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September, 2022

Two exciting news! First, a paper I co-authored with an amazing team has been published in the Australia Journal of Education. The paper “Societal, systemic, school and family drivers for and barriers to inclusive education” examines the drivers and barriers to inclusive education in Australia. You can read more here – note that this paper is not open access and you might need to purchase

The second exciting news is that I entered a poster about this project in QUT’s Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice HDR Research Showcase. Below is a photo of me in front of the poster (on the right), and another HDR colleague Haley Tancredi (on the left). There were so many creative posters and interesting research projects!

More to come 🙂

January 2022

Second round of student and parent interviews started for the first participants to join the study. It is amazing how much happens in a short period of time!

December 2021

My first solo publication is out! I’m excited to share that I wrote a chapter in the book New Perspectives on Education for Democracy. The chapter: “Re-imagining Aspirations: A new transition planning framework supporting inclusive and democratic actions in schools” presents the theoretical framework used in the study and aims to expand current understandings of self-determination in post-school transition planning for students with disability.

Read more & get the book here.

Term 3, 2021

August 2021

First round of interviews completed! Yay! Thank you to all students and families for their contributions. So many insights already!

Now back on to transcribing interviews! 🙂

Term 2, 2021

The Voice

This is another little video about the project presented at C4IE HDR The Voice 2021 early in June. To watch the video click the link below!

Many destinations or road to nowhere?

Good news for June

On 1st June, the project received ethics approval to recruit participants with disability (besides autism) who are completing or have recently completed Year 10 in a regular (mainstream) school in Queensland. This was a great outcome and we are hoping we can recruit participants across Queensland to share their transition planning journey.

Do you know a family who may be able to participate? Head to our Participant Information page or feel free to get send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

What happened in April?

April was a very busy and short month, with Easter and other Public Holidays. Recruitment is still in progress, we are hopeful we will have all participants registered and interviewed before the end of the term.

I attended a few education workshops in April, including workshops hosted by CRU which is open to all parents. I will be co-facilitating Peer Support Coffee Mornings through QCIE (both online and in person) in May and June (checke event dates here). Join me and the wonderful QCIE team for a coffee and a chat!

Term 1, 2021

How did this project start?

In 2015, I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for the project Critical Interventions Framework Part 2 (CIF2) (Bennett et al., 2015) which reported on initiatives across Australia that helped students from equity groups to access, participate and succeed at uni. Most of the programs highlighted by this research focused on student from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds; there were hardly any programs available to support students with disability to access and succeed at university.

In the same year, my eldest son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age four. I knew little about autism then, but I could see my child, how much potential he had. It was overwhelming and upsetting to hear some statements from health professionals dictating what he was “supposed” to be doing at his age. What would his future look like?

So, the idea for this project came about as I started learning about autism and disability, and what the future holds for many people living with disability in Australia today. Why there are so little opportunities for students with disability to receive support to access and succeed in higher education? What options do students with disability have when they finish school? Did students with disability have “lower aspirations” than students without disability? When and how are aspirations formed? These, and many more questions, led to the initial proposal for this research. I hope the findings from this study can provide useful insights on how to better support people with disability transitioning out of school and creating a better future for themselves.


Bennett, A., Naylor, R., Mellor, K., Brett, M., Gore, J., Harvey, A., James, R., Munn, B., Smith, M., & Whitty, G. (2015). The Critical Interventions Framework Part Two: Equity Initiatives in Australian Higher Education: A Review of Evidence of Impact.

December 2020

The Centre for Inclusive Education (C4IE) recently published a post about the Aspirations through time project. Read more here.

Term 4, 2020

Welcome! What a year! 2020 was filled with challenges for all of us – we all have been impacted some way, some people more than others (although it is fair to say that we have been somewhat fortunate in Queensland). So it is time to start our project again and we are currently looking for participants. To find out more, go to our participant page.

Term 2-3, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions the project has been paused. Recruitment will restart in Term 4, 2020. 😦

Term 1, 2020

We are currently seeking participants! Head to the Participant Information page (top menu) to find out how to participate.

Would you like more visuals?

Do you want to learn more about the research in a different format? These slides were presented at the 2019 HDR Conference at the University of Queensland in October 2019.

Aspirations Through Time

Welcome to Aspirations Through Time Blog

Yes, the title is a mouth full! Maybe enigmatic and confusing… Aspirations have many meanings – you might be able to describe what it means to you (we will talk about aspirations in my next post). But what does “through time” actually mean? Well, often we see the expression “over time”, perhaps “across time” used in a few situations or contexts, or when referring to longitudinal research. Put it simply, longitudinal research involves observations over a period of time. Often, observations in longitudinal studies are set in two points in time: before and after. For this project, however, I would like to gain insights that are deeper than before and after. Therefore, I am using the term “through time”, which is inspired by Johnny Saldana’s (2003) concept of from-through. He describes that observing “through time” offers the opportunity to outline the process of change rather than simply focusing on two different points in time, that is, before and after an event. Thomson and Holland (2003) describe that this type of longitudinal research allows the creation of “moving images” rather than snapshots of participants’ experiences. I guess if you are trying to learn about people’s life experiences, one could say life is a journey, not a destination.


Saldaña, J. (2003). Longitudinal qualitative research: Analyzing change through time. CA: AltaMira Press.

Thomson, R., & Holland, J. (2003). Hindsight, foresight and insight: The challenges of longitudinal qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 233-244. doi:10.1080/1364557032000091833

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