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Cate MacMillan is a PhD student with the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems in the Faculty of Arts and Business. Cate’s career as a teacher in secondary schools, administrator in Primary and Secondary schools culminating in seven years as Principal of Noosa District SHS, always had a focus on the inclusion and education of young adults with disabilities. A change in career to return to study Property Economics and Development in 2011 enabled Cate to continue to work as a volunteer with adults with disabilities through The Compass Institute at Palmwoods. Cate became aware of the need to address housing options for adults with disabilities wanting to leave the family home. Realising that there was an ad-hoc approach to what individual families were undertaking in trying to provide housing options for adults with intellectual disability on the Sunshine Coast, Cate began to look to the Planning Scheme documents for answers. On graduating with a BBus Property Economics and Development in 2014 Cate investigated the area of study presented in this research. Her PhD research is aiming to provide a platform on which planners, housing providers and financiers can support families and adults with intellectual disability to access a variety of independent living opportunities.The three-year study will involve interviews with adults aged between 18 and 40 with an intellectual disability, parents, and industry and service providers such as mortgage brokers.


  • –present
    PhD candidate, University of the Sunshine Coast


  • 2014 
    University Sunshine Coast , BBus Property Economics and Development
  • 1987 
    University Southern Queensland, Grad Dip Teach Exceptional Children
  • 1978 
    Queensland University Technology, Dip Teach Health & PE/Geography