CfCFS Newsletter – March 2024

Welcome to our March newsletter for the Centre for Child and Family Studies. As a dedicated team of researchers, we are excited to bring you updates, insights, and breakthroughs in the field of child and family studies. Our centre is interested in exploring the complexities of childhood development and influence, parenting dynamics, and family relationships through rigorous research and analysis. In this newsletter, we share links to our activities in research translation, the latest research from our dynamic HDR scholars, and our activities influencing policy and practice.

As always, we encourage you to continue to let us know of your work, successes, awards and news throughout the year.  You can email me directly or the Centre at   I look forward to seeing you at our events and hearing your news!

Ignite Quality Research Program

Our year has kicked off with the Centre’s Leader A/Prof Maryanne Theobald, launching the CfCFS new vision, the Ignite Quality Research Program, at our first member meeting for the year.

The vision aims to ignite quality through 3 key areas: Quality Practices, Quality Partnerships and Quality People.

Igniting Quality Practices focuses on capacity building, mentoring and research translation; 

Igniting Partnerships focuses on activities to harness local, state and international connections,  

and the third but arguably the most important area focuses on 

Igniting Quality People by harnessing and enhancing our members’ profiles, passion and engagement.

An overview of activities relating to this vision are mapped out in the concept map below:

International connections

Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) recently reached out to the Centre to organise a visit by Dr Daniel Huang from Taiwan. Dr Huang wears many different hats: he is a paediatric physician, an academic and a researcher, a YouTube Influencer, Podcast Host, Author and TV show host who focuses on parenting and early health, learning development and wellbeing. 

All of these topics are of keen interest to the CfCFS and Dr Huang specifically requested a meeting with our members and learn about our work in the early years. We were delighted to share a little about our work in initial early childhood teacher education, the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, the Centre for Child and Family Studies and Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research. 

Sincere thanks to all colleagues involved: Prof Sue Irvine, A/ProfMaryanne Theobald (Program Lead), DrSally SavageA/Prof Judith HowardProfKerryannWalsh and QUT Health colleagues Prof Danielle Gallegos and A/Prof Rebecca Byrne (pictured below).

Response to Consultation Paper: Putting Qld Kids First Plan

Maryanne led the QUT and Centre for Child and Family Studies response to the Queensland Government’s Putting Qld Kids First plan. The releasedconsultation draft articulates a state vision of whole-of-government approach to promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people, with a focus on prevention and early intervention.  

This is an integrated policy framework, that includes priorities such as: enhancing wellbeing in the early years, supporting parents, promoting healthy child development and confident transitions to learning. Supporting families is key to supporting children, and we hope that this framework have impact toward an integrated support system across health, education and community. 

Research Forum – Parenting and its intersection with education and health

Our first Research Forum for 2024 was held this week, entitled, Parenting and its intersection with education and health. Our Early Career Mentor, Dr Sally Savage organised and hosted the sessionwhich featured our shining HDR scholars, Pip Amery, Liz Briant and Yesika Ocktarani.

There were 40 registrations for the session, from those working in academic, private and government sectors across Australia and internationally, highlighting the significance of this topic for those working with children and young people. 

A feature of the session was the common challenges of parenting, particularly for mothers, evident across education, health and community. Pip presented on her research involving first-time mothers and their mobile phone use was highly engaging and provoked thoughtful conversation among the attendees. She raised some pertinent issues facing mothers and the tensions around mobile devices today, exposing the immense pressures mothers are under to conform to social expectations of ‘good’ motherhood. 

Liz’s presentation focused on parenting and tuition, and highlighted the extensive and intentional efforts parents make to seek advantages for their children to be successful. She clearly outlined the social instigators of such behaviours, particularly neoliberal ideologies that are prevalent in our society exerting pressures on parents. 

Yesika’s presentation introduced the audience to parenting support in Indonesia and how this community approach contrasts with parenting in Australia, which can be associated with isolation and a lack of support. She revealed the benefits of the approach and presented some of the challenges raised, offering a balanced perspective. 

The presentations were engaging and dynamic, and thought provoking, with insights stimulating valuable discussion and inspiration for HDR scholars, experienced researchers, leaders, policy makers, and practitioners alike.  

Sincere thanks also to our project officer, Rhonda Gibson, whose meticulous organisation ensured the evening ran like clockwork. If you missed the presentation, you can watch it on the CfCFS website.


Congratulations to QUT Adjunct ProfJulie Davis on the publication of the third edition of Young children and the environment: Early education for sustainability, co-edited this with colleague Sue Elliott from UNE. Topics covered include the science of sustainability, public health, children’s wellbeing, ethics and a broad range of environmental management topics. The book is full of practical case studies for preservice teachers and educators. Highlights, of course, are the chapters authored by CfCFS members including JulieProf Kerryann Walsh,Dr Lyndal O’Gorman, and HDR student Yvonne Paujik.

Exciting news!  This week new micro credentials were approved through QUT’s curriculum processes. These are linked to the Victorian Educational Leadership CPE Program (VELP) and have been accredited in accordance  with the National Microcredentials Framework. There are two micro credentials linked to the two program offerings: VELP Foundations and VELP Advanced. Heartfelt congratulations to A/Prof MeganGibson and the VELP team, with particular recognition and gratitude to Dr Marie White who provided skilled leadership in getting both of these approved.

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