Global Consortium for International Family Studies

Faculty of University of New Castle Australia

Prof. Alan Hayes AM
Distinguished Professor of Family Studies and Director of the Family Action Centre,
Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Australia.


Professor Hayes was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2012 for service to the social sciences through the Australian Institute of Family Studies, as a contributor to policy research, and as an academic and author.

He holds a B.A. (Hons I) in Psychology from the University of New South Wales, Australia and a Ph.D. from Macquarie University, Australia, awarded for a study of mother-infant interaction.

A Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (FAPS), his distinguished national and international academic research career and publishing record have been focused on the life pathways of children and the role of families in sustaining development, fostering resilience and reducing vulnerabilities. His work has influenced the development and evaluation of effective policies and programs to support families, throughout the life-course, with a particular emphasis on prevention and early intervention. Following over a decade in the position of Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), in July 2015 he took up the inaugural Distinguished Chair in the discipline of family studies at the University of Newcastle; a first for an Australian university.

He has chaired two Australian Government ministerial advisory councils and, until mid-2015, was a member of numerous key Australian Government advisory bodies focused on children and families. Prof. Hayes has also chaired the Children and Families Research Centre (CFRC) Advisory Board at Macquarie University and been a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Children and Young People at the Southern Cross University. Currently, he is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council, for the NSW Centre for Educational Statistics and Evaluation (CESE).

An Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, he has been a Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin and the Pennsylvania State University. Since 2007, he has been an Ambassador for National Families Week.

You can read more about him here

Dr. Deborah Hartman
Coordinator International Family Studies and Lecturer
Family Action Centre
Faculty of Health and Medicine
New Castle, Australia


Biography: Dr Deborah Hartman has been an educator/researcher in the field of gender identities, social and educational outcomes and Family Studies, at the Family Action Centre since 1999. Her research interests include families and family members in all their diversity. She is particularly interested in drawing conceptual links between individual gendered identities, educational opportunities and outcomes, and diversity in families and communities in order to build the trans-disciplinary, international field of Family Studies at the University of Newcastle.

Qualifications : PhD (Education), from the University of Newcastle, 2014

Master of Education, from Deakin University, 1997

Graduate Diploma, Teaching English as a Second Language, Darwin Community College, 1984

Batchelor of Arts, Macquarie University, 1981

Diploma in Teaching, Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, 1974.

Publications : Educating Boys: whats your problem? A field and discourse analysis of Australian boys education from 1996-2006.

McCumpsie, D., Neville, C., Hartman, D. & Donnelly, D. (2014). Student Voice: Where it matters most in curriculum design. Teaching History, Journal of the History Teachers Association of NSW Inc., Vol 48 No 4, Dec 2015, 26-29.

You can read more about her here

Dr. Jennifer St. George
Sr. Lecturer, Family Studies
University of Newcastle, Australia
Contact Information:


Dr Jennifer St. George is a Senior Lecturer in Family Studies with the University of Newcastle, Australia and also the Program Convenor Graduate Certificate and Master of Family Studies.

Dr Jennifer has written an award winning Ph D thesis in Music Educational Psychology from the University of Newcastle.

She teaches Foundations in Family Studies, Family-Centered Practice, Men in Human Services, and Qualitative Research Methods. She has particular interest and expertise in applying qualitative research methods, is a registered trainer in NVivo qualitative analysis software since 2007, and also reviews journals in related areas.

Her research contributes to the Fathers and Families Research Program (F&FRP), Faculty of Health. Her research team led by Associate Professor Richard Fletcher focuses on several areas related to fatherhood such as the role of the father in family life and child well-being, and how fathers can be included in human services. Her recent research focuses on how fathers' challenging and physical play affects childrens social-emotional development

You can read more about her here

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