Editorial board

Prof Sharon Bessell – Editor In Chief

Professor Sharon Bessell is a professor of public policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University and Director of the Children’s Policy Centre. She is co-host of Policy Forum Pod. Sharon’s research interests focus on three broad areas: (i) social policy, social justice and the human rights of children; (ii) childhoods over time and intergenerational relations; and (iii) the gendered and generational dimensions of poverty, particularly child poverty. She is recognised internationally as a leader in rights-based, child-centred research methodologies, and has published widely on undertaking research with children.

Assoc Prof Tim Moore – Editor In Chief

Associate Professor Tim Moore is Deputy Director of the Institute for Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University. Tim is an internationally recognised child and youth researcher and children's rights advocate. His research addresses issues such as homelessness, youth justice, child protection, residential care, young carers and child sexual abuse prevention. Tim leads the Institute's child-inclusive and child-informed research and practice work, which aims to strengthen services and systems and make them more responsive to the needs and expectations of children and young people.

Adj Prof Dave Vicary – Editor In Chief

Adjunct Professor Dave Vicary is Director of Client Services at Good Shepherd and Adjunct Professor, Health and Social Care Unit, Monash University. Dave is an experienced leader in the human services, not-for-profit, government and tertiary sectors. At Good Shepherd, Dave is responsible for leading the organisation’s client service development, transformation and delivery. Dave is passionate about creating mutually beneficial strategic partnerships and delivering programs and services that are evidence-based, client-centred and sustainable.

Dr Frank Ainsworth – Editor

Dr Ainsworth is Senior Principal Research Fellow at James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland. Frank qualified as a social worker at the London School of Economics. For the last 10 years or more he has been a Guardian ad Litem in the NSW justice system. For the last 6 years Frank has been a consultant to the Executive Director of the Dunlea Centre (the original Australian Boys Town). He was influential in the Dunlea decision to implement the Teaching Family Model as the practice framework at the Centre.

Dr India Bryce – Editor

Dr India Bryce is a Senior Lecturer at University of Southern Queensland (in the Counselling Discipline, in the School of Psychology and Wellbeing as of 30 Jan) and a Forensic Social Worker. Dr India Bryce began her career as early childhood educator and Counsellor, before taking a position as a front-line Child Safety Officer in the Investigation and Assessment Team, in the then Queensland Department of Child Safety, Women and Youth. She is also a specialist consultant in the field of child maltreatment, specialising in cumulative harm. She has worked closely with government and non-government agencies in the design and implementation of family intervention, prevention and preservation programs and has delivered training in child maltreatment and cumulative harm to a broad range of helping professionals across the forensic sector. India’s PhD explored the lived experience of cumulative harm and its influence on vocation in the helping professions. India is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the USQ Centre of Health Research (Health and Social Justice). India’s current research explores cumulative harm, trauma informed pedagogy in higher education, trauma narratives and health, vocational behaviour. India has published books, book chapters, and journal articles from her research including two co-edited reference books, Child Abuse and Neglect: Forensic Issues in Evidence, Impact and Management, and Child Sexual Abuse: Forensic Issues in Evidence, Impact and Management. India continues to work as a social worker in forensic settings including Emergency Departments in Queensland Health, and has a private practice clinic specialising in child and family assessments and therapeutic interventions.

Dr Leah Cave – Editor

Dr Leah Cave is a Research Fellow in the Indigenous Health Research Program at Curtin Medical School. Her research has primarily concentrated on the health impact of racial discrimination on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents, with a particular focus on the social and cultural determinants of health, child and adolescent psychology, and child development. She has a strong research interest in building networks within and between the health and education sectors to develop and evaluate effective anti-racism initiatives.

Dr Annaley Clarke – Editor

Dr Annaley Clarke is a Social Worker with over 25 years’ experience in the Child Welfare and Out-of-Home Care sector. Annaley has worked across government and non-government services in a range of practice, evaluation, and management roles. Currently the Chief Operating Officer at Infinity Community Solutions Ltd and a McKillop Institute Sanctuary Faculty member, Annaley's passion lies in partnering with families, advocating for family-led approaches that emphasizes keeping children and young people connected and safe. Annaley has made important contributions to research and evaluation, including several national and international publications, and a book chapter in areas of Statutory Kinship Care, the Sanctuary Model, Residential Care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Support Planning and Reconciliation.

Dr Elizabeth Fernandez – Editor

Elizabeth Fernandez is a Professor of Social Work at the School of Social Sciences, at the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, UNSW, Sydney. Elizabeth's teaching and research for over four decades are in the areas of child abuse, trauma, family violence, care and protection and field-based learning and supervision. Her areas of specialisation include research into practice with children and families, child and youth wellbeing, early intervention, care and protection, risk assessment, children and legal intervention, foster care and adoption, child and adolescent mental health, life course theory and research.

Sue Foley – Editor

Sue Foley is the Director of the NSW Children's Court Clinic. She has been involved in social work and social justice practice in government and non-government services since 1975, when she graduated from Sydney University. She has also studied social work, education, theology and law at the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney and Sydney Missionary and Bible College Croydon. She has interest in child abuse prevention, intervention, forensic and clinical social work, mental health, telemedicine, children’s voices, social justice, trauma treatment, play therapy, family therapy, neglect, physical harm and sexual abuse, parent education, professional education and shaken baby identification and education. She has published around factitious disorder by proxy (aka MSBP), sexual abuse and the experience of abuse for professionals. She is a member of ISPCAN, having been on the international council for 10 years and is a member of a number of international professional organisations for many years. She enjoys looking at transfer of research to practice in each of the above areas and is very committed to effective clinical practice!

Kate Fylan – Editor

Kate Fylan has over 20 years experience working with children and families, particularly in the areas of trauma, domestic and family violence, child protection, attachment and parenting. Kate provides Clinical Leadership to Social Workers/Psychologists/Counsellors in Child Protection, Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Assault Services, Trauma and Men’s Behavioural Change Programs.

Dr Michael Gaffney – Editor

Dr Michael Gaffney is a Lecturer in the Early Childhood Education Programme. His research interests are quite broad as a result of working at the Childrenʻs Issues Centre, University of Otago from 1995–2010 as a researcher and lecturer. During this time, he was involved in the development and teaching of the Post Graduate Diploma of Child Advocacy and supervising students in the Masters of Childhood and Youth Studies programme.

Dr Susan Gair – Editor

Susan Gair is a non-Indigenous Adjunct Associate Professor at James Cook University. She has more than 25 years of experience in her discipline, including teaching, research, writing and practice. Key areas of her teaching and research and its application to professional practice have included child adoption policy and practice, working respectfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, and researching racism and critical empathy. More recently she has studied kinship care and local service delivery to youth at risk of offending. She is a current member of the Committee of Publishing Ethics (COPE).

David Giles – Editor

David Giles is a social worker and psychology-trained researcher who has worked in the Victorian child, youth and family services sector for 15 years. David has worked as a practitioner in family services, as well as in middle and senior management of family and community services across a range of service areas. David has extensive experience in the development of assessment and outcomes frameworks, and evaluation of service models in the community services sector. David is currently Manager Evidence and Outcomes at Anglicare Victoria.

Professor Chris Goddard – Editor

Professor Goddard is Visiting Professor in Social Work at the University of Hertfordshire, and Adjunct Research Professor in Education, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of South Australia. A major focus of Professor Goddard’s research has been the experiences of health and welfare workers in child protection practice. Professor Goddard has published many journal articles and book chapters. He has also written more than 50 newspaper articles for major newspapers, including The Age, The Australian, and The Sydney Morning Herald including, in recent years, opinion pieces on child abuse and child protection failures in churches. He is currently completing a study of child abuse deaths with Victoria Police.

Dr Megan Gollop – Editor

Dr Megan Gollop is the Deputy Director and a Senior Research Fellow at the Children’s Issues Centre, at the University of Otago in Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has a background in psychology and counselling and her work focuses on the rights and well-being of children and families with relevance to policy and practice. Megan predominately conducts applied socio-legal research with children, parents and professionals in the area of family law on topics such as parental separation and divorce, relationship property division, children’s care and contact arrangements, and post-separation parenting. She also has a strong interest in family members’ digital media use; and children and young people’s rights, voice and participation. She was the editor of Childrenz Issues, the journal of the Children’s Issues Centre for six years.

Assoc Prof Faith Gordon – Editor

Dr Faith Gordon is an Associate Professor in Law and Deputy Associate Dean of Research at the ANU College of Law, The Australian National University. She has previously held academic positions at Queen’s University Belfast, University of Westminster and Monash University. Faith is the Director of the Interdisciplinary International Youth Justice Network which she established in 2016 and a co-founder and co-moderator of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology's Thematic Group on children, young people and the criminal justice system. She is also an Associate Research Fellow at the Information Law & Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and Justice and Technoscience Lab, School of Regulation and Global Governance. Faith has international expertise and research experience in youth justice; media representations; children’s rights; criminal law; digital technologies; media regulation.

Dr Wendy Hermeston – Editor

Dr Wendy Hermeston is a First Nations woman of Wiradjuri descent and Senior Research Fellow at the ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation, at the University of Melbourne Medical School, Department of General Practice, Naarm. She has a PhD in law completed in 2021, (University of Technology, Sydney), a Masters of Applied Epidemiology (Australian National University) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology (Macquarie University). Wendy has experience in conducting legal, social science and health and wellbeing-related research. Her lived experience and extensive professional background in both Stolen Generations and care and protection-related policy and practice informed her PhD study, ‘Safe, Protected … Connected? The Best Interests of Aboriginal Children and Permanency Planning in the NSW Care and Protection System’. This research explored First Nations community member understandings of concepts central to decision making in the care jurisdiction, in particular the notions of the best interests of the child, permanency and attachment. Her most recent research, publications and conference presentations relate to the involvement of First Nations communities in care and protection systems, including an extensive research project examining the participation of First Peoples in child protection decision-making in NSW.

Prof Leesa Hooker – Editor

Professor Hooker is a rural nurse/midwife and is currently Associate Dean Research and Industry Engagement at the La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Australia. She is a Principal Research Fellow, leading two streams of research, 1. on Reducing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and 2. Child, Family and Community Health. She has established expertise in the epidemiology of family violence, women’s mental health, sexual and reproductive health and parenting. Her research includes intervention trials, observation studies and systematic reviews with a focus on improving maternal and child health outcomes, and the healthcare service response to abused women and children.

Prof Teresa Libesman – Editor

Dr Terri Libesman is a Professor in the Law Faculty at the University of Technology Sydney. Terri has researched and advocated for more than two decades with international and national First Nations children’s organisations. Terri has published widely on human rights and First Peoples child protection. Her recent research projects include Aboriginal Participation in Child Protection decision making in NSW with Dr Wendy Hermerston, Ms Eloise Chandler and the ALS NSW/ACT and Parents with Disability’s engagement with child protection systems with Dr Paul Gray et al for the Disability Royal Commission.

Prof Stephan J Lund – Editor

Professor Stephan Lund is the Head of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Western Australia. Assoc. Prof. Lund has worked for over 20 years in the children, family and youth field in particular with foster families and children in the care system. His areas of research interest include innovation in alternate care, representing the voices of foster carers, children and young people and birth parents, care leavers and trauma-informed care in schools. Prof. Lund is an educator with a strong interest in worker resilience, ensuring that social workers have knowledge of how to best work with First Nations stakeholders to work within a decolonising methodology.

Dr Alex Masardo – Editor

Dr Alex Masardo sits in the School of Education and Science at the University of Gloucestershire UK, where he led the Education subject community between 2017-2023. Alex is currently leading a programme of cross-national student working focusing on Early Childhood and Inclusion. He is also researching: students’ sense of belonging; parents’ and grandparents’ engagement in their child’s education; and mobile childhoods, particularly in the context of shared parenting. Alex has held academic positions at the Universities of Bath and Birmingham as well as Visiting and Honorary Fellowships at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy, the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods and the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics respectively. He has worked on funded research from the ESRC, AHRC, HEA, SEDA, HEFCE, Erasmus and the British Council. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Alex is also a member of a number of professional societies and is an Associate Editor of Journal of Family Studies.

Mary Jo McVeigh – Editor

Mary Jo McVeigh is the founding principal of Cara House and CaraCare. When Mary Jo completed a master’s degree in social work in Belfast, Ireland she started to work with children who have experienced violence, abuse, and neglect. Nearly forty years later, Mary Jo is still passionate about the strength of children’s and adults’ spirit and remains inspired by all they have taught her about resilience and resistance. She has let her passion for the work be known by speaking at national and international conferences, and writing, and is nearing completion of a Ph.D. at the University of Sydney. For her years of service, she has been acknowledged as the current holder of the Australian Social Worker of the Year award, Canada Bay Citizen of the Year award, Australian Woman of the Year finalist, Australian Citizen of the Year finalist, and an Order of Australia medal.

Prof Philip Mendes – Editor

Professor Philip Mendes is a nationally and internationally recognised researcher in several social policy areas. His research has had a significant impact on contemporary social policy debates and outcomes through providing an evidence base for informing change. The impact of his work has been especially evident in two areas, namely, young people transitioning from forms of out-of-home care (OOHC) such as foster, kinship and residential care, and social security payments including particularly conditional welfare as manifested in the compulsory income management program.

Dr Dominique Moritz – Editor

Dr Dominique Moritz is a senior lecturer in law and leading researcher into children’s decision-making. Dominique holds a PhD in law. Her knowledge broadly encompasses criminal law, health law and regulatory concepts related to children. Her work is inter-disciplinary and reflects a collaborative approach drawing upon law, criminology, psychology and medicine. Dominique has 19 peer reviewed research publications and has contributed to collaborative research projects attracting almost $1 million in external grant funding. Dominique is the School of Law and Society’s Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) at the University of the Sunshine Coast; is a member of the Sunshine Coast Health Institute; and is an adjunct member of the Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit.

Dr Heather Morris – Editor

Dr Heather Morris is a Research Fellow at the Health and Social Care Unit Monash University and Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) recipient. Working with community service organisations as a researcher in residence, she aims to get research evidence into practice. She uses her implementation science expertise and a focus on frontline worker knowledge and skills, in tandem with an awareness of systems thinking and complexity science to drive better outcomes for children and families. She has a background in health and health promotion, early childhood education, parenting support, child and family welfare, and trauma informed models of care, and both quantitative and qualitative research experience.

Sarah Morris – Editor

Sarah is a social worker and early career academic who also holds a lived-experience of out-of-home care. Sarah holds a passion for incorporating lived-experience within her professional practices, whether that be contributing to academic literature and/or projects, or working collaboratively with organisations to create programs that are trauma-informed and therapeutically aligned.

Assoc Prof Courtney Ryder – Editor

Dr Courtney Ryder is an ECR injury epidemiologist, Aboriginal academic and Discipline Lead for Injury Studies in the College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University. Her research is leading new ways of working with Indigenous Data through knowledge interface methodology and Indigenous Data sovereignty to change the deficit discourse surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health statistics, particularly in injury.

Prof Bruce Smyth – Editor

Bruce Smyth is Professor of Family Studies with the Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods. He has been working in the area family law as a social scientist for several decades. He was a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support, and a former Australian Research Council Future Fellow. In 2018 in Washington DC, he received the American Association of Family & Conciliation Courts’ (AFCC) Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award in recognition of outstanding research and research achievements in the field of family and divorce.

Prof John Tobin – Editor

Professor John Tobin holds the Francine V McNiff Chair in International Human Rights Law in the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne where he is Co-Director of Studies for the Human Rights Program in the Master of Laws and Co-Director of Research in Human Rights within the Institute for International Law and the Humanities.

Dr Mandy Truong – Editor

Dr Mandy Truong is a public health researcher, educator and health professional with experience in qualitative, mixed methods and evidence synthesis research on topics including: cultural competency and cultural safety in healthcare, racism and health, migrant health and family violence. She is a Research Fellow in the Child and Family Evidence team at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, working in the areas of evidence synthesis and knowledge translation on various topics related to child and family wellbeing including adolescent mental health, disability, child development and domestic violence. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University and a registered optometrist with over 17 years of clinical experience. She lives and works on the unceded lands of the Kulin Nations.

Dr Jemma Venables – Editor

Dr Jemma Venables is a social worker with 15 years’ experience in frontline practice, research and teaching. She is currently employed in a teaching and research position within the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland. Jemma engages in applied qualitative research with strong translational impact, as evidenced by research contracts and partnerships with multiple Queensland Government Departments, peak bodies and leading service providers in the social services sector. She has expertise in working with marginalised and disadvantage groups regarding sensitive topics. Her program of research explores the policy-practice interface in child, youth and family practice related to three key areas: 1) enhancing service responses to young people transitioning from out-of- home care to adulthood; 2) helping to ensure the rights of children and parents are upheld during child protection interventions; and 3) improving outcomes for women, children and young people experiencing violence. Her work captures the experiences of service users and practitioners involved in these service systems to inform more responsive policy and practice approaches that will enhance outcomes for children, young people and their families.