Course Presenters

Meet your presenters

STaR presenters are highly qualified in their field and experienced in early childhood education. They enjoy sharing their expertise so that educators can make immediate use of their new learning.

Dr Sarah Carlon

Sarah has extensive experience educating adults in the area of special education. She has worked both as a university Lecturer delivering postgraduate special education courses and as a STaR Special Educator training and mentoring childcare educators to successfully include young children with disabilities in their services. She has also worked in a range of inclusive early childhood settings as an early childhood teacher and centre director. Sarah is passionate about translating the early childhood early intervention evidence into practice and supporting early childhood educators to extend their knowledge and skills in the area of special and inclusive education.

“Early childhood educators are the key to successful inclusion. With the right support they can learn to effectively use evidence-based strategies to make a real difference to the lives of children and families within their early childhood settings.”

Sarah’s qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education), Macquarie University
  • Master of Special Education, Macquarie University
  • PhD (Special Education), Macquarie University

See STaR’s special education courses for early childhood educators.

Professional affiliation:

  • Australian Association of Special Education, NSW Chapter (Committee Member)
  • Institute of Special Educators (Certified Special Educator)

Megan Cooper

Megan has extensive experience teaching a wide range of children with additional needs and is passionate about special education. Her courses provide rich examples of issues that can arise and evidence-based strategies for early childhood educators to implement. She manages STaR’s Childcare Placement and Support Program, which trains and mentors childcare staff to successfully include young children with disabilities in inclusive settings.

“There is never a dull moment. I still get a thrill out of children reaching their individual objectives and the delight of their teachers and families when they do.”

Megan’s qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Teaching-Primary, University of New England
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Early Intervention, Macquarie University
  • Master of Special Education, Macquarie University

See STaR’s special education courses for early childhood educators.

Professional affiliation:

  • Australian Association of Special Education, NSW Chapter (Committee Member)
  • Institute of Special Educators (Certified Special Educator)

Dr Kerry Hodge

Kerry has taught many young children who are gifted (or might be) in early childhood settings and supported their parents. She also was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2009 to investigate overseas programs for gifted preschoolers. These experiences, combined with her research focused on the identification and education of young gifted children, ensure that her courses on giftedness for early childhood educators are both evidence-based and practical.

“Gifted children are complex, but strategies that help them to thrive can enrich the program for everyone, teachers included.”

Kerry’s qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Education (Pre-primary), University of Sydney
  • PhD (Special Education), Macquarie University

See Kerry’s courses on giftedness for early childhood educators.

Professional affiliations:

  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented
  • Gifted Families Support Group (NSW)
  • Australian Research Alliance for Youth and Children
  • World Council for Gifted and Talented Children
  • Adjunct Fellow, Macquarie University

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Funding

The STaR Association receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) and the NSW Department of Education

Collaboration

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners

  • MonSTaR Foundation
  • Australian Stock Brokers Foundation
  • MadDog Graphics
  • InSpEd
  • Banter Group
  • The Internet Bloke