Executive

Rebekah Grace 

Centre Director

Professor Rebekah Grace

Rebekah’s research is focused on the service and support needs of children and their families who experience adversity. She employs a cross-disciplinary, mixed-methods approach to research, and seeks to move beyond the bounds of disciplinary silos to address complex challenges. Rebekah has extensive experience in productive collaboration with government and non-government service organisations, and with multi-disciplinary research teams. Her expertise is in applied research, and in the translation of that research so that it is meaningful within practice settings, and transformative to policy and practice. Rebekah has a particular expertise in the conduct of rigorous effectiveness trials within human service settings.  Rebekah is also well known for her research using participatory methods with children and young people, and for her work in the co-design of services with communities, including with Aboriginal communities.

Lynn Kemp

Lynn Kemp

Distinguished Professor

Distinguished Professor Lynn Kemp is recognised as an international leader in the field of early childhood interventions in primary and community health and translational research. Her local, national and international research in early childhood is bringing quality evidence-based early intervention programs to vulnerable families with young children in Australia and world-wide.

Originally trained as a registered nurse, Lynn commenced her academic career in 2002 with a commitment to improving health equity for vulnerable groups, focused on the critical early years of life. The Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MECSH) program Lynn developed in south-western Sydney has received USA government approval as an effective, evidence-based sustained home visiting intervention. MECSH is now implemented in Australia, the UK, USA and South Korea, currently serving more than 15,000 families world-wide. Significantly, in South Korea, her work has been instrumental in the establishment of a universal child and family health service system, serving the city’s 10million residents, where previously families had no access to such support.

Lynn’s work is leading translation of research findings into population-scale programs. Through the MECSH programs nurses working with families have, as described by one nurse, "a great opportunity to facilitate some changes, empower families to find a way forward that might be different from their past." Her skill in supporting population scale implementation is now also informing strategies for improved adoption of effective cancer and volunteer interventions. Lynn is an academic leader graduating 11 PhD students in the past 5 years, and an honorary fellow at King's College London.

Christine Woodrow 

Christine Woodrow

Associate Professor

Christine is the Academic Lead, (Early Education) at the Transforming early Education And Child Health Research Centre (TeEACH) and a senior researcher in the Centre for Educational Research at Western Sydney University. Her areas of research focus include educational leadership; effective pedagogies of empowerment addressing inequities in young children’s learning; early childhood education policy and practice, and parent engagement. She is currently CI on a project investigating the efficacy of child health screening undertaken in early childhood centres and preschools, and CI on an ARC grant investigating factors that influence low income families’ participation in early education and the pedagogical, policy and management strategies early childhood services put in place in response to these challenges. Her research is characterised by its emphasis and innovation in participatory methods.

Christine has undertaken extensive research in Latin America, involving pedagogical and community leadership programs for early childhood educators and the creation of teacher resources supporting a sociocultural approach to early education and family engagement. She is currently collaborating on research in parent engagement in high poverty contexts with colleagues at the University of Chile.

Christine has been deeply involved in community based initiatives aimed at community transformation in areas experiencing economic and social adversity in Western Sydney, and has developed an early childhood professional learning program - Collaboration for Learning aimed at strengthening educational quality and family engagement in early childhood provisions in these communities.

Christine is committed to the fundamental entitlement of all children to high quality learning experience in the early years that acknowledges, respects, negotiates and incorporates community and children’s funds of knowledge and is passionately concerned to improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children.

Linda Riek 

Linda Riek

Operations and Engagement Manager

As the Operations and Engagement Manager, Linda is responsible for management across the Centre including facilities, staffing, finances, communications, marketing, and stakeholder engagement. Her role in implementing TeEACH’s strategic plan and assisting in the development of the SRIs business model is integral to our Centre.

Linda brings over 25 years of experience to the role including over 6 years’ experience in leadership positions in the tertiary education sector and over 20 years’ experience in public and private education.

Linda works with researchers across Schools and Institutes within the University and with external stakeholders, supporting the Centre and driving TeEACH into a program of international reputation and impact.