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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Cathy Waite is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice.

Cathy’s scholarly work is concerned with highlighting the inequalities faced by young people in contemporary Australia and providing a voice for those on the margins. As a researcher, Cathy seeks to contribute to a body of knowledge that helps to improve participation in, and access to, education by articulating barriers and focusing on opportunities for change.  In particular, she is interested in young people in Australia’s rural and regional areas and their subjective experiences of space and place through the lens of digital media.

Cathy’s current work in the Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice seeks to change the conversation about young people in Australia within the current Covid-recovery landscape. Her work in the Centre aims to inform policy and educational interventions designed to mitigate youth disadvantage, while ultimately helping to improve youth outcomes now and into the future.



Cathy completed her PhD in Youth Studies and Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Monash University. Her doctoral research investigated the place-making practices of young people from different backgrounds in regional Australia, and highlighted the contradictory role that digital technologies played in young peoples’ spatial experiences.

She has previously worked as a Research Consultant at the Social Research Centre (owned by the Australian National University) where she was project manager on multiple program evaluations. These projects were commissioned by government to ascertain the effectiveness of a range of social interventions, ranging from education programs to employment initiatives, and projects focused on supporting vulnerable youth and child care subsidy recipients.

Cathy is also a committed and innovative educator, having taught across a range of areas within the field of Sociology.  Cathy has lectured in the areas of Family studies, Youth studies and first year sociology, and tutored in the areas of ethnicity and identity, popular culture, digital life, environment and society, gender and sexuality, globalization and social theory.

Supervision interests

  • Young people and youth sociology
  • Rural and regional experience
  • Space and place as an analytical lens
  • Digital life and social media analyses
  • Youth transitions
  • Education and youth policy interventions
  • Qualitative methods

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Sociology , PhD, Young people making place in the country: Place- making under the conditions of globalisation, MONASH UNIVERSITY

3 Mar 201431 Jan 2018

Award Date: 31 Jan 2018

Sociology , Master of Philosophy, 'It keeps me in the loop': Re-thinking social networking sites from the perspectives of young rural residents, University of Melbourne

1 Jun 201029 Nov 2013

Award Date: 29 Nov 2013

Sociology and Anthropology, Bachelor or Arts(Hons), Australian National University (ANU)

1 Feb 200331 Oct 2006

Award Date: 31 Oct 2006

Research area keywords

  • Youth studies
  • Digital culture
  • Place-making
  • Space and place
  • Rural issues
  • Policy studies in education/training and work
  • Youth transitions
  • Youth and media
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Rural and Regional Education
  • Social Media
  • Digital education
  • Young People
  • Evaluation
  • Evaluation methodology

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or