Cathy’s research focuses on the early childhood years exploring modifiable risk factors in education and health, particularly their impact at transition to school for children and their families. Her work strives to incorporate children’s perspectives and to support their pro-active participation in co-design. Her Early Career Researcher Fellowship investigated a child participatory approach in design and delivery of a transition to school program and its impact on children’s early school, health and wellbeing outcomes. This program capitalised on parent engagement, understandings and interactions to support their child’s early education.
Cathy works collaboratively with WSU researchers to develop and evaluate the immediate and long term impact of child and family programs and other activities particularly focused on addressing the social determinants of health and modifiable risk factors in: maternal and child health; children’s cognitive and language development; and children’s early education and learning. More recently Cathy’s work has included a focus on data sharing in the co-design of programs delivered through place based organisations to provide more equitable and early support to families and children. Cathy presently collaborates externally with representatives from health, government and place based organisations, primary schools and city councils co-designing learning contexts to enhance parent/carer-child interactions and early childhood health, learning and wellbeing.