Skip to Content

Institute of Early Childhood

Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett

bio Neilsen-Hewett CatherineTitle: Doctor
Position: Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching
Qualifications: PhD, BA(Hons)





Has been a lecturer and researcher in Child Development for over 12 years and currently holds a lectureship at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University.

As a mother of three young children, understanding children's development and promoting positive approaches to parenting has become both a passion and a full-time career. Her parenting and child development advice is based on sound academic experience and research principles as well as extensive personal and field experience.

Postgraduate Research Supervision



Research Topic

Meike Mackenzie


Case study of the inclusion of a young child with Autism Spectrum Disorder into a mainstream early childhood setting in Australia

Lisa Deters


Collective Caregiving: Reconceptualising the Role of Early Childhood Development in Emergencies

Rozana Lilley


Experiences of School Choice and Change for Mothers of
Students Diagnosed with Autism

Zinnia Mevawalla


Young Thinkers Without Borders: Critical Consciousness, Social Justice and Resistance - the Experiences of Young Street Children in Mumbai, India

Stacey Campbell


Early Childhood Educators Views About Code Related Literacy Development, Phonics Instruction, and the use of Commercial Phonics Programs

Yany Lopez


The Seesaw dynamic: Conceptualising child participation in a fragile context.
A case study of Cabusao, Philippines

Nanditha Hettitantri


Love, Rights and Solidarity: Facilitating young children's wellbeing in a rebuilding post-conflict context in Sri Lanka

Aliza Salvador


More than just toys: An investigation of the prevalence and use of toys that represent disability

Katie Wright


Reducing barriers to being and doing in early childhood: Participatory action research with early childhood teachers


My research background reflects an interest in children's social relationships as well as a focus on contextual influences on children's socio-emotional adjustment in child-care and school. My Phd research investigated links between children's in school and out of school peer relationship and their adjustment at school.

Community Outreach

Cathrine has delivered workshops and invited addresses to parents, corporations and government bodies both in Australia and overseas. Her expertise includes development in early and middle childhood, the importance of positive peer relationships, bullying, childhood socialisation, parenting and the importance of play.

Cathrine is a regular contributor to online parenting and child development websites including Huggies, Kidslife, Bumpmag, DryNites and Early Learning Centre as well as parenting and lifestyle magazines. She has appeared on both the Today Show and A Current Affair and has been interviewed for numerous radio programs across Australia as well as newspaper articles both nationally and overseas. Her most recent media experience includes two appearances as part of an expert panel for the new Mums & Bubs program showing on Channel 7.


Year Link Citation

Neilsen-Hewett, C., Harrison, L., Taylor, A., Sweller, N. & Bowes, J. (in press). Parents' views on their use of multiple and changeable care - Using computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) in the Child Care Choices (CCC) study. Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2010 International Education Research Conference.


Neilsen-Hewett, C., & Coutts, P. (2009).  From home to the world beyond: The interconnections of family, care and educational contexts.  In J. Bowes & R. Grace, R. (Ed.), Children, families and communities: Contexts and consequences. (pp.111-128). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.


Bowes, J., Neilsen-Hewett, C., Fiora, M. Taylor, A., Simpson, T., & Wise, S. (2006, July).  Young children's social skills with peers: Reports from primary carers at home and in child care.  Paper presented as part of a symposium convened by J. Bowes and J Bryant, Contextual perspectives on children's gendered relationships with peers, at the 19th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, Melbourne.


Bowes, J., Harrison, L., Sweller, N., Taylor, A., & Neilsen-Hewett, C.(2009, July). Child care influences on children's adjustment and achievement in the first year of school.  Paper to be presented at the Australian Social Policy Conference


Bowes, J., Harrison, L., Sweller, N., Taylor, A., & Neilsen-Hewett, C. (June, 2009). From Child Care to School: Influences on Children's Adjustment and Achievement in the Year before School and the First Year of School: Findings from the Child Care Choices Longitudinal Extension Study. Research Report to the NSW Department of Community Services.

1999 HAYES A, NEILSEN-HEWETT C, WARTON P. (1999); From home to the world beyond: The interconnections among family, care and educational contexts, Jennifer Bowes and Alan Hayes(Ed/s) in Children, Families and Communities: Contexts and Consequences, pp.94-114


Year Source Title Amount
2010 MQ Competitive Grants Scheme Student and staff perspectives and expectations of first-year students' academic skills. $9,754
2004 NSW Department of Community Services Longitudinal extension to 8 Years of the Child Care Choices research project $1,304,360
2003 Australian Centre for Educational Studies Research Seeding Grant Understanding and theorising about infants: 400-level students understanding of infant development $3,266

[back to top]