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Acting Director

Professor Kitty te Riele

Kitty joined the Peter Underwood Centre in October 2016, and leads the research portfolio. This includes:

  • Knowledge creation: coordinating and overseeing research projects for the Centre. Organisations who would like to commission the Centre to conduct research or evaluation are welcome to contact Kitty.
  • Knowledge curation and dissemination: coordinating and overseeing scholarly publications including project reports and fact sheets. A recent highlight was co-editing the book Harnessing the Transformative Power of Education (Brill, 2020) with Centre colleagues.

Kitty is internationally respected as a leading expert on alternative educational provision. Much of her research examines and supports the work of flexible learning programs to enable marginalised young people to improve their lives, further study, and employment opportunities through education and training. Her research ranges from listening directly to young people themselves to analysing systems and policies.

Kitty works in close collaboration with partner organisations and communicates her research to a wide audience. In addition to working with partners for Centre projects, Kitty:

  • Is a founding board member of the Australian Association for Flexible and Inclusive Education (AAFIE). AAFIE is the national peak body for alternative educational provision, policy and research. AAFIE is also responsible for organising the biennial ‘Doing School Differently’ conference. Both AAFIE and the DSD conferences flow directly from recommendations Kitty made in her 2014 report “Putting the jigsaw together: Flexible learning programs in Australia”.
  • Has worked with colleagues in Victoria on research at the intersection of youth justice and education, developing reports about supporting young people to connect with education when they appear in the Melbourne Children’s Court , enhancing educational provision when young people are in custody, and improving transition into education when young people leave custody
  • Contributes to the scholarly and wider community by assessing research project applications, peer reviewing journal articles and book proposals, and providing input to government and non-government groups.

Finally, Kitty has a strong interest in research ethics. She is currently a member of the Tasmanian Department of Education Research Assessment and Approval Committee, and was deputy chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee at her previous university. Her publications about research ethics include Negotiating ethical challenges in youth research. (Routledge, 2013, co-edited with Rachel Brooks) and Ethics and Education Research (SAGE, 2014, co-authored with Rachel Brooks and Meg Maguire).

Kitty moved from the Netherlands to Australia more than 25 years ago, and with her husband has lived in Sydney, on the NSW Central Coast and in Melbourne. They are delighted to make Tasmania their home.