• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Cat is Forrest Prospect Fellow in the UWA School of Social Sciences with expertise in the sociology of migration, ageing, aged care and care workforce issues, and in Chinese Studies. Her current research, funded by the Forrest Research Foundation, addresses some critical challenges faced by the Australian aged care sector. This project focuses on workforce issues, which requires forging new pathways of knowledge, in particular the pressing need for comprehensive understanding of the experiences and perspectives of the workers themselves, especially those from migrant backgrounds. 

This work builds on her expertise in labour migration. Her recently completed PhD in Anthropology and Sociology is an ethnography of recent trade-skilled migration to Perth titled Unlikely settlers in exceptional times that explores how social class shapes opportunities, choices, and trajectories through the migration process. In 2021 this dissertation received the Jean Martin Award from The Australian Sociological Association and was awarded runner up in the Chinese Studies Association of Australian Best PhD Thesis Prize. Findings from this project have been published in Current Sociology, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy and Transitions

Cat is also Manager, Research Engagement in the Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab. The SAGE team collaborates on projects, consultancies and evaluations with government, service providers and community groups. Cat has significant experience in applied research, having managed and contributed to several projects for government and NFP sector clients, including an evaluation of the Department of Local Government and Communities Age-friendly Grants Program (2017), an evaluation of an anti-ageism community campaign in regional WA (2020), and WA Department of Communities commissioned research into responses to the abuse of older people in Western Australia (2020-22).

Cat was a Research Associate on the ARC Discovery Project  Ageing, Migration and New Media (2016-2020), led by Professor Loretta Baldassar (UWA) and Associate Professor Raelene Wilding (La Trobe), that examined how support networks for older people are affected by their mobility and the dispersal of their family, friends and care services. Cat coordinated the data collection and analysis for the China-born sample.

She is active in supporting the work of the Migration, Mobilities and Belonging research cluster at UWA and in 2017 co-convened The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) conference held at UWA. She is currently the Migration, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism Thematic Group co-coordinator for TASA (2021-23).

Cat was previously employed as a sessional/fixed term unit coordinator since 2013, teaching undergraduates at UWA and at Murdoch University in migration studies, Chinese language and translation, and Asian studies. She continues hold Adjunct Lecturer status at Murdoch. 


Previous positions

Associate Lecturer Anthropology and Sociology/Asian Studies UWA 2017-2020

Associate Lecturer Asian Studies Murdoch 2013-2020

Teaching overview

UWA: ANTH3801 Migration Mobilities and Belonging; CHIN2004 Translation for Beginners Chinese>English; SOCS4100 Honours Research Skills

Murdoch: AST102 Asian Centuries; AST250 Society Culture and Ecology in Asia; AST281 Contemporary Asia - Media, Politics and Popular Culture; AST288 Gender in Asia (tutor only); BUS346 Chinese Business Negotiations; BUS233 Conversational Chinese; BUS 241 Contemporary China 


Migration studies
Ageing and aged care

Chinese diaspora



Education/Academic qualification

Anthropology and Sociology , PhD, The University of Western Australia

Oriental Studies (Chinese) , BA (Hons) , University of Oxford


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