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Professor Kay Cook



Kay Cook is a Professor and the Associate Dean of Research in the School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education at Swinburne University of Technology. Her research explores how new and developing social policies such as welfare-to-work, child support and child care policies, transform relationships between individuals, families and the state. Her work seeks to make the personal impact of these policies explicit in order to provide tangible evidence to policy makers to affect more humanistic reform.

Her Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2017-2020) examined the personal, practical and institutional barriers to child support faced by women in Australia, the UK and USA. This project built on Professor Cook's gender critique of child support policymaking, data practices and implementation in order to strike a more equitable balance between women’s responsibility for managing child support payments and the social, administrative and political context in which this responsibility exists. More recently, her work has examined how economic abuse is perpetrated through banking, financial and government systems.

Professor Cook's research has contributed to numerous parliamentary inquries and academic processes. She was an advisor on the development of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2010 General Social Survey, was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Family Studies from 2012 - 2018, a Co-Director of the International Network of Child Support Scholars, and is the current Secretary of The Australian Sociological Association.

Research interests


PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Gender, Policy And Administration - 440705
  • Sociology - 441000
  • Social Policy - 440712


Also published as: Cook, Kay; Cook, K.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2024: Charting a way forward for the arc family violence app *; Safe and Equal Inc Fund Scheme
  • 2024: Developing systemic interventions for intimate partner financial abuse *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2024: Goulburn Valley Family Care - Evaluating the partnership approach adopted in the Goulburn Flood Recovery Centre *; GOULBURN VALLEY FAMILY CARE INC FUND SCHEME
  • 2023: RFQ - Child and Young Person-focused MARAM tool development *; Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
  • 2022: Aurora Australis Ultimo Choro *; Wild System - John McCormic Fund Scheme
  • 2021: RFQ: Preventing Financial Abuse of Women – Safety by Design *; Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • 2021: Wellbeing Check Program Evaluation *; Australian Red Cross
  • 2019: Mapping right-wing extremism in Victoria and applying a gender lens to develop prevention and deradicalisation approaches *; Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • 2018: Doing better for vulnerable young parents and their children: an exploration of how the use of technology could catalyse system transformation *; FamilyLife_FL
  • 2017: 2017 Visiting Fellowships Scheme - Professor Christine Skinner *; Swinburne Research, DVCR&D - Internal contributions
  • 2016: Addressing childcare flexibility *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme

* Chief Investigator

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