The work of the Centre for Children & Young People is led by the Director, Professor Anne Graham, and supported by a dynamic, committed team of multidisciplinary researchers, a distinguished Advisory Board, young persons' consultative groups, research associates from Schools across the University, engaged and supportive adjunct staff, high performing postgraduate students and regular visiting scholars. This diverse and talented team contributes immense expertise in undertaking research, education and advocacy activities to advance the rights and wellbeing of children and young people in the different contexts in which they live their lives.

Director - Professor Anne Graham

Under Anne's leadership the CCYP has built the reputation of Southern Cross University as a key player regionally, nationally and internationally in providing high quality, high impact interdisciplinary research aimed at improving policy and practice in key areas of children and young people's lives. Over the past 12 years Anne has led over 70 research projects, including 6 ARC Linkage grants and 2 ARC Discovery grants, focused primarily on children's rights and wellbeing in different contexts (schools, family law processes, juvenile justice, disability services), as well as ethical issues in research involving children, and teacher (and other professionals’) learning. 

This program of research has attracted well over $10 million in funding to date. To help ensure relevance and strong industry engagement, Anne’s research has been undertaken collaboratively with state and Commonwealth government departments, as well as key statutory bodies, major national and international NGOs, and many other community based organisations. Anne has published extensively in scholarly journals and books, and provides a substantial number of presentations, seminars and collaboratively run workshops to help ensure partner organisations benefit from research undertaken with the Centre. Anne's research has also resulted in her authorship of a highly successful psycho-social education program, Seasons for Growth, which provides children, young people and parents with knowledge and skills to adapt to significant change in family life following death, separation, divorce and other loss experiences. Over 350,000 children and young people in 5 countries have now participated in the program.

Research Interests:  children and young people’s rights, social and emotional wellbeing and safety within different family, school and community contexts; children and young people’s experiences of loss and grief; participation at school; participation in family law processes; relationships; ethical issues in researching with children & young people; teacher learning; ethical practice in working with children; interdisciplinary understandings of childhood; effective knowledge translation.

Methodological Expertise: a wide range of mixed-method and qualitative methodologies; participatory research design; program evaluation; on-line survey development; young people as co-researchers.

Research profile

Deputy Director - Associate Professor Lynne McPherson

Research Interests: Lynne’s research interests are in the areas of child protection practice and out of home care, complex developmental trauma and therapeutic approaches, leadership and social work supervision. 

Methodological Expertise: Qualitative methodologies, auto-ethnographic methodologies, critical participative methodologies.

Industry Collaboration Interests: Lynne spent more than 25 years as a senior social work manager and practice leader in child protection and the wider child, youth and family sector. Her industry collaboration interests reflect this background. She is currently engaged in projects collaborating with statutory child protection services, non-government out of home care and child trauma specialist agencies.

Research profile

Centre Researchers 

Dr Tess Boyle

Research Interests: Transitions between and across education settings; early years education and care; curriculum continuity and alignment; pedagogy education and praxis; middle leading; coaching as pedagogical leadership; ethical practices involving children. 

Methodological Expertise: Qualitative critical participatory methodologies and methods; site ontology practice theories; theory of practice architectures; critical participatory methods, action research, case studies.

Industry Collaboration Interests: Tess has worked with government and non-government education authorities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Recent collaborations with industry partners include cross sectorial perspectives of early years education and care; ethical practices involving children; middle leading in the early years; continuity and alignment of curriculum across and within sectors; developing early years resources (videos); policy development; cross-sectorial perspectives of transitions to school.

Research profile

Dr Antonia Canosa

Research Interests: childhood studies; anthropology of tourism; critical theory; children’s rights and participation; ethical dimensions of research with children and young people; youth cultures.

Methodological Expertise: ethnography; visual ethnography; participatory research; participatory filmmaking.

Industry Collaboration Interests: Children and young people’s wellbeing in tourist destinations; civic and political participation of children and young people in communities; children’s contact with nature and national parks.

Research Areas: Children’s rights and participation.

Detailed Profile

Dr Kylie Day

Research Interests: Indigenous Knowledge: Resistance and Advocacy; Indigenous Knowledge and the Academy; and Indigenous Knowledge and Transforming Practices. 

Methodological Expertise: Indigenous methodologies, Qualitative analysis, Thematic analysis 

Collaborations: Several local Aboriginal community organisations 

Researcher Profile

Dr Georgina Dimopoulos

Research interests: Family law, children’s rights, family violence, privacy

Methodological expertise: Doctrinal research, qualitative methodologies, participatory research, empirical research, legal theory  

Industry collaborations: Georgina has worked in legal practice, the Victorian courts, legal policy and the community sector. She was recently a Research Fellow in the Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse team at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She is a member of the Policy Working Group of the Australian Child Rights Taskforce; a Children’s Rights Trainer with the Diplomacy Training Program; and a member of Pacifica Congress (formerly the Australian Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts).

Detailed Profile

Dr Kathomi Gatwiri

Research Interests: Trauma informed practice, culturally informed practice, decolonizing teaching and practice, race and immigration, theories of the body, language and discourse, race and racism, critical race and intersectional theories, theories of belonging and governmentality, wellbeing among minoritised populations, diasporic identities, culture and identity

Methodological Expertise: Decolonizing methodologies,  Qualitative methodologies, auto-ethnographic methodologies, Anti-oppressive methodologies, Intersectional methodologies, critical participative methodologies, culturally informed methodologies. 

Industry Collaboration Interests: Wellbeing of minoritised populations, promotion of inclusion and belonging in the community, decolonizing knowledge, community engagement, cultural humility and sensitivity in diverse practice, intersectional practice

Researcher Profile

Dr Kate Neale

Research Interests: Childhood studies, disability studies, research ethics, sociocultural theory, recognition theory, social geography, socialisation theories, accessible methodologies, knowledge translation and the ethical considerations of involving vulnerable communities in research in a meaningful capacity.

Methodological Expertise: Qualitative research methods, trauma-informed approaches to honouring lived experience; co-production of knowledge; participatory action research methods; accessible methodologies; mind-mapping; PhotoVoice

Industry Collaboration Interests: Horticultural therapy; wellbeing, social inclusion and community cohesion linked to greenspaces in education, early years learning; public spaces; social housing; allied health

Detailed Profile

Dr Catharine Simmons

Research Interests: Childhood studies; sociology; student participation in decision making; children and young people’s rights and agency; participatory methodologies; cultures of childhood; learning through play and practice; knowledge as power; popular culture.

Methodological Expertise: Qualitative participatory methodologies and methods; child-led research; ethnography; arts-based research.

Industry Collaboration Interests: Student participation in education; student wellbeing; personalised learning; creativity and imaginative play in education programming; Indigenous knowledge and land management practices; young people’s theatre; community engagement.

Researcher Profile

Dr Menka Tsantefski

Research Interests: Problematic parental substance use; women with problematic substance use in the transition to motherhood; children affected by parental substance use; domestic and family violence; social work practice at the intersection of alcohol and other drugs, domestic and family violence, mental health and child protection concerns; social networks; child sexual assault; child health and wellbeing 

Methodological Expertise: Case study methodology; qualitative research; phenomenology; mixed method studies.  

Industry Collaboration and Interests: Child wellbeing; alcohol and other drugs; Intersectoral collaboration between adult and child-focused services; child protection; family support services; health services for women and children. 

Detailed Profile