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We do the research that gives you the evidence

BehaviourWorks Australia is a leading behaviour change research enterprise within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute at Monash University. We bring leading behaviour change researchers and practitioners together to find behavioural solutions to social, environmental and organisational problems.


Established in 2011, BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA) is now the largest applied behaviour change research unit in Australia with a large portfolio of projects completed in the areas of health, energy, water, waste, pollution, biosecurity, education, social inclusion, finance and safety.

BehaviourWorks’ rapid growth and success have been achieved by working in close collaboration with a group of government and private sector organisations to break down the barriers that have previously prevented academic research from being translated into practice. In fact, BWA was founded on the belief that academics can learn a lot from behaviour change practitioners and that better solutions can be found when we synthesise academic theory with practitioner experience.

Persuading people is both an art and a science

BWA’s central premise is that most problems can be at least partially solved by influencing the behaviours that underpin them. By using insights from the behavioural sciences, organisations can avoid making misguided assumptions about the influences on behaviour (what matters to people) and the types of interventions that are most likely to work.

Given the complexity of human behaviour, BWA employs PhD qualified researchers across the disciplines of psychology, political science, behavioural economics, systems thinking, knowledge translation, sociology and education.

Many of these researchers have worked in government and industry and are sensitive to the systems and processes of business and the public service. 

BWA researchers are also connected to a worldwide network of behavioural experts and are across the latest research, trends and behavioural theories and the application of these theories to real-world problems.

Partnership model

While we were established as a Consortium model (see partners right), BWA also works with a wide range of organisations on a project by project basis. These projects are both proactively sought through tender applications or reactive, via direct enquiries.

Knowledge sharing

BWA is committed to building the capacity of its partners to undertake behaviour change programs on their own. As a university-based research enterprise, BWA is also committed to improving behaviour change literacy through its training programs. 

The Method

Our work with practitioners has influenced the development of a comprehensive behaviour change methodology known as the BehaviourWorks Method.

The Method includes a suite of tools for unpacking problems, identifying and prioritising behaviours and trialling interventions. The Method is currently being prepared for publication.

Consortium partners

BehaviourWorks Australia wouldn’t be where it is today without the ongoing support of its consortium partners. Made up of a group of Victorian and NSW government agencies, along with The Shannon Company, the BWA Consortium is the vehicle through which the partners collaborate, share intellectual property and build capacity for behaviour change.

Founding members include:

Monash Sustainable Development Institute

BWA’s Strategic Plan and Growth Strategy aligns with, and contributes to, the overarching goals and strategies of Monash University and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI).

As part of MSDI, BWA is committed to making an impact on the social, environmental and economic challenges articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Successful implementation of the SDGs depends on behaviour change and together we actively seek opportunities to contribute knowledge on how behavioural science can be applied to SDG-related problems.

We’re also developing a range of training packages to give organisations a better grounding in the principles of behaviour change and how to examine problems through a behavioural lens.

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