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Professor and Research Director, School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Swinburne University of Technology

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 (2017-2020) 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.


  • 2017–present
    Associate professor, Department of Social Sciences


  • 2005 
    The University of Melbourne, PhD / Sociology