Project Team

Project Team

Chief Investigators

Professor Sharynne McLeod

Sharynne McLeod is professor of speech and language acquisition in the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University, Australia. She is an elected Fellow of both the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Speech Pathology Australia and is the Vice President of the International Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Association. Professor McLeod is currently the editor of International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and on the editorial board of Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics and Child Language Teaching and Therapy.

Professor McLeod's research focuses on children's speech acquisition. Her research foregrounds the right of everyone (particularly children) to participate fully in society. Professor McLeod also researches the prevalence and impact of childhood speech impairment and links this to policy and service delivery issues. Professor McLeod is an expert member of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Advisory Committee on Australian and International Disability Data (ACCAID).

For many years Professor McLeod has been an invited speaker at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention as well as at conferences and universities across USA, UK and Australia. Professor McLeod was the Speech Pathology Australia National Tour speaker for 2008, presenting two-day workshops in every state in Australia.

In 2006 she was awarded a British Academy Visiting Fellowship and in 2007 was awarded a Carrick Institute Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for her 'sustained dedication, innovation and enthusiasm in university teaching that has had local, national and international impact.' In 2009, Professor McLeod was named an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow.

Associate Professor Linda Harrison

Linda Harrison is associate professor of Early Childhood Education at Charles Sturt University. Her research and professional work is in the area of child development, and has particularly focused on children's attachment relationships with important adults.

She is a principal investigator in three longitudinal research studies that are investigating the use and impact of early education and childcare on children's health, development, and well-being: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), which is following 10,000 families with an infant or a 4 to 5-year-old child for a 9-year period; Child Care Choices, which is a 7-year study of 600 children attending regulated care settings in metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales; and The Sydney Family Development Project, which has studied 150 first-born infants and their families from pregnancy through to the end of primary school.

She is currently working with colleagues on the Attachment Matters Project, in which researchers and teachers in early childhood settings work together to develop new understandings of ways that child-teacher relationships and interactions can support children???s learning and social competence with peers. She is also the Expert Consultant to the Evaluation of the Partnerships in Early Childhood Project which is a childcare centre based intervention program for low-income families and their children.

A/Prof Harrison's expertise in childcare research has been recognised by invitations to present at international and national conferences and to provide consultancy advice for key early childhood (Professional Support Coordination Alliance) and research organisations (UNSW Social Policy Research Centre; Australian Institute of Family Studies). In 2009, A/Prof Harrison worked with the Charles Sturt-led national consortium that developed the Early Years Learning Framework for Australian children.

Associate Professor Lindy McAllister

Lindy McAllister is the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) of the Mayne School of Medicine at The University of Queensland. Previously, she was associate professor in Speech Pathology at Charles Sturt University and Deputy Director of Charles Sturt's Education for Practice Institute.

A/Prof McAllister holds a Bachelor of Speech Therapy from the University of Queensland, a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology from Western Michigan University and a PhD from The University of Sydney in clinical education. She was National President of Speech Pathology Association of Australia in 2003 and 2004, and currently serves as a senior Council appointed member of the association's Ethics Board. In 2002, she was the recipient of the Association's highest honour - The Eleanor Wray Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession, and in 2006 was made a Life Member.

A/Prof McAllister is the author of three internationally published books on clinical education: Facilitating Learning in Clinical Settings (Nelson Thornes, 1997, reprinted 2001) and Clinical Education in Speech Pathology (Whurr, 2004), and co-author/editor of Communication in the Health and Social Sciences (Oxford University Press, 2005, 2nd edition in progress). In 2009, she published a book titled, Ethics in Speech Language Therapy. A/Prof McAllister has contributed more than 80 peer reviewed book chapters and papers on clinical education, communication, child language disorders and qualitative research to the international literature. She has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences on clinical education practice and research, and has presented over 60 other papers in recent years in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

Project Officer

Jane McCormack

Jane McCormack is a speech-language pathologist who has worked with children experiencing communication difficulties in Australia and the UK. She is currently employed as the Project Officer on this ARC project, while lecturing and completing her PhD through Charles Sturt University. Jane's PhD is investigating the impact of childhood speech impairment on participation in society throughout the lifespan.

Honours Students

  • Erin Holliday
  • Bethany Toohill

Administration Assistants

  • Emma Heinrich
  • Hannah Wilkin