Who We Are

We are a group of academic researchers with expertise in child development, child and adolescent mental health, education, psychology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research, criminology, and child protection, who have partnered with representatives from government departments in education, health, and community services to undertake the NSW Child Development Study (NSW-CDS).

We expect that the study will continue to provide important information for years to come, helping all Australian children to experience healthy development into adolescence and adulthood.

People involved in the NSW-CDS

NSW-CDS Executive Committee (UNSW Sydney) 

  • Melissa Green, Professor, Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health (NSW-CDS Scientific Director)
  • Vaughan Carr, Professor, Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health (NSW-CDS Inaugural Scientific Director)
  • Kimberlie Dean, Professor, Head of Discipline, and Chair of Forensic Mental Health, Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Kristin Laurens, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Psychiatry; Associate Professor, School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology

NSW-CDS Staff (UNSW Sydney)

  • Oliver Watkeys, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Kirstie O'Hare, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Felicity Harris, Research Officer, Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health

PhD Students (UNSW Sydney)

  • Felicity Harris (UNSW Sydney)
  • Ulrika Athanassiou (UNSW Sydney)
  • Melissa Bradley (UNSW Sydney)
  • Emma Carpendale (Queensland University of Technology)
  • Josphine Virgara (Griffith University)

NSW-CDS Collaborating Researchers

The following researchers from UNSW Sydney, the Universities of Newcastle, Western Australia, Tasmania, and University of Sydney, and Government representatives from the Departments of Communities and Justice, Health and Education, collaborate with the NSW-CDS team to prioritise research questions, analyse data and disseminate findings.

UNSW Sydney

  • Illan Katz, Professor, Social Policy Research Centre
  • Bruce Bradbury, Associate Professor, Social Policy Research Centre

Griffith University

  • Stacy Tzoumakis, Senior Lecturer, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice 
University of Adelaide
  • Tyson Whitten, Lecturer, School of Social Sciences

University of Western Australia

  • Sally Brinkman, Co-Director of the Fraser Mustard Centre, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (Adelaide)

University of Newcastle

  • Allyson Holbrook, Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact

University of Sydney

  • Megan Williams, Associate Professor, National Centre for Cultural Competence

University of Tasmania

  • Amanda Neil, Senior Research Fellow and Health Economist, Menzies Research Institute

NSW Department of Communities and Justice

  • Jessica Stewart, Executive Director, Analysis and Research
  • Merran Butler, Director, Analysis and Research

NSW Ministry of Health

  • Vince Ponzio, Director of MH-Children and Young People

NSW Department of Education

  • Robert Stevens, Manager, Schooling Research

Australian Council for Educational Research

  • Katherine Dix, Senior Research Fellow, Educational Research and Monitoring Division

NSW-CDS Partnerships

NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ)

DCJ has collaborated with the NSW-CDS for several years, including formal collaborations as a partner organisation on an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (2011-2016) and a National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership Grant (2018-2020). This collaboration is currently focused on using linked data from multiple agencies to optimize the processes for reporting children at highest risk of harm, so that timely and effective interventions can be delivered to those most in need.

NSW-CDS Health Special Interest Group

Following a formal partnership with the NSW-CDS as on an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (2011-2016), the NSW Ministry of Health has continued its collaboration with the study via the NSW-CDS Health Special Interest Group. The current focus of this collaboration is to identify vulnerable mother-infant dyads that account for very high health service use, which could be used across agencies to develop early intervention services informed by such dyads.

NSW-CDS Education Working Group

As a NSW-CDS partner organisation on an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (2011-2016), the collaboration between the NSW-CDS and NSW Department of Education was crucial to the successful administration of the Middle Childhood Survey in NSW schools. The NSW Department of Education, particularly the Learning and Wellbeing Unit, has continued this collaboration through a NSW-CDS Education Working Group, which is currently focused on the analysis and dissemination of manuscripts, internal reports and policy briefs of interest to the Department. 

Ngadhuri-nya (To Care for) Working Group

Adopting Roundtable discussions and a Facilitated Development Approach, the Ngadhuri-nya (To Care for) Working Group will work collaboratively with the NSW-CDS to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lead data analysis, interpretation and discussion about NSW-CDS findings related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the NSW-CDS. Ethics approval for the constitution of the Ngadhuri-nya (To Care for) Working Group was obtained in late 2017, and the working group meets regularly, beginning in March 2018.