AIFS Appoints Research Director, Systems And Services


The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is pleased to announce Kira Duggan as Research Director, Systems and Services – a senior executive position overseeing several critical areas of research at AIFS.

AIFS is the Australian Government’s key research agency in the area of family wellbeing. The Systems and Services Division encompasses research into gambling harms; family law and elder abuse; family domestic and sexual violence; Defence and veteran families and evaluation and knowledge translation for the family services sector.

Kira will commence on Tuesday 11 June, ahead of Dr Rae Kaspiew’s retirement on 30 June 2024.

Kira joins AIFS from the Victorian Department of Education, where she led the Evaluation and Program Impact Branch. Before this role she was an Associate Director in KPMG’s Health Ageing and Human Services practice. Kira has worked extensively with child, youth and family services, relevant peak bodies, the Aboriginal community-controlled sector, and lived experience representatives in the commissioning and conduct of initiatives with an evaluative focus.

AIFS Acting Director, Liz Neville, warmly welcomed Kira to the executive team.

‘Kira joins AIFS at an exciting time, as we look to strengthen our ability to provide robust, policy-relevant research that addresses major trends and challenges impacting Australian families – now and over coming decades,’ Liz Neville said.

‘With Kira’s rich experience in evidence and evaluation, and strong track-record working with the community and research sectors, she is well placed to help us achieve our mission of accelerating positive outcomes for children and families.’

Liz Neville acknowledged Dr Kaspiew’s remarkable career of service and excellence and wished her well in retirement.

‘Rae has been a key researcher and leader at AIFS for more than 15 years. She has led and contributed to many landmark studies and evaluations that have informed critical policy and practice,’ Liz Neville said.

‘Rae’s contributions and collaborations with key stakeholders across government, academia, and the community sector have been extraordinary, and she will be missed by many.’

Kira’s first week at AIFS coincides with the organisation’s biennial conference from 11 to 14 June, with more than 700 researchers, policy makers, service providers, practitioners and thought leaders from around Australia and overseas gathering to share knowledge and interrogate ‘what works for families.’

During the conference, Kira will be attending the AIFS Evaluation Workshop on 11 June and facilitating the Early Years Panel Discussion on 13 June.

About Kira Duggan:

Kira Duggan brings a breadth and depth of social policy experience across government, consulting, Parliamentary and international settings, with executive level expertise in leading high performing teams.

She has devoted her career to the generation of high-quality evidence through research, evaluation, performance audit and strategic reviews to help government make informed decisions about its programs and investments that bring better community outcomes.

Kira joins AIFS from the Victorian Department of Education, where she led the Evaluation and Program Impact Branch, the Department’s first ever internal evaluation unit which was awarded the 2022 Australian Evaluation Society Evaluation Systems Award.

Prior to this Kira was an Associate Director in KPMG’s Health Ageing and Human Services practice, where she worked with government and community services across Australia and internationally to develop innovative solutions to complex social problems.

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