Professor Rebecca Wickes’ research focuses on neighbourhood social processes and their effects on crime and other social problems in Australia. She takes an interdisciplinary approach and has worked with large teams from different disciplines and organisations. She is the lead investigator on the Australian Community Capacity Study (ACCS) – a multi-million-dollar project largely funded by the Australian Research Council and an internationally leading longitudinal study of the concentration of social problems in residential communities. The ACCS is the only longitudinal study of place in Australia and one of only a handful of studies internationally. The scope of the project is extensive, comprising multiple waves of data collection in two cities (298 neighbourhoods/10000 participants), seven in-depth neighbourhood case studies and large-scale ethnic community samples of residents from Indian, Vietnamese and Arabic speaking backgrounds. The ACCS also includes the first randomised control community field trial concerned with reducing harmful attitudes towards people of Muslim faith. Results from the ACCS has revealed the neighbourhood social processes (increasing ethnic diversity, collective efficacy, place attachment and collective bias) that influence the concentration of violence, hate related crime and the willingness of local residents to engage in crime prevention actions. Studies from ACCS have also explored the relationship between protective neighbourhood processes pre-disaster and collective recovery and community resilience post-disaster. Rebecca is also interested in the safety and inclusion of immigrants in Australia and is involved in ground-breaking projects that examine migrant women’s safety in the home, in the community and in the workplace.
Prior to joining Griffith, Rebecca was the Founding Director of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC), established in 2018 at Monash University. In this capacity she worked with local governments, non-government organisations and state governments to identify programs and pathways that enhance social, economic and cultural inclusion in urban and regional communities. She was also the Convenor of Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University from 2018 to 2021.
Research training and mentorship are central to Rebecca’s practice as an academic. In the last decade, she has mentored 25 PhD and honours students to completion.