Focus areas
Youth transitions; vocational education & training (VET); post-compulsory education; practitioner research; initial teacher education; education policy

Senior Research Fellow

Kira joined the Social Policy and Research Centre in February 2020.

Kira has more than fifteen years of experience in academic research and teaching in the Australian university sector. Until December 2019, she was a Lecturer in Education Policy within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. As a university researcher (January 2004 – December 2019), she completed more than 35 grant-funded and commissioned research projects, through which she developed high level technical research skills, and a deep knowledge of education and training policy trends in Australia and internationally. As a chief/lead investigator on eight research projects, including three funded through competitive category one grants, she established a program of research in the areas of education policy, social equity and vocational education and training systems.

Kira's work has included contributions to the Victorian Qualifications Authority (VQA) October Scanning Paper (2005), the Next Step survey for the Queensland Department of Education (2005, 2006), the Victorian On Track survey (2005–07), Review of Critical Skills for OTTE (2008), an examination of post-compulsory provision in Melbourne (2008–09), and a national study examining the Provision of Pastoral Care in Apprenticeships for the Joint DEECD/DIIRD Policy Unit on Youth Transitions. Kira was also the research fellow on an ARC Discovery Project (2010–2012) tracking a cohort of VET in Schools students in three Australian states.

As a national expert in vocational education and training policy, particularly as it relates to youth transitions and young people, Kira led the widely cited Entry to Vocations study of VET in Schools (2012–14) for NCVER. She completed two research studies (2014–15, 2015–17) funded through the competitive National Vocational Education and Training Research (NVETR) program and in partnership with the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, examining the role of the vocational education for early school leavers.


LinkedIn Kira Clarke

Twitter @KiraVClarke


Australasian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA), President 2022–24.

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCCA) – Vocational Education Reference Group

Women in Adult Education and Vocational Education (WAVE)

Selected BSL publications

Clarke, K & Longley, D 2022, Unlocking the potential of Australian apprenticeships

Clarke, K, Borlagdan, J & Mallett, S 2020, Young people and vocational education and training (COVID-19 Insights)

Myconos, G, Dommers, E & Clarke, K 2018, Viewed from the margins: navigating disadvantage and VET , Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Fitzroy, Vic and University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic.

Selected external publications

Clarke, K 2022 'All things to all people: VET as a vehicle of post-Covid recovery', Griffith Review 75: Learning Curves.

Clarke, K, Truckenbrodt, A, Kriewaldt, J, Angelico, T & Windsor, S 2019, ‘Beginning teachers’ developing clinical judgement: knowledge, skills and attributes for clinical teaching’, Teaching Education. DOI: 10.1080/10476210.2019.1594755

Klatt, G, Clarke, K & Dulfer, N 2017, 'Working their way to school completion: a snapshot of School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships for young Australians', Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET).

Clarke, K & Polesel, J 2013, 'Strong on retention, weak on outcomes: the efficacy of Vocational Education and Training in Schools for disadvantaged students', Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 34(2), pp. 259-273.

Dommers, E, Myconos, G, Swain, L, Yung, S & Clarke, K 2017, Engaging young early school leavers in vocational training, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide.

Myconos, G, Clarke, K & Te Riele, K 2016, Shedding Light: Private ‘for profit’ training providers and young early school leavers, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide.

Clarke, K 2014, Entry to vocations: building foundations for successful transitions, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide.

Butler, E, Clarke, K & Simon, L 2014, Hard hats, robots and lab coats: broadening the career options of young women: final report, EconomicSecurity4Women, North Sydney.

Clarke, K 2013, Entry to vocations: strengthening VET in Schools, NCVER, Adelaide.

Clarke, K 2012, Entry to vocations: efficacy of VET in Schools, NCVER, Adelaide.

Clarke, K & Volkoff, V 2012, Entry to vocations: a discussion paper on current policy structures of VET in Schools. Prepared for National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide.