About

Profile

Rachel Hay is a Social Scientist and early career researcher teaching into Marketing for the College of Business Law and Governance at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.  Rachel's PhD research focussed on "Technology Adoption by Women in Agriculture".  Rachel’s research extends to trans-disciplinary approaches to sustained behaviour change in social marketing, technology adoption and environmental protection interventions.  Projects around changing behaviour include the adoption of technology in rural, regional and remote areas, reducing sediment and nutrient run-off in sugar cane farming and grazing and the Digital Homestead Project. 

Leadership

Dr Hay is the Adoption Stream Leader in the JCU Agricultural Technology and Adoption Centre (Ag-TAC) and an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Cairns Institute and a member of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science.  Rachel is also a member Pacific Connect (building stronger relationships between people in Australia and the Pacific).  Rachel’s passion is to support rural, regional and remote regions to get connected and stay connected through reliable, sustained and affordable internet connectivity.

Projects

Rachel is currently a co-investigator on several projects including:

  • Queensland Department of Environment and Science - (Tender): Understanding the influence of media and community narratives on Great Barrier Reef water quality management (RP227)
  • Queensland Department of Environment and Science - (Tender): Landholder Stewardship Research to understand the human dimensions influencing land management practice change in Great Barrier Reef catchments (RP228)
  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environment Science Program (NESP) - Total Water Quality (TWQ). Influencing agriculture practice behaviour change and trust frameworks.
  • Volunteer Data Analyst, Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia, James Cook University (Townsville)

Recently completed (2016-2020) projects:

  • 2019 - Research Fellow, The Digital Toolbox Project, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 to 2018 - Research Lead, AgriNet Project, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2016 to 2018 - Co-investigator, NESP Project 2.1.3, James Cook University/National Environmental Science Program (Townsville)
  • 2017 - Co-investigator, NESP Project 3.1.3, James Cook University/National Environmental Science Program (Townsville)

Books and Book Chapters

     

Editorial Roles

Guest editor Oceans and Coastal Management, Changing estuaries, coasts and shelf systems - diverse threats and opportunities (eds. Eagle, Hay & Schneider, 2020) Oceans and Coastal Management Special Issue

Reviewer

  • Journal of Social Marketing (Emerald Insight)
  • Ecological Management & Restoration (Wiley)
  • Oceans and Coastal Management (Elsevier) (Guest Editor)

Awards

Dean's Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence

Media Interviews and Articles

Rural women taking tech reins, 2014

High-tech may be revolutionary for rural women, 2015

Hi-Tech Helps Women on the Farm, 2015

Women use tech to drive cattle farming business in rural Australia, 2016

Women take the lead with technology on cattle properties, 2016

James Cook University researchers hard at work on scientific breakthroughs, Best of the Best, 2017

Ag-Tech... So What? Episode 49: Rachel Hay on the role of women in agtech adoption, 2019

Women calling the shots on Farm Tech, 2020

'More control over the property' for women tackling tech on Far North Farms, 2020

Previous Experience

Rachel started work as a Jillaroo on a small cattle station outside Townsville, QLD, then moved on to work as a technician with the Bureau of Sugar Experimentation in Tully.  Moving to the big smoke Rachel transitioned into a career in marketing and administration, working for large corporations in Melbourne and Sydney.  More recently, Rachel with her husband ran a paddock raised pig farm and now runs a small hobby farm .

Teaching
  • BU1108: Marketing Matters (Level 1; CNS, SIN & TSV)
  • BU1808: Marketing Matters (Level 1; CNS, SIN & TSV)
  • BU2108: Marketing Matters (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • BX2084: Sales, Services and Business Development (Level 2; TSV)
  • BX3181: Social Surveys and Questionnaire Design (Level 3; TSV)
  • BX3186: Marketing for Social Change (Level 3; TSV)
Interests
Professional
  • Technology adoption in Rural, Regional and Remote Australia: Digital Connectivity - getting connected, staying connected and using your connection
  • Ag-tech Adoption: Barriers and enablers to adoption of agricultural technology
  • Behaviour Change: research collaborations around behaviour change in agricultural practices
  • Pig Farming: Farming practices in paddock raised pig production in Northern Queensland
  • Content Analysis - working with documents and content to establish readability levels marketing material in water quality management in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Data Analysis - analysing large data sets of rural, regional and remote internet usage to improve connectivity
Research
  • Technology Adoption by Women In Agriculture: Understanding user acceptance of rural technologies is critical because it will provide points of interest, which can be used to create favourable perceptions and thus foster user acceptance and usage. Access to technology also allows the rural community to remain in contact with each other, whether by social media, email or through other smart technology, making farming less isolating and more enjoyable. The social position of isolated rural women and men, who rely on technology for communication, business management and productivity related tasks, shapes the understanding of problems associated with innovation and the adoption of rural technology amongst beef producers in Queensland.
  • Agriculture: The adoption of agricultural technology (ag-tech) is critical to increasing agricultural production. Graziers, both men and women, need to be supported in their efforts to work smarter not harder. Commonly graziers make decisions via direct observation of cattle management parameters (e.g. water levels, rainfall, and distance to bores, National Livestock Identification Systems (NLIS) data recording), as well as visual cues from stock. Adopting ag-tech can help reduce time and costs associated with direct observation and hands on farming.
  • Women in Agriculture: This research aims to further establish women’s role in the diffusion of digital technology to agriculture and changes in technology adoption over time.
  • Technologies affect on well being: This research aims to explore and expand the notion that women using technology can reduce isolation within the farming partnership, particularly for men, reducing isolation's effect on the well- being of the men, the women and the farming family. Well being also has an effect on workers, therefore research intends to explore the attractiveness of technological properties and technologies effect on staff retention and succession.
  • Social Marketing: Behaviour change in nutrient use in the great barrier reef
  • Marketing Communication: The level of readability of marketing material can seriously affect the uptake of innovative farming practices. Understanding literacy levels and improving readability may enact behaviour change in water quality management practices
  • Instant Feedback Assessment Techniques (IF-AT) - enables students to be provided with immediate feedback about the accuracy of their answers to a test. Ensuring the students last response is the correct one facilitates learning and improves retention... it also makes learning fun
  • Widening Participation - motivations and barriers affecting low socio-economic students' decisions about participating in tertiary education
  • Human Dimensions - how knowledge and attitude affects how things are managed
Teaching
  • Social Marketing - Social marketing is an approach used to develop activities aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behaviour for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. Combining ideas from commercial marketing and the social sciences, social marketing is a proven tool for influencing behaviour in a sustainable and cost-effective way. Want to create change enroll in BX3186
  • Marketing Principles and Research - Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses. We use marketing everyday in our lives, come and learn why we do what we do enroll in BU1108, follow up with marketing research the key to success in BX3181
  • Sales, Services and Business Development - want to get ahead of the crowd in the services industry, come and learn the theory behind becoming a better service provider, enroll in BX2084
Experience
  • 2015 to present - Volunteer Data Analyst, Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2019 - Research Fellow, The Digital Toolbox Project, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 to 2018 - Research Lead, AgriNet Project, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2016 to 2018 - Co-investigator, NESP Project 2.1.3, James Cook University/National Environmental Science Program (Townsville)
  • 2017 - Co-investigator, NESP Project 3.1.3, James Cook University/National Environmental Science Program (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Honours
Awards
  • 2019 - Dean’s Award for Higher Degree by Research Excellence, James Cook University
  • 2019 - Sessional Teaching Award, James Cook University
  • 2019 - JCU College Business Law & Governance Research Recognition Awards prize winner: Category 3 - produce 3 or more book chapters in the one calendar year in edited works from quality publishers with ISBN recognition.
  • 2018 - Inclusive Practice Award (Student Nominated), James Cook University
  • 2015 to 2018 - Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2013 - Philip Pearce Award, James Cook University
  • 2013 - Academic Medal, James Cook University
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 36+ research outputs authored by Dr Rachel Hay from 2014 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Office of the Great Barrier Reef - Contract Research

RP228 Landholder Stewardship Research to understand the human dimensions influencing land management practice change in Great Barrier Reef catchments

Indicative Funding
$7,349 over 2 years (administered by CSIRO)
Summary
Focussing on the sugarcane and grazing industries in GBR catchments, this project will address Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan knowledge needs by synthesising existing knowledge around human dimensions and improved land management practice adoption. It will explore potential solutions to several knowledge gaps through a number of discrete, multilayered and integrated action-based research foci (ABRF). The focus of targeted investigations emerging from the literature review include: a) causes of transaction costs incurred by graziers when improving land management practice (and approaches to overcome these); b) the impact of social capital, trust and power dynamics on technology adoption (cane growers) and c) grazier perceived and actual risk of engagement in improved land management practices and programs.
Investigators
Anthea Coggan, Simon Fielke, Peter Thorburn, Rachel Hay, Jim Smart and Elizabeth Hobman (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, College of Business, Law & Governance and Griffith University)
Keywords
Land management practice; Transaction Costs; Land Managers; Social Capital; Risk; Trust

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Tender

Understanding the influence of media and community narratives on Great Barrier Reef water quality management

Indicative Funding
$249,546 over 3 years
Summary
News media play a key role in communicating knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef and the risks it faces (Foxwell-Norton and Lester 2017). While media influence on community responses in contested marine protected areas has been demonstrated (Voyer et al. 2013), the multiple pathways through which media can influence outcomes for the GBR are not well understood. This project will map the GBR `media landscape? ? the sources of mainstream and social media, the communication networks and the narratives, values and behaviours in water quality decision-making and practice that media both shape and reflect. Ultimately, the analysis will deliver practical outputs through collaboration with GBR water quality management end users.
Investigators
Maxine Newlands, Tracey Mahony, Rachel Hay and Erin Bohensky (College of Arts, Society & Education, College of Business, Law & Governance and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Keywords
Water Quality; Media; Governance; Social Media; Networks; behavioural

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environment Science Program (NESP) - Total Water Quality (TWQ)

Influencing agriculture practice behaviour change and trust frameworks.

Indicative Funding
$13,500 (administered by Reef & Rainforest Research Centre)
Summary
The ecologically-determined water quality improvement targets for the Great Barrier Reef can only be met with significant improvement in farm management practices. Numerous programs over many years, utilising a variety of approaches, have worked with land managers and representative farmer groups, seeking to achieve high levels of uptake of recommended farming practices. However, these have only met with low-moderate success. There has been significant work encouraging and facilitating behaviour and practice change in recent years, including through, but certainly not limited to, the NESP TWQ Hub. Programs encouraging behaviour and practice change are set to remain a feature of contemporary reef funding programs. Thus it is timely to coordinate a synthesis of learnings in this domain. Increasing understanding of, and improving trust frameworks and behaviour change of land managers will lead to improved water quality to the Great Barrier Reef. Understanding the impetus, benefits and barriers of behaviour change for agricultural practice is a large step in improving water quality to the Great Barrier Reef.
Investigators
Suzanne Long, Rachel Hay, Aaron Davis, Allan Dale, Norman Duke, Bruce Taylor, Marie Vitelli and Julie Carmody in collaboration with Damien Burrows, Peter Thorburn and Jim Smart (Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, College of Business, Law & Governance, TropWATER, Cairns Institute, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, College of Science & Engineering and Griffith University)
Keywords
Farming; Agriculture; Behaviour Change; Best practice; Culture

QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - Consultancy

Digital Extension Toolbox

Indicative Funding
$10,000
Summary
To encourage practice change in agriculture, DAF extension staff must be able to leverage "social" to deliver targeted and timely messages to discreet stakeholder groups at the hyper-local, project or peer level. This proposal is for the creation of a Digital Extension Toolbox, inclusive of a Community of Practice and Best Practice guidelines: a dynamic action-learing and risk management project designed to nimbly support staff in performing their work agilely over social engagement channels. Thisis is a pilot, desinged as an agile sprint, running from Feb-Jun 2019. During this time, we will develop a Best Management Practice (BMP) for each of four social engagement channels. Once a BMP has been deemed ready for trial, we will develop a Community of Practice and intiate a live trial. Online activity will be monitored, engagement metrics collected and oversight propvided by our 'Toolbox Investors': a matrix of committed internal stakeholders. The end goal being to provide DAF extension staff with a Toolbox full of relevant social media tools and instructions for their safe use.
Investigators
Rachel Hay (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Keywords
Digitial Extension; Best Practce; Social Engagement; Community of Practice; Social Media
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Understanding the motivations and barriers to adoption and effective use of connectivity technologies by SMEs in RRR Australia (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Measuring and quantifying the benefits of improved Internet connectivity in regional and remote Australia and its effect on adoption of technology (PhD , Primary Advisor)
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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Email
Phone
Location
  • 28.208, Marine & Tropical Biology 2 (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor (P)
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