Welcome to the Centre for Better Relationships

About the Centre for Better Relationships

The Centre for Better Relationships (the Centre) is the research and policy division of Better Place Australia. Established in 2019, the Centre conducts research and policy analysis in the field of family and social welfare. We conduct ethical applied research in line with the values and mission of Better Place Australia.


To become a research leader in the family and relationships field dedicated to improving the lives of people and their families through meaningful research, knowledge translation and dissemination of research to a wide range of audiences.


We are committed to working in partnership with policy makers and non-government organisations to understand the relationship challenges facing Australian families and to developing evidence-based policy and practice responses. We conduct high quality, needs-driven research to support the work of Better Place Australia, to improve client outcomes and contribute to best practice principles in the sector.


Rainbow Families

Rainbow family formation and dissolution in Australia a scoping review of academic literature.


Elder Abuse

A summary of experience and practice observations in responding to elder abuse through the Respecting Elders service.


Financial hardship

An examination of debt and poverty amongst 1900+ users of financial counselling service.


Mental health interventions in aged care

This brief review provides an overview of academic and grey literature relating to specialist mental health interventions in aged care facilities.




Our team

Dr Paula Fernandez Arias

Research Manager

Paula holds a Bachelor of Arts, English Literature and Linguistics (hons) and a Master’s degree in Arts Gender Studies and Development. Paula completed her PhD thesis, “We only meet in the lift” An examination of Australian Multiculturalism through the Resettlement Experiences of African Refugees, in 2016. Paula has extensive research experience in the areas of families and relationships, mental health, filicide and incarceration.

Qualifications: PhD, 2016 Monash University. Master of Arts (Gender Studies and Development), 2008 – The University of Melbourne. Bachelor of Arts (English Literature and Linguistics (hons)), 2005 – Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.

Publications: ResearchGate profile and publications

Emily Armstrong

Research Assistant

Emily holds Bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Health Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management. Her previous research experience has been in public health and adolescent transition and evidence-based practice for social work in acute health settings.

Qualifications: Master of Public Policy and Management, 2018 – The University of Melbourne. Bachelor of Social Work, 2015 – Monash University. Bachelor of Health Science, 2015 – Monash University.

Publications: ResearchGate profile and publications

Contact us

To reach the team, please email: research@betterplace.com.au

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