Youth Research Centre

Experts

Director

Associate Professor Helen Cahill

Associate Professor Helen Cahill

03 8344 9641

Professor Cahill has a distinguished career and reputation both internationally and nationally in youth studies, education and teacher development.

She leads inter-disciplinary and multi-method research with a particular focus on the use of participatory methods to investigate youth wellbeing, sexuality, mental health, gender and youth leadership. She has authored many wellbeing education programs for use in Australian schools and community settings in the Asia-Pacific region. She leads a suite of research projects variously investigating resilience, social and emotional learning, and the prevention of gender-based violence. She has a strong research track record of competitive research grants and consultancies from a range of education, health and development stakeholders, including government departments, the private sector, and international NGO’s such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNFPA. Her work is characterized by the use of innovative and embodied participatory methods which position young people as co-creators of knowledge developed about how to serve their needs.

Administrator

Kate Alexander

Kate Alexander

03 9035 5563

Kate is a Senior Administrator within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne and has worked in an administration role since 2008.

This role involves supporting academic staff members in the YRC in the areas of research, teaching and knowledge engagement as well as providing administrative support in areas such as finance, human resources, publications, event support, project support and website development.

Research Staff

Dr Jenny Chesters

Dr Jenny Chesters

9035 9734

Dr Jenny Chesters joined the Life Patterns Project team as a Research Fellow in 2016.

Her research interests focus on transitions between education and employment throughout the life course; inequality in educational attainment; and social stratification. She has extensive experience collecting and analysing quantitative data and qualitative data. She has also conducted secondary analysis of national and international data sets such as the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) and the German National Education Panel Study (NEPS); administrative data supplied by universities; and NAPLAN data. Jenny has presented papers at national and international conferences and published in the fields of inequality in educational attainment, transitions between education and employment education and social stratification.

Dr Julia Cook

Dr Julia Cook

Dr Julia Cook is a Research Fellow working on the Life Patterns project at the YRC.

Her research interests include the sociology of youth, risk and uncertainty, and temporality, and her PhD project (completed in 2016) considered how young adults in Melbourne, Australia perceived and related to the long-term, societal future, and how they coped with related feeling of uncertainty in the context of their everyday lives. Her current work on the Life Patterns project is focused on the methodological issues associated with longitudinal qualitative data.

Jessica Crofts

Jessica Crofts

9035 4792

Jessica Crofts has been working as a Research Fellow across a range of projects at the YRC since 2010.

The main project Jessica was involved with in 2015 was Life Patterns. Within the Life Patterns project Jessica’s research interests include education, work, feminism and gender inequalities. Jessica also completed her PhD in 2015. Her PhD is based on data from the Life Patterns project and explores the discourses surrounding ‘new femininities’ particularly in relation to education and work. In 2015, Jessica taught in the subjects Sociology of Youth and Youth and Popular Culture.

Dr Hernan Cuervo

Dr Hernan Cuervo

8344 9533

Dr Cuervo is a Research Fellow at the YRC and Associate Dean (Diversity & Inclusion) and Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

His research interests focus on inequality, youth studies, and theories of justice, rural education and education policy. Hernán coordinates and teaches the course 'Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions' in the Master of Education and the courses 'Youth Leading Change', ''Youth & Popular Culture', and 'Learning and the Digital Generation' at an undergraduate level. He is a regular lecturer in different courses in the Master of Teaching at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, in the Sociology program in the Faculty of Arts and in the Master of Adolescent Health in the Faculty of Medicine. Hernán also works in the Life Patterns project focusing on youth transitions and the link between education and work. Since 2015, he is the co-convenor of the Rural Education SIG at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). He is also currently a member of the Council Advisory Policy for the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) and the Red de Comunidades Rurales, Argentina.

Dr Babak Dadvand

Dr Babak Dadvand

Babak works in areas of inclusion, social justice and youth participation.

His research focuses on the impacts that policies and practices of educational institutions have on young people from socio-economically marginalized backgrounds. Babak is currently working as a research associate at the Youth Research Centre on the Australian Research Council Linkage Project ‘Defining the Status of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Young People’.

Anne Farrelly

Anne Farrelly

8344 8561

Anne Farrelly is a Research Fellow working on a range of projects across the Youth Research Centre.

She worked with staff from the Centre on the Victorian Department of Education and Training Resilience Project developing a Social and Emotional Learning framework and curriculum resources for students in Kindergarten to Year 12. She is also part of a team that developed the Connect with Respect curriculum for UNESCO Asia-Pacific. She teaches in the Breadth subject, Concepts of Childhood and the Masters of Teaching Primary subject, Social and Professional Contexts. She is completing a Masters of Philosophy examining what impacts the judgment and decision-making of police officers when interviewing children in relation to allegations of sexual abuse.

Dr Cassandra Kotsanas

Dr Cassandra Kotsanas

8344 8561

Cassie Kotsanas has been working as a Research Assistant across a range of Equity and Childhood projects since 2009.

Cassie’s main roles are data collection and analysis and managing ethics and data processes. She also contributes to reporting and writing for publication. Cassie has a background as a preschool teacher and a particular interest in children’s rights in early childhood. In 2014 she completed a PhD exploring how early childhood educators can be supported to theorise and practice in ways that support young children’s participatory rights in the everyday.

Bern Murphy

Bern Murphy

8344 9642

Bern Murphy has a background in teaching and lectures in the Master of Teaching program in Social Policy, Australian Indigenous Education, and Health Issues for Young People.

She teaches in both Primary and Secondary courses and works with Teacher Candidates in schools. Her research interests focus on marginalised young people whose access to education is limited. Her research focuses in particular on how pre-service teachers learn about Indigenous education issues and ways to support and prepare pre-service teachers who are interested in working in Indigenous education both remotely and locally. Bern works on a program that offers a two week placement in remote schools in the Arnhem Land, Central Australia and rural Victoria. Having this brief experience in remote communities often helps in making informed decisions when choosing to live and work in remote places. She is undertaking a PhD that interrogates notions of ‘cultural competence’ to present alternatives to positioning Indigenous peoples as ‘Other’ in the process of recognition and acceptance of their lives, culture and history. This research is focusing on the contribution of pre-service education to this project.

Katherine Romei

Katherine Romei

8344 6657

Katherine Romei is a Research Assistant for the Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships project at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

She holds a Masters of Teaching (Secondary). Katherine holds research and industry experience in the areas of education, gender, gender-based violence, English and literature and has experience in the research, construction and delivery of positive gender education programs.

Dr Kylie Smith

Dr Kylie Smith

8344 4084

Dr Kylie Smith is a Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the YRC. She has been active in early years education and policy development for the last 21 years,

and for the past 16 years has focused on researching how theory and practice can challenge the operation of equity for young children in classrooms, community spaces and government policy. Kylie coordinates and teaches two breadth subjects Concepts of Childhood and Ethics, Gender and the Family. She also teaches in the Masters of Education subjects, Leading Educational Ideas and Student Wellbeing: Negotiated Project, and is Associate Dean Research Training in the MGSE.

Dr Helen Stokes

Dr Helen Stokes

03 8344 9646

Youth Research Centre

Dr Malcolm Turnbull

Dr Malcolm Turnbull

8344 9645

Dr Malcolm Turnbull is a Research Fellow at the YRC. Malcolm’s research activities in 2015 have included a longitudinal evaluation of the whole-of-community Education Benalla Program (for the Tomorrow Today Foundation);

and the Young African Men’s project (for the Centre for Multicultural Youth); the final component of a three phase evaluation of the Refugee Youth Support project (for CMY); the Experience of Education project (for the Whitlam Institute); and participation in the Identifying Opportunities and barriers for Indigenous Youth transitions project. Malcolm combines his activity at the YRC with work as a freelance historian, and has published widely in the areas of Australian Jewish history, Classic English Detective Fiction and the Folk-song revival.

Professor Johanna Wyn

Professor Johanna Wyn

03 8344 9643

Johanna Wyn is a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in the Youth Research Centre and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and the Academy of Social Sciences, UK.

She is engaged in multidisciplinary and multi-method research on the ways in which young people navigate their lives in a changing world, with a focus on the areas of transition, gender, wellbeing and inequality. Her work recognises that young people are active citizens, cultural creators and active agents in learning and wellbeing. She leads the ARC funded Life Patterns longitudinal research program and has a strong research track record of competitive research grants and consultancies and tenders from a range of stakeholders, including government departments, foundations and the private sector.

Research Associates

Margaret Coady

Margaret Coady

Honorary Research Fellow

Roger Holdsworth

Roger Holdsworth

Honorary Research Fellow

Dr Sue Lopez

Dr Sue Lopez

Honorary Research Fellow

Dr Sheralyn Campbell

Dr Sheralyn Campbell

Honorary Research Fellow

Associate Professor Tim Corney

Associate Professor Tim Corney

Honorary Research Fellow