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How you can become a kinder and better leader, with Inclusive Education and Leadership expert, Professor Suzanne Carrington

podcast classroom 5.0 Jan 22, 2023

Imagine being told by a doctor that the best option for your child's future education and wellbeing will be an institution, where you can leave them, and forget about them.


To parents today, that proposition might seem unfathomable. But to Australian parents raising children with disabilities in the mid 1980s, this was their far too common reality. Thankfully, today, things have changed, thanks largely to the good work of pioneers in inclusive education like my guest today, Professor Suzanne Carrington. But there’s still a lot more work to be done.

In this heartwarming conversation, Professor Carrington helps paint what the work to date, as well as the path ahead, looks like. Her practical approach will leave you feeling both inspired and equipped to take action toward creating a future of inclusive education, leadership and work that uses inclusive everyday leadership practices to celebrate and promote diversity. 


πŸ‘‡πŸ½ Click below to listen πŸ‘‡πŸ½



This interview, and the one that follows next week, is personally meaningful to me. 

Here's why.

As a parent of children with neurological and neuro-developmental differences (disabilities), navigating our education options and opportunities has been one of the most difficult and rewarding challenges of my life. I’ve lived first-hand many of the bumps in the road discussed in the conversations that follow, and worked with countless families who have done, and continue to do, the same.

Suzanne and I met in Melbourne, Australia, at the EduTECH 2022 conference, where I was sharing the launch of our digital youth development platform, The Posify Academy, and Suzanne was presenting with Tracey Taylor, who you’ll hear from in next week's episode. Together, they shared the journey embarked on to develop and implement a whole school approach to inclusive education, informed by the Transformational Leadership principles of Dr Caron Shields that Suzanne teaches, and shares in this episode.

Hand on my heart, Suzanne and Tracy are both two of the kindest, most courageous and compassionate humans I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interview.

I actually want to bottle them both, and sprinkle their magic and kindness into every family, classroom and workplace across the world. Since I can't (yet) do that, it's an absolute privilege and pleasure to share with you through these conversations, the insights, as well as the optimistic and compassionate energy, of these two exemplary leaders. 


 “One of the really great ideas that’s a part of the Transformative Leadership work, is it’s not just about the principal (or CEO). Everyone can be a Transformative Leader - we call them ‘Inclusion Champions’ ''

~ Professor Suzanne Carrington, Researcher, Author & Professor in Education, QUT Australia, and Program Director of the School Years Program for The Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC)


πŸ‘‡πŸ½ Click below to watch πŸ‘‡πŸ½


In this episode, we explore: 

  • The history of educating students with a disabilities (both physical and neuro-developmental, like autism, adhd and learning disabilities), how and why we've moved away from 'institutions' and 'special schools' and toward embracing inclusive education
  • What work is being done to break down the barriers and provide better access to education for students with a disability, and how you can help
  • What the research says about the benefits of inclusive education leadership and education practices on social, emotional and academic outcomes not only for students with a disability, but for all students
  • How the Social and Medical Models of Disability differ, and what's informing best teaching, work and leadership practice today and in planning for the future 
  • The difference between 'equity' and 'inequality' and why it matters 
  • What to consider when deciding whether to 1. promote a child's strengths and provide appropriate adjustments for their disabilities, or 2. focus on helping them develop their weaknesses 
  • The 8 tenants of Transformational Leadership, and how they apply at home, work and school
  • The role of collaboration and co-design between teachers, parents and youth in creating an inclusive environment for education
  • Communication changes you can commit to implementing today, to become an Inclusive Champion who's contributing to change. 




Turn your insights into action!

Download your free Idea to Impact Cheatsheet!! πŸ‘‰πŸΌπŸ‘‰πŸΌπŸ‘‰πŸΌ

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Keen to take a deeper dive? 

Read about the resources and groups mentioned in this episode: 


πŸš€ Hey parents and teachers!

Do you know about The Posify Academy?

This podcast, Classroom 5.0, was born off the back of our work at The Posify Group, a socially conscious education company I co-founded with my sister, Jenna O'Connell. Our vision is to see every child have access to education that helps them to discover and develop their own big ideas for the future.

Right now, you can access our flagship program, The Posify Academy, for free. It helps teens aged 11 - 14 discover their passions and interests, build their creativity and confidence, and learn positive psychology habits that improve their wellbeing! 

Click below to learn more πŸ‘‡ 



We'd like to say a big thanks to Clint Ranse and his team at My Video Productions, who have kindly sponsored Season 3 of Classroom 5.0!

Check them out here and below πŸ‘‡πŸ½πŸ‘‡πŸ½πŸ‘‡πŸ½

Loved what you heard?

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If this episode is a meaningful to you as it was to me, please tell your friends, your family, your colleagues and your boss about it! It takes conversations like these to prompt collective action that creates change. You can copy and paste the URL here, or find, comment and share on our social posts - 

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Thanks for listening, and helping to imagine alive the future of learning, work and leadership! 

Mariane x



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