Doctor Girish Lala – Research Fellow, Young and Resilient Research Centre
Girish is a social psychologist whose research interests include exploring identity, interaction, and behaviour in online and face-to-face realms, and technological mediation of social cohesion and social change. He is particularly interested in engaging in applied research leading to measurable social benefit, where goals include both advancing academic understanding and developing practical solutions to real-world issues. To that end, he has worked with diverse research partners and participants, including young people, minority communities, marginalised and vulnerable groups, gang members, genocide survivors, local and international government agencies and NGOs, industry bodies, and policy makers. His most recent work includes investigating the intersections between creativity, community, and political engagement, and understanding how new technologies influence and can be applied to facilitating individual and social health, wellbeing and resilience.
His interdisciplinary work in the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University has largely focused on the impacts of technology and how those can be leveraged towards positive individual and social outcomes for young people and the communities in which they live. That work has included developing online workshops exploring perceptions, experiences and opinions of young people around the world about their rights in the digital age; working on an applied framework to guide young Australian’s engagement in political processes and decision-making; collaborating with local government partners in the Philippines to create child-centred indicators for violence prevention; and conducting work around the Pacific region with children, their families and government and industry stakeholders to map digital practices and develop recommendations to ensure children’s use of digital technologies is safe, rewarding and enjoyable.