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Centre for Children and Young People

CCYP Researchers

Sally Robinson Dr Sally Robinson is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Children and Young People at SCU. Her research interests and experience centre on abuse and neglect of young people with intellectual disability; personal safety and resilience of young people with disability who experience harm; social policy and disability programs; individualised approaches to support; and participatory and inclusive research methods. Sally has been involved in a range of research and evaluation in the social policy arena over the past decade, focusing particularly on safety, accommodation and social exclusion concerns of people with disability. Prior to life as a researcher, Sally has a long history of advocacy and support work with people with intellectual disability. More on Sally's research and publications | Contact Details


Mary Ann Powell Dr Mary Ann Powell is a Postdoctoral Fellow, partly in the CRN program, with research interests including ethics in research with children and young people, children's social and emotional wellbeing, and rural childhood. Currently her CCYP role includes working on the international research ethics project, which has been her key interest over the last two years. Mary Ann's professional background is in child psychotherapy, and prior to developing her interest in participatory research with children, she worked in a range of NZ contexts, particularly with children and families who have experienced family violence, abuse, neglect and trauma. Mary Ann has also been involved in postgraduate teaching and supervision in child psychotherapy and child mental health. More on Mary Ann's research and publications | Contact Details


Catharine Simmons Dr Catharine Simmons is a Research Associate at the Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP) at Southern Cross University and partly in the CRN program. Catharine has a social science background, with a childhood studies focus. Her capabilities and interests include; the cultures of childhood, imaginative play, popular culture, learning through practice, sociology, qualitative research and ethnography. Prior to working in the CCYP, Catharine has managed research projects in the university sector within multi-disciplinary fields (social sciences, the built environment and nursing), that have focussed on learning, and generating pedagogical change in higher education. Catharine has also taught in Sociology of Children and Families and Introduction to Sociology, which covered sociological theories, children's mental health, policy and welfare, children's rights, and social inequalities. Catharine's has a strong interest and drive to improve children and young people's welfare and experiences through empowerment and education. She is currently working collaboratively on the Student Participation project in the Centre.


Kate Neale Dr Kate Neale is a researcher on an ARC Linkage Project exploring the relationships between young people with cognitive disability and their paid support workers. She also co-facilitates a Young Person's Research Advisory Group, which meets monthly to lend its expertise in living with a disability to advising a suite of current research projects with CCYP. Her doctoral thesis explored children's relationship with ethical consumption. Kate's substantive research interests lie within child-focussed methodologies, the ethical considerations of involving children and young people in a meaningful capacity, children's consumer culture, childhood studies and socialisation theories. Seeking the voices of those usually absent in research is fundamental to Kate's research interests.Contact Details


Julia Truscott Julia Truscott is a part-time research assistant with the Centre. She completed her Masters of Education (by thesis) at the Centre for Children and Young People in 2014. She has a 1st Class Honours degree in Science Communication from the University of London and has worked in a range of education related roles in the UK, Japan and Australia. Prior to coming to Australia, Julia worked for Forestry Commission Scotland as a Community and Education Ranger, in which she was involved in launching and supporting delivery of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning in the Grampian region. She is trained Forest Schools Leader with a particular interest in nature-based play and stories. Julia works across a range of research and administrative projects within the CCYP.

Danielle Notara Danielle Notara is a casual research assistant at the CCYP, most recently working on the Telling Your Story Project, an evaluation of the NDS Community Inclusion Initiative. Prior to this Danielle partnered with the CCYP as a community researcher with Social Futures on The Belonging Project. Danielle's background is in the community sector spanning ten years in research and community development roles across a wide range of areas including disability, children and young people information and communication technology, homelessness and domestic violence. With a strong commitment to social justice, her research interests are driven by finding innovative and effective ways to influence social policy. Danielle is also a current PhD candidate at the CCYP.

Meaghan Vosz Meaghan Vosz works as a research assistant across multiple projects, including The Safety Project, which aims to find out what helps young people with disability to feel and be safe, and What Does It Take? investigating effective tertiary responses to violence and abuse of women and girls with disabilities in Australia. Meaghan's background in the community welfare sector includes working with young people, families, groups and organisations for 18 years around violence and trauma, homelessness, social inclusion, community engagement and regional social development.