Personal details

Professor Susan Irvine
Head, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education
Faculty of CI, Education & Social Justice,
School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Discipline *
Education Systems, Specialist Studies in Education
+61 7 3138 3267
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Identifiers and profiles

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
  • Australian Early Childhood Teacher Education Network

child and family policy, early childhood curriculum, integrated child and family services, professional learning in ECEC, promotion, prevention and early intervention, quality standards in ECEC

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


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.



This information has been contributed by Professor Susan Irvine.


Susan has an eclectic background in education and her personal teaching experience spans a wide range of education contexts , including prior to school settings (e.g. kindergarten and long day care), the early phase of school, Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education.

At QUT, Susan has taught in undergraduate and postgraduate education courses, and has fulfilled several leadership roles in teaching and learning, including the redesign and reaccreditation of the Master of Education and the development of an expanded suite of fully online postgraduate courses now offered through QUT online.

Linked to her policy work and research, Susan maintains a commitment to strengthened career pathways in ECEC, with particular emphasis on career planning and improved articulation between Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education.

She is a highly skilled teacher with deep understanding of the principles underpinning effective teaching and learning in early education contexts and adult learning. She is a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy and an inaugural ExPrep (Expert Peer Review of Educational Practice) Reviewer at QUT.  Recognising her teaching expertise, she is frequently engaged to design and deliver professional learning programs in ECEC.

Susan is the current Chair of the Queensland Early Childhood Teacher Education Network, and a member of the Australian Early Childhood Teacher Education Network, which is a working group of the Australian Deans of Education.

This information has been contributed by Professor Susan Irvine.


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).
This information has been contributed by Professor Susan Irvine.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.