About the Institute for Rural Futures
The mission of the Institute is to help plan a better future for rural Australia by learning from the past and understanding the present.
The staff of the Institute come from a wide range of backgrounds, including environmental science and natural resource management through to economics, sociology and social work. The Institute is able to use a range of research methodologies, including: GIS and spatial analysis, qualitative research methods, mail and telephone surveys, and statistical analysis. The staff have extensive experience in both policy analysis and community consultation.
The research program of the Institute is concerned with developing a better understanding of the changes that are occurring in rural Australia, and using this understanding to contribute to better social, economic and resource management policy to help rural communities respond to change. The Institute's research program falls into three broad areas: the social impacts of change, the economic impacts of change and the environmental impacts of change.
The Institute for Rural Futures continues a strong tradition at the University of New England in rural socio-economic research and extension carried out by independent non-profit research centres. The first such centre was the Kellogg Rural Adjustment Unit, established in 1976. This became the Australian Rural Adjustment Unit in 1980 and the Rural Development Centre in 1984.