To ensure the quality of Raising Children Network content, the Scientific Advisory Board reviews all content to make sure it reflects best current evidence.

Professor Lesley Barclay

PhD RM RH (BA MEd); Midwife & family health researcher, Sydney University

Professor Lesley Barclay is the Director of the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, NSW. This is a centre within the School of Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at Sydney University. She is acknowledged as a leader in health systems reform with extensive experience in increasing knowledge, services and policy around birthing, family health and remote and rural health services.

Professor Barclay has led over 30 research projects in the past decade, published numerous articles and been a technical adviser to governments, AusAID, World Bank and WHO. Her work has taken her to Asia, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands.

She is leading research into maternity services in remote Australia funded by NHMRC. She was awarded an AO in 2004 for her contribution to professional and international development and child health.

Clinical Professor David Bennett AO

Adolescent health physician, Children’s Hospital at Westmead; AO, MBBS, FRACP, FSAHM

Professor David Bennett is an adolescent health physician working to improve the health and wellbeing of young people through responsive health care, collaborative research, professional and community education, networking and advocacy.

David is Medical Clinical Director, Priority Populations, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network; and Senior Clinical Adviser, Youth Health and Wellbeing and Board member, NSW Kids and Families. David’s previous roles include President of the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare and of the International Association for Adolescent Health.

David was honoured with an AO (Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia) in 1995 for service to medicine, particularly in the field of adolescent health and medical care. He is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International and has received other awards for his service to the community. He currently serves on a number of high-level state and Australian government policy committees.

David is co-author of I just want you to be happy: Preventing and tackling teenage depression and the author of numerous other books, monographs, chapters and professional articles in the field of adolescent health.

David is married to Anne with four grown-up children and three grandchildren.

Ms Sandra Cheeseman

Lecturer, Institute of Early Childhood Macquarie University; PGCert Research, BEd (EC), BTeach (ECE)

Ms Sandra Cheeseman is a lecturer in social policy, leadership and professional experience at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University. To this role, Sandra brings extensive experience as an early childhood teacher, director and senior manager.

Sandra’s current research focuses on infants’ encounters with curriculum – in particular, how babies engage with learning through relationships and play.

Sandra was a member of the writing team who developed Australia’s first national curriculum guide for children from birth, the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). She has since been actively involved in several professional development programs and research projects supporting educators in using the EYLF to create high-quality learning environments for all children.

Sandra works extensively with the early childhood professional community to make connections between current research and early childhood practice.

Dr Philippa Collin

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University; BA (Hons), PhD

Dr Philippa Collin is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and the mother of two curious girls.

A social scientist, Philippa researches the social, cultural and political dimensions of children and young people’s digital media practices, community and political participation, and citizenship. For 15 years she has worked to improve the wellbeing of young people and their communities through participatory, evidence-based and intergenerational research, practice and policy innovations that leverage technology.

From 2011-2016 Philippa was a Research Program Leader for the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. In this role, she led a program of research examining how new technologies can promote safe and supportive environments for the safety and wellbeing of young people aged 16-25 years. Before joining Western Sydney University, Philippa worked for 10 years with Reachout.com in service development and delivery, policy and research.

Philippa has led or been a key researcher on 20 research projects examining experiences of youth, digital media, mental health and wellbeing. She is the author of Young citizens and political participation in digital society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and the co-author of Young people in digital society: Control shift (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). She also regularly publishes articles, reports and media commentaries on young people’s digital participation, political identity and citizenship, safety and risk, intergenerational and gender perspectives and online campaigns. 

Elizabeth Freeman

BA, BEd, MEd, MAPS; University lecturer and psychologist

Elizabeth Freeman is a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education where she jointly co-ordinates the Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) program.

Originally a secondary teacher, Liz subsequently worked in the education system for many years as an educational psychologist. Liz’s current research interests include the promotion of social and emotional wellbeing in schools; interpersonal communication and conflict management in education, cultural diversity; and teachers’ professional learning and action research.

In addition to chief investigator roles in Australian Research Council Linkage projects in the areas of enhancing wellbeing and learning, and creating culturally respectful primary schools, Liz has been engaged in a major 10-year professional development and research partnership between the University of Melbourne and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, focused on the creation of positive learning environments and student wellbeing.

Liz has received an MGSE Excellence in Teaching Award and a Knowledge Partnerships Excellence Award.

Kay Gibbons

BAppSc FDAA; Paediatric Dietitian

Kay Gibbons is Head of Nutrition Services at Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and Honorary Senior Lecturer Monash University. Kay is an Honorary Fellow of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, and is a Fellow of the Dietitians Assocation of Australia.

Kay has worked in most areas of children's nutrition, and has particular interest in issues involving eating and behaviour, including childhood obesity and eating disorders, and the role of children's early learning about eating. She undertakes research in these areas, teaches to health professionals and families, and works frequently with the media.

Current research projects include the LiveEatAndPlay project, aimed to reduce childhood overweight through an intervention provided by general practitioners, and the Moreland Project, which is encouraging healthy lifestyle through a school and community-based program. Kay led the 'Filling the Gap' education program, a group of projects which includes needs assessment, development of resources and implementation of education for families and health professionals working with children from birth to eight years.

Recently Kay has been working in India on a mother and child nutrition project, funded by the Australia-India Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Dr Bronwyn Gould AM

MB BS, Dip Paed, M Psych Med

Dr Bronwyn Gould has experience spanning over 30 years in general practice, specialising in work with children, parents and young people. A major focus of Bronwyn’s work is vulnerable young children. She has established and runs a part-time clinic for homeless and vulnerable women in Darlinghurst, NSW.

Bronwyn is an adjunct senior lecturer in general practice at University of Notre Dame Medical Faculty, Sydney. She has worked as a trainer with the Department of Community Services in NSW and is a member of the NSW Child Death Review Team.

Bronwyn served as the Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Advisory Council ACCAP (Australian Council for Children and Parenting), and was a member of the Advisory Council for Children's Hospital at Westmead. She also works as an adviser for the research team at NSW Commission for Children and Young People.

Bronwyn is a leader in Guides Australia, working the Junior Guide age group. As a result of her community involvement, in 1998 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to youth. 

Dr Harriet Hiscock

MBBS, FRACP, MD, Grad Dip Epidemiology

Dr Harriet Hiscock is a paediatrician and Senior Research fellow at the Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. She has a keen clinical and research interest in child behaviour and sleep problems and the impact that they can have on mothers, fathers and children. Their work centres on the early treatment and prevention of sleep and behaviour problems. She has two young children who, with the help of some of the strategies on this website, sleep well.

Dr Melissa Kang

MBBS, MCH, Adolescent Health physician, University of Sydney

Dr Melissa Kang trained in general practice and has worked exclusively in youth health since 1993 in community and hospital settings.

Melissa has trained medical students and a wide range of health and education professionals in adolescent health, has developed postgraduate courses in adolescent sexuality and conducted research among young people in sexuality, sexual health, and access to primary health care. She works as a senior lecturer in the Discipline of General Practice, University of Sydney, and is a Consultant to the NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health. Melissa has written the "Dolly Doctor" medical column for Dolly magazine for the past 18 years.

Barbara Minuzzo

Allied heath and community safety consultant leader, Melbourne; PGDipHlthprom

Barbara Minuzzo is an allied health and community safety consultant leader with postgraduate qualifications in health promotion.

Barbara is an internationally recognised youth health and safety expert with particular expertise in child and adolescent injury prevention and safety promotion. She is a certifier for the International Safe Communities Certifying Centre – Global (formerly the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Community Safety Promotion), and part of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention (ISCAIP) Rescue Team.

Barbara is an executive officer for the Victorian Safe Communities Network (VSCN). She is also co-chair of the Australian Safe Communities Foundation; a board member of the International Safe Community Certifying Centre; a board member of the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network (America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia); a member of the Communities That Care Australia Board; and an executive member of the Australian Injury Prevention Network (AIPN).

Barbara was a co-founder of the Transportation of Children and Youth with Additional Needs (TOCAN) working group and continues to be an honorary working group member. She worked at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Melbourne, for over 20 years.

Emeritus Professor Susan M. Moore

Psychological researcher, Swinburne University of Technology; BSc (Hons), DipEd, MEd, MSc, PhD, FAP Jan Nicholson

Professor Susan M. Moore is a researcher in social and developmental psychology. She has over 40 years experience in academic and professional environments.

Susan’s research areas include adolescent sexuality and romantic behaviour, risk-taking and gambling, health psychology, psychology of internet use and parenting and grandparenting issues. She is the co-author of several books including New age nanas: Being a grandmother in the 21st century and Sexuality in adolescence: The digital generation.

Susan has been a research consultant to many government and not-for-profit organisations, has published more than 100 papers in refereed journals of psychology, education and health, and has received several major research grants.

Now retired, Susan is still writing, researching and public speaking. She remains a regular reviewer and media contributor on psychological issues.

Professor Jan Nicholson

Principal Research Fellow, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Professor Jan Nicholson is Research Director at the Parenting Research Centre, Honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Learning Innovation, Queensland University of Technology. She has a background in child and family psychology with post-doctoral training in public health. Jan’s research examines the influence of contemporary family, social and organisational environments on children’s healthy development, with a particular focus on vulnerable families.

Jan is the Design Team Leader for parenting and family functioning in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), a national study tracking the health and development of two cohorts of 5000 children each. She heads an NHMRC-funded cohort study of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commencing recruitment in 2011, and is co-investigator on studies promoting effective parenting, early literacy and healthy early life nutrition.

Associate Professor Gehan Roberts

Associate Director, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne; MB BS, FRACP, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor Gehan Roberts is a developmental-behavioural paediatrician, who works at The Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and the University of Melbourne.

Gehan completed his clinical fellowship in child development at the Boston Children’s Hospital. He has a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and a PhD in the field of child development from the University of Melbourne. In 2009 he was appointed the coordinator of the Victorian Training Program in Community Child Health, the largest training program of its type in Australia.

In 2015 Gehan was appointed Associate Director at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Centre for Community Child Health, with responsibility for clinical service and fellowship training. He’s involved in teaching medical practitioners, allied health workers, teachers and families. He also works in curriculum development and program evaluation.

In 2016, Gehan was elected President of the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia, the peak body for Australasian doctors who care for children with developmental disorders.

Professor Jacqueline Roberts

Inaugural Chair of Autism, Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University; BA (Hons), Dip.Teach, BAppSc (Speech Pathology), PhD

Professor Jacqueline Roberts leads a research program on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a graduate program of ASD studies at the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University. The main focus of the research program at ACE is ASD, learning, behaviour and education.

Jacqueline also leads a large longitudinal research project, which is part of the national Living with Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). In addition, she heads several research consultancies, including a project with the Queensland Government Department of Education to develop an online tool that can be used by teachers and parents to manage problem behaviours.

Jacqueline has experience working as a teacher, speech language therapist, school principal and senior manager in schools for children with ASD. She has also worked as a consultant in ASD and held several short-term fractional appointments at universities teaching ASD studies and leading or managing research projects. These have included responsibility for the development and delivery of content in the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium (AAETC) Positive Partnerships program.

Jacqueline has published widely in ASD and, with Professor Katrina Williams, has co-authored a book for parents, Understanding Autism: The Essential Guide for Parents (2015).

Associate Professor Jill Sewell

Paediatrician, Royal Children’s Hospital, MCRI, University of Melbourne; MBBS, FRACP, DMedSci (Hons)

Associate Professor Jill Sewell is a senior consultant paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. She specialises in developmental and behavioural paediatrics. She is responsible for clinical services in the Centre for Community Child Health and has a major education and teaching role working with paediatric trainees.

Jill is a regular speaker at conferences, seminars and professional development programs on paediatrics and child health, early childhood services and the health education interface in schools.

Jill also has state and national roles in government and advisory boards, medical regulation and accreditation.

In 2005 Jill was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to child health.

Diana Smart

BA (Hons), Dip Ed, MA

Diana Smart is currently an occasional Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She was previously a General Manager (Research) at the Institute, with responsibility for the internationally renowned Australian Temperament Project and Growing Up in Australia (the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children). 

Diana is a psychologist with over 40 years experience in research on child and youth development. She has led influential research on developmental pathways to adolescent problem behaviours, identification of sensitive transition points, risk and protective factors and the co-occurrence of problem behaviours.

Diana also has a long-standing interest in the promotion of resilience, and the development of positive attributes and strengths such as social competence, social responsibility and civic engagement. She has published widely for a variety of audiences and is keenly interested in translating research into policy and practice.

Professor Cate Taylor

Speech pathologist; Senior Principal Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Western Australia; BAppSci, PGradDipHlthSc, PhD, FSPA

Professor Cate Taylor is a child health researcher dedicated to creating knowledge about child health, development and learning for the benefit of children and their families. She holds professorial appointments at the Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Western Australia.

Cate specialises in large-scale longitudinal studies of children’s health, development, education and wellbeing, especially children’s language and literacy development. Her translational research is conducted in partnership with government agencies and focuses on the role of early childhood services in supporting families and young children.

Cate began her career as a paediatric speech pathologist working with children and families in health and education settings.

Dr Hennie Williams

Physician, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne; MBBS, MPH, FAChSHM, MPH, GCUT

Dr Hennie Williams is a sexual health physician working at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Bayside Health. She also holds a position as Senior Lecturer in Sexual Health at Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, where she coordinates the Postgraduate Certificate in Sexual Health and the Sexual Health Stream in the Masters of Public Health.

She has worked extensively in sexual and reproductive services dedicated to young people, with a particular focus on access to services for marginalised youth. Her other main professional interests include sexual health education, both in the higher education setting as well as professional development for clinicians and public health practitioners.

Hennie coordinates a subject called Adolescent Sexuality and Sexual Health, which is part of the Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health run by the Centre for Adolescent Health.

  • Last updated or reviewed 23-04-2018