Kay Bussey

Kay Bussey

BEcon (Hons), PhD

At St Margaret’s 1966-1969

Kay Bussey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University, Sydney. She specialises in child and adolescent development. After leaving St Margaret’s, Kay attended The University of Queensland where she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Economics (Psychology). This was followed by a PhD in Psychology undertaken at the universities of Queensland and Oregon (USA).  Kay then became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University (USA) under the mentorship of Professor Bandura, one of the most eminent psychologists of all time and author of the classic ‘Bobo studies’ on children’s learning of aggressive behaviour. Her postgraduate education and postdoctoral research were funded by numerous awards including a Commonwealth postgraduate scholarship, Fulbright Fellowship, and an International Federation of University Women Award.

After leaving Stanford University, Kay joined Macquarie University as a Lecturer and has remained at that University where she heads an active research program; she has supervised over 100 Honours, Masters, and PhD students. Her research has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Australian Psychological Society Early Career Award and a MQ Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision. Her research has led to the admission of young children’s testimony in court cases, a better understanding of children’s gender development, highlighting the different constraints encountered by males and females, and an expanded knowledge of bullying, particularly cyberbullying, by focusing on moral values and empathic concern for others which can be lost in cyber space. Kay has received substantial research funding from major granting organisations in Australia, including the Australian Research Council, National Health and Medical Research Council, Rotary Health, and the Criminology Research Council. She is an editorial consultant and board member for numerous international and national journals and serves as a grant reviewer in Australia, Europe, Canada, and the USA. She has published 3 books, more than 140 peer-reviewed journals articles and book chapters and presented over 200 papers at national and international conferences.

Kay is the third generation in her family to attend St Margaret’s following her mother (Joan Kellaway) and grandmother (Phyllis Blakeney). Her mother also attended St Catherine’s in Warwick when St Margaret’s boarders were evacuated from Brisbane. She firmly believed that the values and guiding principles of St Margaret’s were those she wished for her daughter. Respect for others and promoting kindness, accompanied by setting personal standards of behaviour from the dress code to academic achievement, are a cornerstone of these values. Kay has embraced these values not only in her daily life but in her recent research which highlights how moral values can too easily dissipate in the cyber world and addresses how special attention needs to be focused to retain them. Committed and caring teachers (especially Miss Durrant – mathematics) also played their part in preparing Kay for her future role in lecturing and supervising research students.