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Professor Kay Cook



Kay Cook is a Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Swinburne University. Her work 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 research has contributed to the development of the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2010 General Social Survey, the Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into Family Violence and Commonwealth Law, and the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support Program. She was the current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Family Studies from 2012 - 2018 and is a current Co-Director of the International Network of Child Support Scholars.

Kay’s ARC Future Fellowship examined the personal, practical and institutional barriers to child support faced by women in Australia, the UK and USA. This project builds on her 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.

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

  • 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
  • 2017: Women?s access to child support: a comparative investigation *; ARC Future Fellowships
  • 2016: Addressing childcare flexibility *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme

* Chief Investigator

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