The Patternmakers team is expanding - meet Dr Catherine Davis! Join us as we take few moments to go beyond the bio and get to know our team's newest addition. 

What is your role at Patternmakers?  

I’m Patternmakers’ Senior Research Analyst which essentially means I spend most of my time analysing data and turning the findings into meaningful insights!

What does your average day look like?

My days are wonderfully varied. I might spend several hours in the morning analysing qualitative or quantitative data for a program evaluation and then start doing the fieldwork for an audience research project in the afternoon.

What do you love about your job?

Although I’ve only been working at Patternmakers for a month, I love waking up every day knowing that the research we’re conducting can help strengthen the arts and creative industries in Australia, and providing evidence of the importance of the arts in society. 

What is your favourite type of cultural experience and why?

How do I choose just one!? Well, firstly I would say the theatre. My dad is a theatre studies professor, so while most of my childhood friends would be taken to the park after school, my younger sister and I were dragged to watch the latest Shakespearean play. I remember being delighted and enthralled as I watched the characters come to life before my eyes. I also love visiting art galleries. The first time art really moved me was when I went into the Rothko room at the Tate Modern in London and became instantly tearful. As Rothko himself once said: ‘A painting is not a picture of an experience; it is an experience.’ I love how art has the power to transport us through time and space, to challenge us, and to engender change in social, political and cultural issues. 

What are some of your non-work-related goals for the rest of 2018? 

I’d love to start learning a new language – possibly Japanese. I also want to take up a ceramics or painting course. I’d like to read more fiction books. Recently I’ve found myself reading mostly non-fiction. For example, right now I’m reading ‘Curing Affluenza: How to Buy Less Stuff and Save the World’ by Richard Denniss. It’s such a vital book for our times but not exactly a light read before bed.   

Favourite city of the most interesting place you've visited or travelled?

One of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited was the Northern Territory, in particular the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Waking up at dawn to watch the sun come up over Uluru was truly one of the most magical and spiritual experiences I’ve ever had.  

What is your greatest personal achievement or something you feel truly proud of? 

My greatest achievement is probably completing my PhD last year. I used a mixed methods research design to uncover the role that online communities play in the lives of new Italian migrants in Australia. 

It was such a roller-coaster ride requiring diligence, unrelenting commitment and endless cups of tea! But I finished my thesis on time and along the way I learnt so much about research inquiry and about myself too.


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About the Author

Penny Cannan
Business Administrator

Penny has a background in Art and Design, Communications, Brand Identity and Project Management.