Horsham Research Hub

The Horsham Research Hub aims to help regional and rural communities achieve innovation and collaboration, with a focus on economic development, effective service delivery and a strong sense of wellbeing.

Regional and rural communities are in a competition, for funding, resources, people and skills, and change and investment require sound planning and good evidence. Governments are increasingly reliant on data to support investment decisions, and the Horsham Hub is dedicated to providing an evidence base to facilitate this process.

Research themes

Horsham Research Hub focuses on three themes:

  1. Service gaps – The Hub explores innovative ways to address issues of geography, thin markets and population dispersal on service delivery. It explores areas where market failure exists for service delivery and looks for alternative approaches to improve economic participation.
  2. Addressing disadvantage – The Hub applies evidence-based approaches to understand and address exclusion and marginalisation of communities and individuals from economic participation and social inclusion.
  3. Economic development – The Hub applies evidence-based approaches to understand rural economic drivers, the impacts of regulation and change, and support innovation across industry and service sectors.

Research team

Professor Keir Reeves

Co-Director, Future Regions Research Centre


Professor Keir Reeves’ research expertise exists at the intersection of history, heritage, regional studies and cultural tourism, including travel in Asia, Australia and the Pacific.

Professor Reeves has been a Chief Investigator on three ARC Discovery and four ARC Linkage projects. Keir was ARC funded Post-Doctoral Industry Fellow and contributed to Anzac Journeys: Returning to the Battlefields of World War Two (Cambridge, 2013) – shortlisted for the 2014 AHA Ernest Scott prize.

Keir is a Life Fellow at Clare Hall Cambridge and was a Visiting Researcher at both the University of Cambridge and Ghent University, and a Senior Rydon Fellow and Bicentennial Fellow at King’s College London. In 2019, Keir was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Humanities and Public History Lab at Utrecht University, and in 2020 he was a Visiting Researcher at Wakayama University, Japan.

Keir completed his MA and PhD at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Cathy Tischler

Team Lead and Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Dr Cathy Tischler has a doctorate from Federation University in rural social justice and regional development. Dr Tischler researched the ideologies, values and behaviours reinforcing power dominated by prestige leadership in the Wimmera Southern-Mallee, with implications for understanding change and resistance in regional communities. Cathy regularly conducts research in a rural setting, working in the fields of rural and regional development, social justice and practice change.

She also has a strong background working in rural advocacy and farmer engagement, having worked in senior roles with Victorian Farmers Federation and Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and Department of Primary Industries. Cathy is also currently Deputy Chair of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership and the Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance Leadership Group, and maintains strong networks into regional communities and organisations in Western Victoria, where she lives and works.

Dr Kelsey McDonald

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Dr Kelsey McDonald is a Wimmera-based researcher with strong links with community, professional, business and government stakeholders throughout the Wimmera Mallee region. Dr McDonald's primary research and professional practice interest is in strengthening rural and remote community engagement and empowerment, particularly within the education and social welfare sectors. Kelsey has contributed to a number of research projects with the Horsham FRRC team  in partnership with several community service organisations and community groups.

Kelsey holds a PhD in social science from Federation University Australia. Her doctoral thesis, “Partnership Rhetoric and Risk Realities: The implications of risk in government/non-government family services partnerships,” utilised a qualitative research framework in a regional Victorian setting.