Our team

Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice

Our team

CYPEP is a multi-disciplinary, multi-method team undertaking research into the social, political and economic factors, forces and trends that affect young people’s lives.

We aim to build alliances with change-makers across sectors and directly engage with young people to produce evidence-based insights, influence policy and inform education practice.

We are based in the Faculty of Education as we believe education is a means to effect lasting change. We also understand that researchers from a broad range of disciplines also seek to understand young people and the key issues which might impact upon their lives. Therefore, members of CYPEP will include researchers from law, economics, sociology, and other fields that share a desire to improve the lives of young people.

How we work

We are committed to working collaboratively. We want to see what can be achieved when we build ‘surprising alliances’ and bring together people and organisations from across different sectors and with different perspectives.

Our external Advisory Board will be critical to this mission. Members will provide strategic advice and thought leadership, help us test our ideas, and connect the centre with other external stakeholders and networks.

We are committed to genuine and authentic engagement with young people to ensure they are active collaborators in our research program. Therefore, we will establish a Youth Reference Group as part of our governance structure. Members of the Youth Reference Group will provide advice to our researchers to ensure the relevance and impact of our work. Representatives from the Youth Reference Group will also be included on the centre’s Management Committee and Advisory Board so that the Youth Reference Group is integrated with CYPEP’s governance and operations and provides professional development opportunities for young people.

Who we are

  • Ms Katrina Reynen, OAM (Chair)

    Katrina Reynen is a highly respected and experienced senior executive leader and board chair with a successful career in education and global business management. She is a senior advisor on leadership, innovation and strategy and is the managing director of an education consultancy, Brightest Horizons.

    Katrina has held senior decision-making leadership roles across the corporate, government (public administration) and not-for-profit sectors. She has chaired the Skyline Education Foundation as it has grown fourfold over the past five years and been a director on the board of Skyline for 15 years. Her personal legacy in the education sector includes transformational ICT-enabled projects including the design and rollout of wireless networks in all government schools, and the FUSE portal. She was honoured to be conferred with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2020 for service to education.

  • Ms Katherine Ellis

    Katherine is CEO of Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the peak body and leading advocate for young people and the youth sector in Victoria. Her previous roles include director of youth affairs at the Commonwealth of Nations, working on youth empowerment policy and programming across 53 countries; CEO of youth development organisation the Reach Foundation; and periods consulting to other organisations such as Teach for Australia and the Foundation for Young Australians. Prior to this, she spent over a decade in the private sector, working both in Australia and internationally in a variety of analysis, strategy and corporate social responsibility roles.

    Katherine believes that it is vitally important to recognise young people as experts in their own lives, and make sure their unique needs and perspectives are at the heart of the policies, decisions and programs that affect them.

  • Mr Stephen Fraser

    As Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support (SEPS), Victorian Department of Education and Training, Stephen leads policy and program development to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for all students, regardless of their background. Stephen has extensive experience in education policy-making and implementation. He has held a range of senior roles in Victoria, including regional director for the South Western Victoria Region and Executive Director for Implementation. He has also served as a seconded senior advisor to the Victorian Minister for Education and Deputy Premier.

    Stephen also served as deputy chief executive for the Education Endowment Foundation, an independent charity in the UK dedicated to breaking the link between family background and educational attainment through the generation and use of high-quality evidence about what works to improve outcomes for students experiencing disadvantage.

  • Professor Michael Mintrom

    Michael Mintrom is the inaugural director of Monash University's Better Governance and Policy research focus area, and a professor of public policy at Monash University.

    An authority on public policy processes and advocacy, Michael advances knowledge of effective policy development, how policies can have strong, positive impacts, and how academic research can better inform practice. His models of strategic policy development have had significant impact across various areas of government activity. Michael previously chaired a taskforce on early childhood education for the New Zealand government, creating An Agenda for Amazing Children.

  • Assoc. Professor Mark Rickinson

    Mark Rickinson is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University and is currently leading The Q Project, a five-year initiative with the Paul Ramsay Foundation to improve the use of research evidence in Australian schools.

    His work is focused on understanding and improving the use of research in policy and practice.

  • Assoc. Professor Steven Roberts

    Steve Roberts is Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University.

    Steve is an internationally recognised expert in research on youth, social class inequality and young people’s transitions to adulthood, and also on the changing nature of men and masculinities. The latter includes men’s engagement with risky drinking; sexting; emotionality; computer gaming; violence; domestic labour; education; employment. He has published widely in a variety of esteemed international journals on these topics.

  • Mrs Wendy Mears (Secretary)

    Wendy provides administrative support to the centre, coordinating a range of services to ensure the centre functions smoothly.

    A former teacher, Wendy is passionate about the positive impact education can have on young people’s lives.

  • Professor Alan France

  • Andrew Leap

    Andrew is a recent VCE graduate currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce & Global Studies at Monash University. He has a growing history of working, volunteering and advocating in the education and health sector, and has been involved with many initiatives to support young people. This includes speaking to or working with various stakeholders such as policymakers to represent their voices.

  • Yuqi Lin

    Yuqi Lin received her master's degree from Monash University, Faculty of Education. She is interested in the globalisation, internationalisation of higher education, and the well-being of international students.

  • Rebecca Walters

    Rebecca is studying a dual Bachelor of Science (Ecology & Conservation Biology)/Global Studies (International Studies) at Monash University. She seeks to support youth agency with experience facilitating and participating in youth consultations and summits at state, national, and international levels. Rebecca is excited by the YRG as a platform to amplify the voices of young people in youth policy and education practice.

  • Mark Yin

    Mark (he/him) is a 22-year-old third culture kid living on Wurundjeri country. He is completing his Honours in criminology at the University of Melbourne, and is an avid fan of Mariah Carey.

  • Candice Zheng

    My name is Candice, I’m currently doing second year [university], majoring in psychology. I’m very passionate about education and children’s development. In my free time, I like watching anime, decorating planner and writing letters. Fun fact about me: I like baking, but I don’t really like eating them.

  • Stephen Banh

  • Isobel Thomas

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