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About Dr Cathy Byrne

Dr Cathy Byrne, PhD (Sociol) (MACQU), GradDipEd (Secondary) (ACU), MArts (Studies in Religion) (UQ), GradCert (MgtEconomics) (QUT), BA (Comm-Journalism) (CSU).
I specialise in the sociology of education, particularly the politics of religion in state schooling. I have undertaken several mixed methods studies into intercultural competence, inquiry-based pedagogies and critical thinking about religions.
My research outputs include a monograph, 4 book chapters, 11 peer-reviewed articles, multiple conference presentations (9 invited) and 12 social media editorials. I have conducted extended interviews with young children, parents, University Research Directors, teachers and volunteers. I have a good understanding of survey design and focus group facilitation. I have undertaken qualitative thematic content analysis (using NVivo) and quantitative data analysis (with SPSS). I am keen to apply these tools to larger data sets.
I lecture in education and sociology, and am particularly interested in academic activism on children's rights, education policy and social justice regarding religious diversity in secular settings. I am a qualified secondary teacher (Studies f Religion, Society and Culture, Business Studies) and have also taught primary school ethics, and occasionally, senior maths and legal studies.
I was an advisor to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on intercultural understanding and ethical behaviours from 2012 to 2014. As co-founder of the Religions and Ethics Education Network of Australia (REENA) I collaborated on submissions to state and federal parliamentary inquiries and the National Curriculum Review.
In 2013, as Project Manager for a 5-university, federally funded research project into professional Doctorates, I undertook qualitative interviews and helped to develop quantitative measures. I was responsible for all administration including ethics applications, co-ordination and logistics for meetings and events, literature reviews and library compilation, data analysis and drafting of publications, interview protocols, interviews, transcription and data management, coding, dissemination website development, stakeholder engagement and financial reports.
Prior to my academic work, I provided market research, analysis and reports for commercial private investors, large industrial client executives and local government agencies.
I had the 'best supervisor ever' for my PhD and I'd be honored to be of service to Honours, Masters and Doctoral students.


January 2014 - Present Lecturer (Education and Sociology), Southern Cross University School of Education

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • 3 Teaching Commendations


  • Human Society and its Environments: Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Doing Social Research (Methods)
  • Society and Deviance
  • Introduction to Sociology

Contact Information

PO Box 159
Lismore NSW
Australia 2480
Mobile: 0422400468


Books (1)

Book chapters (4)

Journal articles (16)

Editorials (8)