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Unit 8, 22 Hudson Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154

Our Team

The STaR team is passionate about its work. All STaR team members working with children and educators either have or are undertaking postgraduate qualifications in special education.

Melissa North

Chief Executive Officer

In 2009, as a parent of a young child with disability, our family were fortunate to connect with STaR and experience the positive impact of the STaR Lighthouse Model in early childhood settings for our daughter and family.

The opportunity to be a part of the team here at STaR now is a privilege. My role supports the strategy and operation of the business to ensure our Educators and Special Educators have the tools to do their work effectively and deliver impact on the frontline in the communities we support.

I thrive on meeting new people and building networks and relationships to educate others on the importance of Special Education in our education, disability and health sectors. We all benefit from collaborating and sharing knowledge to enable people with disability access to quality, lifelong learning opportunities.

Member (MFIA) Fundraising Institute of Australia
Professional Member (MAHRI) Australian HR Institute
Graduate Australian Institute Company Directors (GAICD)

Megan Cooper

Manager, Families & Education

STaR Association, Megan Cooper

My work in Egypt co-ordinating an orphanage and preschool program led me to decide to gain qualifications in teaching back in Australia.

I completed my Early Intervention Certificate, followed by a Master of Special Education degree while working with children in a special education setting. I have always enjoyed mentoring new educators and students, including tutoring university students.

My work with STaR is varied: I assist families with children with additional needs to find placement in early education, participate in research, mentor and train educators and present professional learning workshops.

There is never a dull moment. I still get a thrill out of children reaching their individual objectives and the delight of their teachers and families when they do.


  • Bachelor of Science, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Teaching-Primary, University of New England
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Early Intervention, Macquarie University
  • Master of Special Education, Macquarie University

Dr Sarah Carlon

Head of Research & Special Education

STaR Association, Sarah Carlon

Working as an Early Childhood Teacher in childcare centres I was struck by the importance of creating inclusive environments where all children could play, learn, and develop together. This led me to return to study, completing the Master of Special Education and later a PhD.

My research interests lie in the area of evidence-based practice in special education and how parents of young children can be supported to make informed early intervention decisions. I drew on the research evidence, including my own research, when I was working as a STaR Special Educator and later as a university Lecturer in the area of special education.

The most rewarding part of my job is receiving feedback from participants regarding how they have applied the content of our courses to their own inclusive settings. In addition, the opportunity to continue to contribute to the evidence base through STaR research projects is always an exciting aspect of my work.


  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education), Macquarie University
  • Master of Special Education, Macquarie University
  • PhD (Special Education), Macquarie University

Professional Affiliation

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