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.
Professor Anne Graham is the Founding Director of the Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP). 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 60 research projects, including 5 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 $8 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 300,000 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.
Industry Collaboration Interests: State and Commonwealth government departments (including Family and Community Services, Social Services, Education, Juvenile Justice, Legal Aid), as well as key statutory bodies (such as the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, the Australian Human Rights Commission), major national and international NGOs (such as UNICEF, Save the Children, Childfund Australia, The Smith Family), and many significant regional organisations (disability and out-of-home care services, Catholic Schools Offices, local councils, Family Relationships Centres).
Dr Sally Robinson
Dr Mary Ann Powell
Research Interests: Childhood studies; children’s rights; ethical research involving children; ethical practice; children and young people’s wellbeing; rural childhood
Methodological Expertise: Qualitative approaches; child-centred research methods
Industry Collaboration Interests: Education – student wellbeing in schools, pastoral care, parent partnership; Research ethics – linked with NGOs and other academic institutions
School Research Areas: Education
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
Dr Kate Neale
Research Interests: childhood studies, commercial enculturation, socio-cultural theory, recognition theory, social geography, socialisation theories, accessible methodologies, knowledge translation and the ethical considerations of involving children and young people in research in a meaningful capacity.
Methodological Expertise: A wide range of quantitative and qualitative approaches; 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
School Research Areas: Education; Early Years
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.
School Research Areas: Children’s rights and participation
Research interests: young people, disability, women, lived experience, structural inequality, social policy, relational ethics, user-driven design and appropriate/innovative technology
Methodological expertise: qualitative research, accessible, inclusive and participatory methods, social policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation.
Industry Collaboration Interests:community and not for profit sector partnerships, grassroots social enterprise and international development.
Professor Judy Cashmore
Judy Cashmore is the Chair of the Centre for Children and Young People's Advisory Board. Judy has a background in developmental psychology and is a distinguished researcher in the care and protection of children. She has published widely and served on a number of government committees concerning child protection and policy. Judy has also been involved as a consultant with a range of Federal and State organisations and she presented the non-government report on Children's Rights to the United Nations.
Professor Nigel Thomas
Nigel Thomas is Professor of Childhood and Youth Research at the University of Central Lancashire and Director of The Centre for Children and Young People's Participation. His research interests are principally in child welfare, children's rights and participation, and theories of childhood. His publications include Children, Family and the State: Decision-Making and Child Participation (Policy Press 2002); Social Work with Young People in Care (Palgrave 2005); Children, Politics and Communication: Participation at the Margins (Policy Press 2009); and A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation: perspectives from theory and practice (with Barry Percy-Smith, Routledge 2010). He was from 2005 to 2011 co-editor of the journal Children & Society, and is now Chair of the Editorial Board. He is also on the Editorial Board of The International Journal of Children's Rights.
Professor Deborah Brennan
Deborah Brennan is one of Australia's leading researchers in comparative social policy, early childhood education and care and gender and politics. Deborah has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Melbourne. She is a member of the NSW Ministerial Carers Advisory Council, a former President of the Australian Political Science Association and was the Inaugural Convenor of the National Association of Community Based Children's Services (NABCBS). She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the United States Study Centre, University of Sydney.
Deborah serves on the editorial advisory board of Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, Families, Relationships and Societies and the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. She is a member of the Feminist International Institutionalist Network (FIIN), the International Network on Leave Policies and Research and the Network on Migration and Care in the Asia-Pacific.
Deborah leads the University of NSW component of a Commonwealth funded Collaborative Research Network that links the Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW) and the Centre for Children and Young People (Southern Cross University).