Leader Tuning in to Kids Research and Dissemination

Professor Sophie Havighurst is the leader of Tuning in to Kids Research and Dissimenation and a program author of the Tuning in to Kids® suite of programs. She is a child clinical psychologist and a Professor at the University of Melbourne. She completed a degree in clinical psychology at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 1998 before moving to Australia to undertake a PhD at the University of Melbourne, which she completed in 2003. This provided her with the theoretical, methodological and practical foundations for the work on Tuning in to Kids® – the original parenting program which she developed in collaboration with Ann Harley.

Sophie is the Principal Researcher for the Tuning in to Kids research team and provides supervision to postgraduate students as well as other researchers and professionals around the world who are evaluating the program in a range of settings and with different populations. In 2018-2019 she worked at the University of Oslo, Norway, where she is now an honorary research fellow. She also works as a clinical psychologist in private practice.


ANN HARLEY (Dip Teach, BA, Grad Dip Ed, MEd.)

Program Consultant

Ann is co-author of the Tuning in to Kids® suite of programs. She has a background in teaching, social research and counselling. She completed her Master of Education at the University of Melbourne in 2012 and has over 40 years’ experience in parent education and in working with parents and carers in the community, in a variety of settings. This has informed the development of the Tuning in to Kids ® suite of parenting programs. Along with Sophie, Ann is the co-author and developer of the original parenting program Tuning in to Kids®, as well as the later programs, Tuning in to Teens™ Dads Tuning in to Kids™ and Tuning in to Toddlers™.

Ann is an experienced educator and provides specialist consultation to professional trainees in the Tuning in to Kids® suite of programs, as well as agencies providing parenting services.



Research Manager

Christiane is currently Research Manager for the Tuning in to Kids® suite of programs and co-author of Tuning in to Teens™, Tuning in to Toddlers™ and the Whole School Approach. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2014, where her research involved the pilot trial and subsequent development of the Tuning in to Teens™ program, as well as the first randomised control trial which established the efficacy of this program for parents of pre-adolescents. She was Project Manager for the second evaluation of that program and for the trial of the Tuning in to Toddlers™ program. More recently she has adapted Tuning in to Teens™ for use as a Whole School Approach for teachers, parents, and students.

In addition to her role as Research Manager, Christiane is an accredited facilitator trainer for the entire Tuning in to Kids® suite of programs, and provides supervision and consultation to professional trainees, parents and teachers.



Events & Communications Coordinator

Sally Keighery completed a BA in literature and philosophy. She has since completed postgraduate studies in writing and editing. She brings over twenty years of experience in the community education sector, researching and developing content and short courses to enrich the lives of adult learners. She discovered Tuning in to Kids as a parent in 2016 and was thrilled to join the team as events and communications coordinator in 2017. She is an avid reader, walker and photographer, and the proud mother of a vivacious tween who constantly reminds her when to ‘tune in’.

GABI MACDONALD (BA, Dip Ed, Grad Dip Arts)

Training Manager

Gabi Macdonald has many years’ experience working in non-clinical mental health settings as well as community development and primary education. She is dedicated to supporting individuals through delivering group experiences. Gabi has been facilitating Tuning in to Kids and Tuning in to Teens programs since 2013, and has enjoyed introducing the power of these programs to hundreds of carers. She has a Diploma of Education and a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Dramatic arts.

Nikki Boswell (Ph.D)

Research Assistant

Nikki joined the Tuning in to Kids Team as a Research Assistant in April 2022. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland with a focus on understanding the relationship between family food environments and eating behaviours during early childhood. Nikki has a Master’s in Human Nutrition and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary Education). Nikki has over 10 years’ experience working with families and young people through her work in health promotion, community nutrition and education. She is a passionate Home Economist who values the integral role of food in connecting families, communities and cultures. In her role at Tuning in to Kids, Nikki is currently involved in evaluating the Tuning in to Kids® programs.

Xin (Abby) Zhang (BScEcon, Ph.D.)

Research Assistant

Xin joined the Tuning in to Kids Team as a Research Assistant in April 2022 after completing her Bachelor and PhD in Economics at Monash University. She has expertise in statistical analyses used to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of early childhood and primary school interventions, including complex multi-level analyses.  Xin has been involved in research and field experiments in Bangladesh and China and is passionate about improving the lives of children in rural areas of developing countries. Xin is currently conducting statistical analyses evaluating the efficacy of different methods of delivery of the Tuning in to Kids® programs.