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Career Summary


Cathy's professional background is in Social Work, Counselling and Student Support Services management. She is accredited as a Mental Health Social Worker with the AASW. Cathy has a long standing interest in and commitment to student equity, widening participation and improving the student experience for increasingly diverse university student cohorts. Her key research interests involve the experiences of mature-age and first-in-family students in which she has a number of publications. Cathy's doctoral dissertation was on the experience of mature age students entering university via an enabling program. Cathy is a recipient of a Carrick (now OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Following nearly 20 years as a Counsellor and Senior Manager within Student and Academic Services at the University of Newcastle, Cathy worked for Open Universities Australia as the Director of Student Success until the end of 2014. She now continues her connection with the University of Newcastle as a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in Social Work as well as working as a consultant in student success in the higher education sector.


  • PhD, University of Sydney, 16/10/2009


Research keywords

  • First-in-family students
  • Mature age students
  • Student Equity
  • Student Experience
  • Student Success

Research expertise

Student experience; impact of higher ed on mature age students; equity in education; aspects of university counselling,

Fields of Research

139900Other Education100


Body relevant to professional practice.

  • Member - Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
  • Fellow - Australia and New Zealand Student Services Assoc


Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association (JANZSSA) (Australia)



2007Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
Carrick Institute (Australia)
2007Vice Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
University of Newcastle (Australia)


Research into the experiences of mature-age and first-in-family students.


Administrative expertise

Student support services; Management; Counselling


Teaching keywords

  • Social Work

Teaching expertise

Social work



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (1 outputs)

2012Stone CM, O'Shea S, Transformations and self discovery : Stories of women returning to education, Common Ground, Champaign, IL, 110 (2012) [A2]

Journal article (12 outputs)

2015O Shea S, Stone C, Delahunty J, '¿I ¿feel¿ like I am at university even though I am online.¿ Exploring how students narrate their engagement with higher education institutions in an online learning environment', Distance Education, (2015)
2014O'Shea S, Stone C, 'The hero¿s journey: Stories of women returning to education', The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 5 79-91 (2014) [C1]
2013Stone C, O'Shea S, 'Time, money, leisure and guilt - the gendered challenges of higher education for mature-age students', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ADULT LEARNING, 53 95-116 (2013) [C1]
2011O'Shea S, Stone CM, 'Transformations and self-discovery: Mature-age women's reflections on returning to university study', Studies in Continuing Education, 33 273-288 (2011) [C1]
2011Stone CM, 'The secret of excellence in student services - a case example of cross-institution collaboration and cooperation', Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association, 37 70-73 (2011) [C3]
2008Stone CM, 'Listening to individual voices and stories: The mature-age student experience', Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 48 263-290 (2008) [C1]
2005Stone CM, 'Promoting an integrated campus-wide approach to first year student retention', JANZSSA. Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association, 26 33-40 (2005) [C2]
2004Stone CM, 'Negotiating professional supervision in non-government welfare organisations', Psychotherapy in Australia, 11 72-77 (2004) [C3]
2002Stone CM, 'Counselling via e-mail: Applying therapeutic letter-writing skills to new technologies', JANZSSA. Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association, 19 61-77 (2002) [C2]
1999Stone CM, 'Standing up to fear and self-doubt: Tackling the challenge of mature age study', JANZSSA. Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association, 13 4-14 (1999) [C1]
1997Stone CM, 'Medical diagnosis of postnatal depression: Help or hindrance?', Australian Social Work, 50 49-56 (1997) [C1]
1989Stone C, 'The Use of Normalizing and Externalizing in Helping Women to Overcome Post-Natal Depression', Dulwich Centre Newsletter, (1989) [C3]
Show 9 more

Conference (1 outputs)

2014O¿Shea S, Stone C, May JR, ''Breaking the Barriers: supporting and engaging mature age first-in-family university learners and their families'', Proceedings of the 17th International First Year in Higher Education (FYHE) Conference Darwin, Australia, July 2014., Darwin, Australia (2014) [E1]



Grants and Funding


Number of grants1
Total funding$5,350

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

Breaking the barriers: supporting and engaging mature age first-in-family university learners and their families$5,350
Funding Body: Office for Learning and Teaching

Project Team
Associate Professor Josephine May, Dr Sarah O'Shea, Doctor Cathy Stone, Ms Janine Delahunty
Commissioned Strategic ProjectsInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.


Dr Catherine (Cathy) Stone

PositionConjoint Senior Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaSocial Work