Melissa is a research fellow at the Mitchell Institute.

She obtained her doctorate from Monash University in 2020 and she has worked at Victoria University for several years since.

Melissa has worked on research projects across the school system, from early childhood education and care and schooling, to tertiary education. She is skilled in qualitative research and mixed methods.


Areas of expertise

  • Youth research
  • Schooling
  • School choice
  • Enrolment processes and equity
  • Early childhood education and care
  • Access and quality
  • Place-based research

Contact details

(03) 9919 1302


Ho, S. S., Wong, B. B., Tham, M., & Brookes, R. H. (2016). Science undergraduates are motivated to undertake leadership education to enhance employability and impact. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (formerly CAL-laborate International), 24(3).

Hicks, M., Tham, M., & Brookes, R. (2016). Exploring the function of online narratives to develop critical thinking and localisation of knowledge in an international science program. British Journal of Educational Technology.

Media appearances

Tham, M. (2023). Better, cheaper childcare is on the horizon, but four challenges remain. The Conversation

Tham, M. (2021). More stress, unclear results. Are selective schools worth it? The Conversation

Tham, M. (2022). Skills and jobs in Melbourne’s West podcast series.

Sims, M. (2022). Skills shortage starting to bite. Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay Star Weekly.


  • Co-supervision of 1 PhD candidate.

Professional memberships

  • Australian Association for Research in Education.