Prof Susan Irvine

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Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)

Susan is an early childhood professional with diverse work experience across a range of early childhood education and care (ECEC) contexts. She has held leadership roles in child and family policy, tertiary education and direct service provision and recently took on the role of Head, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology.

Susan’s expertise in public policy is widely recognised, and she continues to play an active role, working with government and sector colleagues, to support informed policy decision-making. Her research interests stem from her work experience and include:

  • ECEC policy and quality standards
  • ECEC workforce development
  • Leadership in ECEC
  • Curriculum and pedagogy
  • Health promotion in the early years
  • Effective approaches to ongoing professional learning.

She is currently a Chief Investigator on several collaborative multi-disciplinary research projects relating to development of the ECEC workforce, with policy and practice implications.

Susan’s previous roles include CEO at Lady Gowrie Queensland and in Strategic Policy and Research and ECEC within the Queensland Department of Communities.




Additional information

Susan maintains particular expertise in the area of ECEC policy. She is an active contributor to policy discussions and an invited member of state and national policy advisory committees. This includes: the Queensland Department of  Education Early Childhood Teacher Registration Advisory Group, Higher Education Reference Group and  and 2020 Early Childhood Teacher Working Group.

She has a proven track record in collaborative research and practice projects with both government and non-government agencies. Some relevant examples include:

  • ACECQA National Quality Improvement Research Project (Lead CI Harrison, Macquarie University, Current)
  • Distributed Leadership in Family Day Care: Challenge, Change and Opportunities (Lead CI, Current)
  • Professionalism, Paperwork and Pedagogy: Enabling Leadership in Long Day Care (Lead CI)
  • Sleep Practices in Early Childhood: Research and Translation Program (Lead CI Staton)
  • Identifying Effective Strategies to Grow and Sustain a Professional Early Years Workforce (Lead CI Thorpe)
  • Learning, Eating, Active Play, Sleep (LEAPS) project (Lead CI Gallegos)
  • Review of the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme: Guidelines for Central Governing Bodies and Kindergarten Services (with Farrell and O’Gorman, QUT, in collaboration with the Office for Early Childhood Education and Care).