investigates whether and how ‘shadow care infrastructures’ – a wide range of formal and informal material and social supports – enable the survival, well-being and flourishing of income support recipients.

Focusing on people with disabilities, unemployed and asylum seekers, the research evaluates the benefits and harms such infrastructures produce for those receiving and providing care, and the wider community. It examines risks and opportunities to scale up emerging care infrastructures identified as critical to making ends meet for income support recipients in contemporary cities.

The research commenced in 2021. It is funded through an Australian Research Council Discovery Program grant and supported by Western Sydney University, The University of Melbourne and The University of Newcastle.

Research team: Dr Emma Power, Western Sydney University; Dr Ilan Wiesel, The University of Melbourne; A/Prof Kathleen Mee, The University of Newcastle

PhD researcher: Jean-Louise Olivier, The University of Newcastle

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