Jane Farmer is Professor of Health and Social Innovation and Director of the Swinburne Social Innovation Research Institute. Prior to joining Swinburne University she was Associate Pro Vice Chancellor, Research at La Trobe University.
Jane has a distinguished track record of research in rural health services, innovations in health workforce and technology, community participation, co-production and social enterprise.
She has been researching what happens when communities are faced with challenge and adaptation for 20 years and has written extensively on co-creating and co-producing services and wellbeing initiatives with rural communities.
Her contemporary research is centred on the potential and benefits of connection in relation to the different themes of people, services and data.
Jane has led large multi-disciplinary, multi-site projects including O4O: Older People for Older People, a five-country European-Union funded project that examined older peoples’ involvement in establishing rural social enterprises to provide basic health and social care.
She has also led projects that have impacted on policy in Scotland, including Remote Service Futures, a project where rural communities worked with health managers to explore design of future services. She also led or participated in several studies in rural maternity care, community hospitals and rural health services that informed Scottish government policy.
In Australia, she has led several projects involving community participation and co-production, including a NHMRC Partnership Project, Rural ECOH (Engaging Communities in Oral Health) where communities in Victoria and Queensland designed initiatives, services and new products and processes aimed at improving poor rural oral health.
Jane worked in Scotland as Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Health Research at the University of the Highlands and Islands from 2006-2010 and was then Head of the La Trobe University Rural Health School in Bendigo, Victoria from 2010-2013.
She has conducted research and consultancy in Scotland and Australia for governments, philanthropic organisations and research councils, and has published more than 100 publications, including Community Co-Production (Edward Elgar, 2012).