Ms Cassie Curryer

Ms Cassie Curryer

Research student

Career Summary



  • 2008. Adv. Diploma Local, Family & Applied History, (Adv. Dip. LFAH), University of New England (UNE).
  • 2011. Bachelor of Social Science, University of Newcastle (UoN).
  • 2015. B. Social Science Hons. Class 1, University of Newcastle (UoN).

Recipient of the University of Newcastle 2015 University Medal (Welfare) and Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research Candidate.

I am passionate about sociology and social policy, especially as related to gender and ageing, ageing-in-place, housing, and consumer choice. 

My interests include:

  • sociology
  • social policy
  • ageing (aged care policies, ageing-in-place, social support and relationships, informal caregiving).
  • consumer-directed care (CDC) and choice
  • housing (ageing-in-place, environmental adaptation, housing unaffordability and precariousness)
  • community welfare/human services delivery (policy, consumer welfare, choice, individualisation and risk)
  • gender studies (including women's health, gender disadvantage)

I am currently engaged in Higher Degree Research (HDR) (Candidate, PhD Sociology & Anthropology), which examines the nexus between ageing, housing, and social policy.

Social policy influences our daily lives in a myriad of ways- not always noticed and often unanticipated. Social policy is about power; the contests and debates over the distribution of scarce resources and whose interests are prioritised at any given time and place. Social policy also inculcates a range of ideologies and discourses that inform our values and beliefs, and the wider social world. Within contemporary contexts, there is greater complexity, diversity, and individualization of risk; but also opportunities for positive change. One such change has been the move towards consumer directed care (CDC), and greater policy focus on consumer choice and ageing-in-place.

This Higher Degree Research project follows on from my Bachelor of Social Science Honours (Welfare) thesis titled Interrogating the Discourse of Consumer Directed Care, and work undertaken when previously employed at the Research Centre for Generational Health & Ageing (RCGHA) on housing and aged care services.

My PhD study is a qualitative exploration of the housing and social circumstances of women who are ageing-in-place (i.e. in their home and surrounded by a variety of services), their social support networks, and their expectations for the future. The study aims to improve policy and service responsiveness towards the expressed needs and choices of women consumers ageing in the community.

The research is supported by the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts (School of Humanities & Social Sciences) and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), UNSW.

Member of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA), Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), and Emerging Researchers on Ageing (ERA).


  • ageing
  • consumer directed care
  • gender
  • housing
  • social policy
  • sociology
  • welfare
  • women's health

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies 30
160512 Social Policy 40
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified 30

Professional Experience

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
11/02/2011 - 30/04/2016 Research Assistant

  • Driving the production of research papers within the Centre: co-writing, editing, preparation and submission of research papers for peer-review journal publication (including managing papers in the too-hard basket), managing revisions, literature reviews, referencing, research and collaboration/ liaison with co-authors and agencies (reviewing drafts, proofing documents, organising technical reviews, completing annual reports, advising co-authors regarding submission outcomes and progress, liaison with journal editorial teams/editors), providing editing and writing expertise to other collaborators, staff and PhD candidates.
  • During 2012-14, I provided assistance in research, writing, and journal submissions of manuscripts for Professor Lynne Parkinson, Editor of the Australasian Journal of Ageing (AAJA).
  • Research collaboration on various projects, including the WHO Health of Older People in the Western Pacific Region (2011-2013), and House and Home Project (2015-2016).

Priority Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing (RCGHA), The University of Newcastle, NSW.



Year Award
2015 University Medal (Welfare Studies)
University of Newcastle


Year Award
2015 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research Candidate (PhD)
The University of Newcastle
2014 ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) Supplementary Scholarship
ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR)
2014 APA PhD Scholarship
The University of Newcastle


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

Journal article (11 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Forder P, Byles J, Vo K, Curryer C, Loxton D, 'Cumulative incidence of admission to permanent residential aged care for Australian women - A competing risk analysis.', Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, (2017)
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12713
Co-authors Deborah Loxton, Julie Byles, Peta Forder
2016 Olson B, Gribble B, Dias J, Curryer C, Vo K, Kowal P, Byles J, 'Cervical cancer screening programs and guidelines in low- and middle-income countries.', Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 134 239-246 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ijgo.2016.03.011
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Julie Byles
2015 Byles JE, Leigh L, Vo K, Forder P, Curryer C, 'Life space and mental health: A study of older community-dwelling persons in Australia', Aging and Mental Health, 19 98-106 (2015) [C1]

© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Objectives: The ability of older people to mobilise within and outside their community is dependent on a number of factors. This study explored the... [more]

© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Objectives: The ability of older people to mobilise within and outside their community is dependent on a number of factors. This study explored the relationship between spatial mobility and psychological health among older adults living in Australia. Methods: The survey sample consisted of 260 community-dwelling men and women aged 75-80 years, who returned a postal survey measuring spatial mobility (using the Life Space Questionnaire) and psychological health (using the SF36 Health Related Quality of Life Profile). From the Life Space Questionnaire, participants were given a life-space score and multinomial regression was used to explore the potential effect of mental health on life-space score. Results: The study found a significant association between mental health and life space. However, gender, physical functioning, and ability to drive were most strongly associated with the extent of life space and spatial mobility. Compared to men, older women are more likely to experience less spatial mobility and restricted life space, and hence are more vulnerable to social isolation. Conclusion: Mental health and life space were associated for the older people in this study. These findings have important implications for health policy and highlight the need to support older persons to maintain independence and social networks, and to successfully age in place within their community. This study also highlights the utility of the Life Space Questionnaire in terms of identi fying older persons at risk of poorer mental health.

DOI 10.1080/13607863.2014.917607
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6
Co-authors Julie Byles, Peta Forder
2015 MACKENZIE L, CURRYER C, BYLES JE, 'Narratives of home and place: findings from the Housing and Independent Living Study', Ageing and Society, 35 1684-1712 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/S0144686X14000476
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Julie Byles
2014 Byles JE, Robinson I, Banks E, Gibson R, Leigh L, Rodgers B, et al., 'Psychological distress and comorbid physical conditions: Disease or disability?', Depression and Anxiety, 31 524-532 (2014) [C1]

Background: The relationship between comorbidity and psychological distress is well documented, however the mechanism of this association is unclear. We aim to assess the extent t... [more]

Background: The relationship between comorbidity and psychological distress is well documented, however the mechanism of this association is unclear. We aim to assess the extent to which the association between common chronic conditions and high scores on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) measure of psychological distress vary according to comorbid conditions, disability, and sociodemographic circumstances. Methods: Analysis of self-reported cross-sectional data from the New South Wales 45 and Up Study, Australia, for 236,508 participants aged 45 years and over, using logistic regression modeling. Results: Self-reported heart attack/angina, other heart disease, stroke, and diabetes were all significantly associated with higher risk of high/very high K10 scores. These associations were attenuated, but remained statistically significant, when comorbidity, disability, and sociodemographic factors were added to the model.Men reporting needing help for daily tasks were nine times as likely to report high/very high K10 scores as those without this need, and women reporting needing help were seven times more likely to have high/very high K10 scores. Conclusions: Heart attack/angina, other heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are all significantly associated with psychological distress. However, these effects are partly explained by other comorbid conditions, limitations on physical functioning, and sociodemographic factors. These findings highlight the importance of developing public health policies that encompass psychological, physiological, and social domains, and provide crucial insights for clinicians in identifying and supporting those people at risk of psychological distress. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI 10.1002/da.22162
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 11
Co-authors Julie Byles
2014 Byles JE, Mackenzie L, Redman S, Parkinson L, Leigh L, Curryer C, 'Supporting housing and neighbourhoods for healthy ageing: Findings from the Housing and Independent Living Study (HAIL)', Australasian Journal on Ageing, 33 29-35 (2014) [C1]

Aim: To identify the extent to which homes and neighbourhoods of older community-dwelling people are 'supportive'. Method: Cross-sectional survey, in-home observation an... [more]

Aim: To identify the extent to which homes and neighbourhoods of older community-dwelling people are 'supportive'. Method: Cross-sectional survey, in-home observation and interviews involving 202 participants (75-79 years). Measures included SF-36 health-related quality of life and Late Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI) scores, and self-reported home usability, access, safety and neighbourhood. Associations between home and neighbourhood characterist ics were assessed using ¿ 2 -tests, t-tests and Pearson correlations. Results: Older people rated neighbourhood satisfaction highly (3.0 men, 3.2 women; 4 being the highest score). Many homes failed objective adaptability and safety ratings, particularly bathrooms (80% did not have a shower grab rail, 77% did not have non-slip floors); 27% of homes scored =8 of 25 possible hazards. There were significant correlations between perceptions of housing and neighbourhood and SF-36 and disability scores. Conclusion: Many homes and neighbourhoods may not accommodate increased frailty or disability of older people into the future. © 2012 ACOTA.

DOI 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2012.00646.x
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8
Co-authors Julie Byles, L Parkinson
2013 Rich JL, Byrne JM, Curryer C, Byles JE, Loxton D, 'Prevalence and correlates of depression among Australian women: A systematic literature review, January 1999- January 2010', BMC Research Notes, 6 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1756-0500-6-424
Citations Scopus - 11
Co-authors Julie Byles, Jane Rich, Deborah Loxton
2013 Byles J, Tavener M, Robinson I, Parkinson L, Stevenson D, Leigh L, et al., 'Transforming retirement: new definitions of life after work.', Journal of Women & Aging, 25 24-44 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/08952841.2012.717855
Citations Scopus - 25Web of Science - 17
Co-authors Julie Byles, L Parkinson, Meredith Tavener
2013 Parkinson L, Curryer C, Gibberd A, Cunich M, Byles JE, 'Good agreement between self-report and centralized hospitalizations data for arthritis-related surgeries', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY, 66 1128-1134 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.04.012
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Julie Byles, L Parkinson
2013 Mehraban AH, Mackenzie L, Byles J, Gibson R, Curryer C, 'Can the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) be used to understand risk factors for falls in older Australian women?', Health, 05 39-48 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.4236/health.2013.512A006
Co-authors Julie Byles
Byles J, Curryer C, Vo K, Forder P, Loxton D, McLaughlin D, 'Changes in housing among older women: Latent class analysis of housing patterns in older Australian women', Urban Studies,
DOI 10.1177/0042098016661309
Show 8 more journal articles

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Curryer CA, 'Ageing-in-place and the risks associated with housing in later life.', The Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association. Referred Proceedings of TASA 2016 Conference. Cities and Successful Societies. d), Fitzroy, Melbourne. (2016)
2016 Curryer C, Gray M, Byles JE, '¿Remember, I live with my mother¿: The housing circumstances of women baby boomers in Australia.', Canberra (2016)
Co-authors Mel Gray, Julie Byles
2016 Curryer C, Gray M, Byles JE, 'Re-imagining relationships: the experience of childlessness in later life. Tabletop presentation.', Canberra (2016)
Co-authors Mel Gray, Julie Byles
2014 Tavener MA, Byles JE, Curryer C, Forder P, 'Applying the salutogenic model for better health outcomes in older Australian women.', Adelaide, SA (2014)
Co-authors Julie Byles, Peta Forder, Meredith Tavener
Show 1 more conference

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Byles J, D'Este C, Kowal P, Curryer C, Thomas L, Yates A, et al., 'Gender and Ageing. Background Paper** Contribution to The World Report on Ageing and Health: a policy framework for healthy ageing.', The World Report on Ageing and Health: a policy framework for healthy ageing. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO) (2015)
Co-authors Catherine Deste, Julie Byles

Report (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Byles JE, Curryer CA, Edwards N, Weaver N, D'Este C, Hall J, Kowal P, 'The health of older people in selected countries of the Western Pacific Region', World Health Organisation, 54 (2014) [R1]
Co-authors Natasha Weaver, Catherine Deste, John Hall, Julie Byles

Ms Cassie Curryer