Social Action Research Centre

SARC is part of Anglicare Tasmania. For the past 20 years we have undertaken research, policy development and advocacy towards achieving a just Tasmania, successfully influencing government and decision-makers to create new services, review and reform existing policy, and improve programs to help Tasmania’s most disadvantaged people and communities.

Qualitative and quantitative social research is a fundamental focus for SARC’s work. Our qualitative research allows the voices and lived experience of Tasmanians to be directly heard. In some cases it draws on Anglicare service delivery expertise and clients. Our quantitative research utilises statistical evidence to show demographic and other trends and make the case for systemic change.

We also engage in social action – fighting for fairness, equality and justice through systemic change. SARC engages in social action through policy development, advocacy and campaigning. Our advocacy involves directly lobbying government regarding social justice issues, connecting the work of SARC to broader public policy debates and creating opportunities for networking and collaboration to achieve social change.

SARC is unique in the Tasmanian social policy and community sector landscape, and among only a small group of similar entities nationally. Our work covers the priority social issues that affect Tasmanians: housing and homelessness, mental health, gambling, disability, out-of-home care, ageing, transport, poverty, cost of living, food security, employment and education. Three things that make SARC unique are:

  • We are independent and beholden to no external funding sources or agendas, allowing us to set our own priorities and operate according to our own values.
  • We are connected to the largest NGO in Tasmania which delivers services across the state, grounding our work directly in the daily experiences of low income Tasmanians.
  • We explicitly focus on Tasmania and the social issues that directly impact our state and our people.



Fact: $5 can be bet on pokies every 3 seconds. That's $100 every minute.

Join us and take action today!

Don’t let the Hodgman Government keep poker machines in our pubs and clubs until 2043.

Take a stand today. Say NO to pokies in your local community.

Pokies cause harm

Housing affordability

A home is more than just a roof over your head

If you can’t afford to buy a house and you struggle to compete for a rental property, what happens next? Tasmania is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, but it’s not just about putting a roof over your head, it’s about finding a home.

The options for low-income Tasmanian families are very limited. When searching for an affordable home, many families will live in a series of short-term, problematic housing situations, often relying on the help of family or friends to put them up temporarily.

This instability has an impact on the health and well-being of the family, is challenging for maintaining stable education for children and can make employment or looking for work very difficult.

Essentially we need more homes across various housing types – public and social housing, private rental homes, and affordable homes to buy.

Download our Rental Affordability Snapshot here

Latest reports and submissions

Vulnerable children, young people and families

Protecting our youngest citizens

There are many people in our society who, through no fault of their own, have been left voiceless. When this occurs, it is all too often the youngest people in our communities who suffer.

As of June this year, there are 1203 children in out-of-home care in the state, a number that has increased in the last year. We already know young people are over-represented in the Tasmanian homeless population and on any given night, about 190 people aged between 12 and 18 do not have a home to go to.

On top of this, Tasmania has particular challenges with low rates of educational attainment, particularly among children who are experiencing disadvantage.

We need to be working together, alongside all levels of government, community organisations and schools, to ensure our youngest citizens get the good life they deserve.

Latest reports and submissions

Meet the team

  • Lindsey Fidler | Acting Manager | Research and Analysis

    Lindsey is a sociologist who has been advocating for effective social policy and community programs for disadvantaged communities since 1990. She has worked within UK and Australian community, government and higher education sectors, conducting and commissioning social research and leading research, policy, campaign, advocacy and communications teams.

    She is interested in creating systemic change in how we invest in and organize ourselves in a poverty-informed, inclusive way. Her work has help shape UK welfare benefits, student finance and housing standards, London residents’ education and employment opportunities and Tasmanian family support. She attended the Queen’s Garden Party in recognition of her contributions to UK education and welfare policy development.

    SARC Team: Lindsey Fidler

  • Margie Law | Policy, Strategy and Development

    Margie has a wealth of experience in the Tasmanian policy environment. She has spearheaded SARC’s campaign and policy work on poker machine reform, and she regularly works on issues relating to poverty and utilities, housing, transport and mental health.

    Margie regularly collaborates with our service delivery colleagues in Anglicare Tasmania to distill their invaluable experience on the front lines into effective submissions to government. She also conducts policy and campaign work in international aid and development, particularly in the Mekong region.

    SARC Team: Margie Law

  • Teresa Hinton | Senior Research and Policy Officer

    Teresa has over 20 years experience as a social researcher in Australia and the UK. She trained as an anthropologist and has subsequently been able to use her research skills in a number of different environments including research institutes and centres, local government, the community sector, advocacy and campaigning organisations and in advising government. She came to SARC 10 years ago bringing with her extensive research experience in homelessness, and in responding to multiple and complex needs and in the disability sector.

    At SARC she has developed a particular interest in how best to hear and strengthen the voices of people who use services and ensure that their lived experience is acknowledged and used in legislative reform, policy development, service design, service delivery and evaluation.

    SARC Team: Teresa Hinton

  • Dr Catherine Robinson | Research and Analysis

    Catherine is a social researcher, international scholar and national advocate on issues related to homelessness including complex trauma and violence. She is a sociologist by training and has a broad interest in social suffering, social care, compassion fatigue and ethics in research with vulnerable populations. Her current research focuses on the needs and experiences of highly vulnerable teens in Tasmania.

    Catherine returned home to Tasmania and joined SARC after 13 years as an academic at University of Technology, Sydney. Her key publications on homelessness include Beside One’s Self: Homelessness Felt and Lived (Syracuse University Press) and (with Chris Chamberlain and Guy Johnson) Homelessness in Australia (NewSouth Publishing).

    Catherine was also Co-Host (with Indira Naidoo) and Series Consultant on the Blackfella Film/SBS documentary Filthy Rich and Homeless which screened in June 2017.

    SARC Team: Catherine Robinson

Research library

View all

Anglicare Tasmania Rental Affordability Snapshot 2019

Anglicare’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot shows a 60% reduction in private rental stock over the past 7 years. Combined with increasing number of applicants on the Housing Register, increased waiting times, a reduction in government support for households in private rental and a flat-lining of applicants housed, this shows Tasmania’s housing “crisis” is nowhere near ending. Download report

SARC Newsletter April 2019

Welcome to the first Anglicare Tasmania SARC newsletter for 2019. This gives a flavour of our activities over the start of this year. We also provide an insight into how Anglicare influences policy in Tasmania for low income Tasmanians and what that can look like. Read newsletter

Outside in: How the youth sector supports the school re-engagement of vulnerable children in Tasmania

Outside In investigates how youth workers support the school re-engagement of vulnerable children in Tasmania. It explores the barriers to school access and participation that youth workers identify and considers the systemic changes required to ensure the greatest educational opportunity for vulnerable children. Download report

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