Carla Pascoe Leahy

UTAS Home Dr Carla Pascoe Leahy

Carla Pascoe Leahy

Lecturer in Family History
Department: School of Humanities


Carla Pascoe Leahy is a Lecturer in Family History at the University of Tasmania. Her research focuses on mothers and families; children and youth; place, environment and sustainability; and oral history and qualitative research.


Carla’s career has embraced all forms of history, working as an academic historian, a museum curator, a heritage researcher and a professional (consulting) historian. While completing her honours thesis and PhD thesis, Carla worked as a heritage researcher with a private form and then as a curator at Museums Victoria. Since receiving her doctorate, Carla has taught at Swinburne University, the University of Melbourne and Victoria University. She has conducted historical research as a consultant for Culture Victoria and Yarra Trams, and managed projects supporting the community sector for the Victorian Government. Before commencing at the University of Tasmania, Carla worked at the University of Melbourne on an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. In addition to her role as Lecturer in Family History at UTAS, Carla is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Joint Editor of Studies in Oral History journal, an Associate of the Contemporary Histories Research Group and an Honorary Associate at Museums Victoria.

Career summary



Thesis Title



Date Awarded


‘Spaces imagined, places remembered: childhood in 1950s Australia’

University of Melbourne



BA (Hons)

‘The bleeding obvious: a secret history of menstruation in Australia, 1880-1990’

University of Melbourne





University of Melbourne




Professional practice

Australian Historical Association

Australian Museums and Galleries Association

Australian Women’s History Network

Children’s History Society (UK)

Maternal Scholars Australia

Oral History Australia

Professional Historians Association (Vic. & Tas.)

Society for the History of Children and Youth

Committee associations

Joint Editor, Studies in Oral History journal

Executive Committee member, Australian Historical Association

Administrative expertise

Carla has experience in project management and budget management of large projects, both within universities and government.


Australian history Australian studies, heritage and museum studies, oral history, family history, the history of the family, the history of children and youth, maternal studies

Teaching expertise

Carla has taught across universities with very different student profiles, giving her experience adapting her pedagogical methods to diverse student needs. She has enjoyed teaching both in-person and online, in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. While much of her teaching has focused on history, heritage and museums, she’s also taught subjects about Australian culture, politics and society to students across university faculties and disciplines.

Teaching responsibility

HAA003 Introduction to Family History

HAA007 Convict Ancestors

HAA107 Families and War

HTA384 Families in History

HTA206 Australian History in a Global Context

HUM311 Independent Research Project

Research Appointments

November 2022: Visiting Scholar, Swansea University

October 2022: Visiting Scholar, University of Edinburgh

2022 – present: Honorary Fellow, University of Melbourne

September 2019: Visiting Scholar, Flinders University

2019 – present: Associate, Contemporary Histories Research Group, Deakin University

2011 – 2012: Honorary Fellow, University of Melbourne

2009 – present: Honorary Associate, Museums Victoria

Research Invitations

Carla has been honoured to give several invited presentations on her research to Australian and international audiences.

  • C. Pascoe Leahy, ‘Listening through lockdowns: Doing oral history in pandemic times’, Keynote for Oral History Victoria Symposium, Melbourne, 19 June 2022.
  • C Pascoe Leahy, ‘Labours of love: The past, present and future of maternal care in Australia’, Keynote for Motherhood, Labour & Care Symposium, Western Sydney University, online, 22 November 2021,,
  • C. Pascoe Leahy, ‘The maternal metamorphosis: Becoming a mother in Australia, 1945-2020’, 2021 Reese Lecture, co-hosted by King’s College London and Australian National University, online, 21 September 2021,
  • C. Pascoe Leahy, ‘The subtle ethics of interviewing: managing sensitive topics and difficult emotions with care’, Oral History Masterclass organized by the International Planning History Society and the Association of European Schools of Planning, Bratislava and online, 24-25 June 2021. You can watch Carla’s presentation from 49:23 here or read a summation in this article:
  • Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Lauren Gawne, Toby Green, Panos Pappas, Carla Pascoe Leahy, ‘Sustainable academia: The way forward’, Abralin ao Vivo: Linguists Online, 13 July 2020,
  • C. Pascoe Leahy, ‘On the cusp of life and death: Australian memories of childbirth since 1945’, Oral History NSW Annual Lecture, 8 September 2018,

View more on Dr Carla Pascoe Leahy in WARP


Carla is a contemporary historian in the sense that her work connects the recent past to issues of acute contemporary importance. While she has analysed objects, photos and intangible cultural heritage through her research, she has won special commendation for her work as an oral historian – interviewing people about their remembered pasts. Her research expertise clusters around four themes: motherhood and family; children and youth; place, environment and sustainability; and oral history and qualitative research. She has researched and published on:

  • The history of menstruation, including sex education and menstrual products
  • The history of children, including play, education and place memory
  • The history of mothers, including pregnancy, birth and childrearing
  • The ways in which people experience and remember places
  • Issues of ethics, memory and narrative in oral history and qualitative research
  • Issues of ethics, care and sustainability in academic work


Carla has enjoyed collaborating with colleagues from a range of disciplines and universities across Australia and around the world. She is currently working with Kristin Natalier (Flinders University) and Mary Holmes (University of Edinburgh) on the Maternal Futures project. She has recently completed the pilot phase of the Mothering in Crisis project with Julia Hurst, Catherine Gay and Anisa Puri at the University of Melbourne. In 2023 she is collaborating with historians Nell Musgrove (Australian Catholic University), Mary Tomsic (Australian Catholic University) and Kristine Moruzi (Deakin University) on the pilot phase of the project History of Childhood in the Digital Age.


In 2016, Carla was granted an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), a highly-competitive fellowship awarded to early career academics. The grant was awarded on the basis of her potential as a junior scholar and the excellence and innovation of her proposal to create the first overarching history of Australian motherhood.

In 2021, Carla won the Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) Prize for Distinctive Work in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The prize was awarded based on contributions made through her ARC DECRA-funded project on the history of Australian motherhood, which resulted in scholarly and popular outputs including books, journal articles and academic presentations as well as public events, media articles and radio appearances.

Current projects

Carla is currently researching the ways in which experiences of family are impacted by environmental change. There are two strands to this work:

  • Maternal futures: Imagining motherhood in an era of climate crisis -- how reproductive decision-making is influenced by climate change
  • Mothering in crisis: Family, disasters and climate change -- how mothers’ childrearing is impacted by climate-fuelled disasters

Fields of Research

  • Australian history (430302)
  • Women's studies (incl. girls' studies) (440509)
  • Fertility (440302)
  • Human impacts of climate change and human adaptation (410103)
  • Critical heritage, museum and archive studies (430202)
  • Environmental history (430307)
  • Feminist methodologies (440502)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology (280113)
  • Understanding Australia's past (130703)
  • Social impacts of climate change and variability (190103)
  • Expanding knowledge in human society (280123)
  • Sustainability indicators (190209)
  • Ethics (130399)


Carla is the author of Spaces Imagined, Places Remembered: Childhood in 1950s Australia (2011) and in 2023 will publish her book new Becoming a Mother: An Australian History. She has co-edited volumes that have made ground-breaking interventions, including Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage (2013), Children’s Voices from the Past: New Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2019) and Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (2019). Carla has published in leading international and cross-disciplinary journals including Feminist Studies, Gender & History, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Past & Present and Qualitative Research. As part of her service to the oral history community, Carla is Joint Editor of Studies in Oral History, the journal of Oral History Australia.

Total publications


Journal Article

(17 outputs)
2022Gilbert E, Pascoe Leahy C, 'Visibilising care in the academy: (Re)performing academic mothering in the transformative moment of COVID-19', Gender and History pp. 1-22. ISSN 0953-5233 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-0424.12659 [eCite] [Details]


2022Holmes M, Natalier KA, Pascoe Leahy C, 'Unsettling maternal futures in climate crisis: towards cohabitability?', Families, Relationships and Societies pp. 1-17. ISSN 2046-7435 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1332/204674321X16621119776374 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Natalier KA


2022Pascoe Leahy C, Gaynor A, Sleight S, Morgan R, Rees Y, 'Sustainable academia: the responsibilities of academic historians in a climate-impacted world', Environment and History, 28, (4) pp. 1-25. ISSN 0967-3407 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3197/096734022X16552219786645 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2021Pascoe Leahy C, 'The afterlife of interviews: explicit ethics and subtle ethics in sensitive or distressing qualitative research', Qualitative Research, 22, (5) pp. 777-794. ISSN 1468-7941 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/14687941211012924 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 11


2021Pascoe Leahy C, 'Maternal heritage: remembering mothering and motherhood through material culture', International Journal of Heritage Studies, 27, (10) pp. 991-1010. ISSN 1352-7258 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2021.1893792 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3


2021Pascoe Leahy C, 'The mother within: intergenerational influences upon Australian matrescence since 1945', Past and Present: A Journal of Historical Studies, 246, (Supplement 15) pp. 263-294. ISSN 0031-2746 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtaa041 [eCite] [Details]


2019Pascoe Leahy C, 'Public histories and private struggles: the place of Janet McCalman's Struggletown in Australian historiography', History Australia, 16, (4) pp. 656-673. ISSN 1449-0854 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14490854.2019.1670074 [eCite] [Details]


2019Pascoe Leahy C, 'From the little wife to the supermom? Maternographies of feminism and mothering in Australia since 1945', Feminist Studies, 45, (1) pp. 100-128. ISSN 0046-3663 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.15767/feministstudies.45.1.0100 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6


2019Pascoe Leahy C, 'Selection and sampling methodologies in oral histories of mothering, parenting and family', Oral History, 47, (1) pp. 105-116. ISSN 0143-0955 (2019) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2017Pascoe Leahy C, 'Home is where mother is: ideals and realities in Australian family houses of the 1950s', Journal of Australian Studies, 41, (2) pp. 184-206. ISSN 1444-3058 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14443058.2017.1305980 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2


2015Pascoe Leahy C, 'Mum's the word: advice to Australian mothers since 1945', Journal of Family Studies, 21, (3) pp. 218-234. ISSN 1322-9400 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/13229400.2015.1063444 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 2


2014Pascoe Leahy C, 'A Discreet Dance': technologies of menstrual management in Australian public toilets during the twentieth century', Women'S History Review, 24, (2) pp. 234-251. ISSN 0961-2025 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2014.948274 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 4


2014Pascoe Leahy C, 'The bleeding obvious: menstrual ideologies and technologies in Australia, 1940-1970', Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, (20) pp. 76-92. ISSN 0813-8990 (2014) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2010Pascoe Leahy C, 'City as space, city as place: sources and the urban historian', History Australia, 7, (2) pp. 30.1-30.18. ISSN 1449-0854 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2104/ha100030 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2


2010Pascoe Leahy C, 'The history of children in Australia: an interdisciplinary historiography', History Compass, 8, (10) pp. 1142-1164. ISSN 1478-0542 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00710.x [eCite] [Details]


2009Pascoe Leahy C, 'Be home by dark: childhood freedoms and adult fears in 1950s Victoria', Australian Historical Studies, 40, (2) pp. 215-231. ISSN 1031-461X (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/10314610902865696 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 5


2007Pascoe C, 'Silence and the history of menstruation', Oral History Association of Australia Journal, (29) pp. 29-33. ISSN 0158-7366 (2007) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


(4 outputs)
2023Pascoe Leahy C, 'Becoming a Mother: An Australian History', Manchester University Press, United States, pp. 296. ISBN 9781526161208 (2023) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2019Musgrove N, Pascoe Leahy C, Moruzi K, 'Hearing Children's Voices: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges', Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 274. ISBN 9783030118969 (2019) [Edited Book]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-11896-9_1 [eCite] [Details]


2019Pascoe Leahy C, Bueskens P, 'Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives', Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 498. ISBN 9783030202668 (2019) [Edited Book]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-20267-5 [eCite] [Details]


2011Pascoe C, 'Spaces Imagined, Places Remembered: Childhood in 1950s Australia', Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, pp. 283. ISBN 9781443831765 (2011) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(10 outputs)
2022Baun D, Pascoe Leahy C, 'Spaces and Places', A Cultural History of Youth: in the Modern Age, Bloomsbury, K Alexander and S Sleight (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 41-61. ISBN 9781350033078 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2022Pascoe Leahy C, 'Beyond Productivity: Working Mothers and Childcare Policy', Lessons from History: Leading Historians Tackle Australia's Greatest Challenges, New South Publishing, C Holbrook, L Megarrity, and D Lowe (ed), Australia, pp. 1-11. ISBN 9781742237473 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2020Bueskens P, Pascoe Leahy C, 'Defining Maternal Studies in Australia: the Birth of a Field', Australian Mothering Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Cham, C Pascoe Leahy and P Bueskens (ed), Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 21-65. ISBN 9783030202668 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-20267-5_2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2019Musgrove N, Pascoe Leahy C, Moruzi K, 'Hearing children's voices: conceptual and methodological challenges', Children's Voices from the Past, Palgrave Macmillan, K Moruzi, N Musgrove and C Pascoe Leahy (ed), Cham, Switzerland, pp. 1-25. ISBN 9783030118952 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-11896-9 [eCite] [Details]


2019Pascoe Leahy C, 'Mothers-in-waiting: maternographies of pregnancy in Australia since 1945', Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan, CP Leahy and P Bueskens (ed), Cham, pp. 155-177. ISBN 9783030202668 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-20267-5 [eCite] [Details]


2019Pascoe Leahy C, Bueskens P, 'Contextualising Australian mothering and motherhood', Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan, CP Leahy and P Bueskens (ed), Cham, pp. 3-20. ISBN 9783030202668 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-20267-5 [eCite] [Details]


2017Pascoe C, 'A history of playspaces', How to Grow a Playspace: Development and Design, Routledge, K Masiulanis and E Cummins (ed), London, UK, pp. 13-20. ISBN 9781138906549 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9781315695198 [eCite] [Details]


2013Darian-Smith Kate, Pascoe Leahy C, 'Children, childhood and cultural heritage: mapping the field', Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, Routledge, K Darian-Smith and C Pascoe (ed), London, UK, pp. 1-18. ISBN 9780203080641 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9780203080641 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4

Co-authors: Darian-Smith Kate


2013Davey GB, Darian-Smith K, Pascoe Leahy C, 'Playlore as cultural heritage : traditions and change in Australian children's play', Children, childhood and cultural heritage, Routledge, K Darian-Smith and C Pascoe (ed), Oxon, UK, pp. 40-54. ISBN 9780415529945 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Pascoe Leahy C, 'Putting Away the Things of Childhood: Museum Representations of Children's Cultural Heritage', Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, Routledge, K Darian-Smith and C Pascoe (ed), London, UK, pp. 209 - 221. ISBN 9780203080641 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9780203080641 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3


Other Public Output

(2 outputs)
2023Pascoe Leahy C, ''The women choosing the climate over having a baby', Interview by Abbie O'brien', News Article, Special Broadcasting Service, Australia, 06 January 2023, pp. 1-10. (2023) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]


2022Pascoe Leahy C, 'Age of climate disasters fuels anxiety around parenthood', Daily Newspaper: Opinion, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, 08 May 2022, pp. 1-4. (2022) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Carla’s research has been supported by multiple government and university funding grants. She won $322,050 in competitive funding through her ARC DECRA. The collaborative Maternal Futures project is funded by a $40,000 grant from Flinders University. In 2021 she won $49,000 in competitive funding through Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne for her Mothering in Crisis project. In 2022 the collaborative History of Childhood in the Digital Age project won a $20,000 grant from Australian Catholic University to support its pilot phase.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Mothering in Crisis: Family, Disaster and Climate change (2021)$49,000
Melbourne Climate Futures, University of Melbourne ($49,000)
Climate Research Accelerator
Administered By
University of Melbourne
Research Team
Leahy CP
The experience of becoming a mother in Australia since 1945 (2016 - 2031)$322,050
Australian Research Council ($322,050)
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Administered By
University of Melbourne
Research Team
Leahy CP
2016 - 2031

Carla has been privileged to serve as supervisor to four PhD students, one MA student and four Honours students.

  • Molly McKew, ‘Inner urban countercultural communities of Australian cities in the 1960s and 1970s’ (PhD, University of Melbourne, 2019)
  • Laura Jocic, ‘Australian dress: the materiality of identity in a colonial society-in-the-making’ (PhD, University of Melbourne, cont.)
  • Rebecca Louise-Clarke, ‘Mother stuff: finding a museology of mothering’ (PhD, Monash University, cont.)
  • Catherine Gay, ‘All life and usefulness: Girls’ material cultures in colonial Victoria, 1851-1901’ (PhD, University of Melbourne, cont.)
  • Tonia Sellers, ‘“Romantic, idealistic, fiercely partisan”: emotion and the Communist Party of Australia, 1920-1945’ (MA, University of Melbourne, cont.)
  • Kate Duggan, ‘Rising to the occasion: the unique contribution of World War One nurses’ (Honours, University of Melbourne, 2018)
  • Catherine De Luca, ‘The play and entertainment of young people in Ballarat, 1800-1912’ (Honours, University of Melbourne, 2019)
  • Jessica Bounds, ‘The importance of federal, state and local contributions to Melbourne’s creation of its National Estate in the 1970s’ (Honours, University of Melbourne, 2020)

Carla is currently only available for Honours thesis supervision at the University of Tasmania.