Professor Kitty te Riele is an Honorary Professor at Victoria University. She held the position of Professorial Research Fellow at The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity & Lifelong Learning The Victoria Institute. Before joining VU, she held academic positions at the University of Technology Sydney and The University of Sydney.

Kitty's research projects and publications are focused on ways in which schooling can better engage the most disadvantaged young people in our community. For this purpose, her field of research includes both education/youth policy and practice, with a focus on alternative educational programs. In particular, Kitty's research, publications and community service contribute to a knowledge base about educational initiatives aimed at empowering marginalised young people to achieve school-based qualifications. In relation to this, Kitty is interested in policy for 'youth at risk', especially for raising educational attainment and widening participation. A further research interest is in the ethical conduct of research, and especially ethical challenges in youth research.

Areas of expertise

  • Education and youth policy for marginalised young people
  • Research ethics in education and youth research

Contact details

+61 (3) 6226 6705

Research Supervision

Fran Newell PhD, Tertiary Preparation Courses: A study of their role in student learning journeys and epistemological development

Maggie Callingham PhD, Insider expertise: Students and staff investigate educational engagement in contexts of disadvantage

Daniel Bolotin PhD, Teacher professional collaborative learning  in a low-SES secondary school

Jo Van Son
 EdD, Education partnerships - shaping the learning experiences and outcomes of young people in an alternative education setting

Louisa Ellum PhD, Partnerships and the flexible learning sector in Australia

Tao Bak PhD, Negotiating Difference: Steiner Education as an alternative tradition within the Australian educational landscape

Key publications


Te Riele, K. and Gorur, R. (Eds) (2015). Interrogating conceptions of “vulnerable youth” in theory, policy and practice. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers

Brooks, R., Te Riele, K. & Maguire, M. (2014). Ethics and Education Research. BERA/SAGE Research Methods Book Series. London: SAGE

Te Riele, K. & Brooks, R. (Eds) (2013). Negotiating ethical challenges in youth research. Critical Youth Studies series. New York: Routledge

Te Riele, K. (Ed) (2009). Making Schools Different: Alternative Approaches to Educating Young People. London: SAGE 

Book chapters

Te Riele, K. & Baker, A. (2016, Forthcoming). Ethical Challenges in Visual Educational Research. In B. Pini and J. Moss (Eds). Visual Educational Research: Critical Perspectives. Melbourne: Palgrave

Mills, M., McGregor, G., Hayes, D. & Te Riele, K. (2015). ‘Schools are for us’. The importance of distribution, recognition and representation to creating socially just schools. Pp. 152-169 in S. Riddle, A. Black, K. Trimmer (Eds). Researching Mainstreams, Margins and the Spaces In-Between. Routledge

Te Riele, K. (2015). Education policy ‘at risk’. Pp 149-156 in H. Proctor, P. Brownlee & P. Freebody (Eds). Controversies in Education. Orthodoxy and Heresy in Policy and Practice. Dordrecht: Springer

Journal articles

McGregor, G., Mills, M., Te Riele, K. & Hayes, D. (2015). Excluded from school: Getting a second chance at a ‘meaningful’ education. International Journal of Inclusive Education 19 (6) 608-625.

Te Riele, K. (2011). Raising educational attainment: How young people’s experiences speak back to the ‘Compact with young Australians’. Critical Studies in Education 52 (1) 93-107 

Te Riele, K. (2010). Philosophy of hope: Concepts and applications for working with marginalised youth. Journal of Youth Studies 13 (1) 35-46

Te Riele, K. (2007). Educational alternatives for marginalised youth. Australian Educational Researcher 34 (3) 53-68

Te Riele, K. (2006). Youth ‘at risk’: further marginalizing the marginalized? Journal of Education Policy 21 (2) 129-146


Te Riele, K., Davies, M. & Baker, A. (2015). Passport to a Positive Future. Evaluation of the Melbourne Academy. Melbourne: The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity and Lifelong Learning.

Te Riele, K. & Gould, R. (2015). Evaluation of the Education Justice Initiative. Interim Report. Melbourne: The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity and Lifelong Learning

Te Riele, K. (2014). Putting the jigsaw together: Flexible learning programs in Australia. Final report (PDF). Melbourne: The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity and Lifelong Learning.

Te Riele, K. (2012). Learning Choices: A map for the future. Sydney: Dusseldorp Skills Forum.

Research grants

VU Central Research Grant Scheme (2015), co-CI with Dr Vicky Plows (VU) Professional learning for socially inclusive schooling – supporting educators in alternative schools

NCVER (2014-15), co-CI, led by Dr George Myconos (Brotherhood of St Laurence) Shedding light: private RTO training for young early school leavers

Parkville College (2014-15), sole CI, The Education Justice Initiative

Melbourne City Mission (2014), lead CI, with Dr Merryn Davies and Dr Alison Baker, Evaluation of the Melbourne Academy

ARC LP (2013-16), co-CI, led by Professor Sue McGinty (JCU) Gauging the Value of Flexible Learning Options for Disenfranchised Youth and the Australian Community

ARC DP (2012-14), co-CI, led by Professor Martin Mills (UQ) School retention through alternative schooling: Towards a socially just approach to education

Ian Potter Foundation, sole CI, (2012-13) Putting the jigsaw together: Innovative learning engagement programs in Australia