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Unit 8, 22 Hudson Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154

Educating Educators

Providing quality research-based training and mentoring


STaR Professional Development

STaR professional development courses provide educators and support workers with the knowledge and skills needed to maximise the potential of people with disabilities and to promote their inclusion. Evidence-based practice in educational, workplace and community-based settings is the focus.

STaR Training
“Professional development from STaR has given the staff the confidence to know what to do in terms of helping the development and education of children who may learn in a slightly different way.”

Director of STaR-affiliated centre 

Meet our Presenters

STaR presenters are highly qualified in their field and experienced in education across a range of settings. They enjoy sharing their expertise so that educators and support workers can make immediate use of their learning.

Dr Sarah Carlon

STaR Association, Sarah Carlon

Megan Cooper

STaR Association, Megan Cooper

Philippa Wong

Elise de Jong

Sarah Roberts


STaR is committed to evidence-based practice in the education of people with disabilities, including support of their families and educators. The basic philosophy and strategies of the STaR Early Years Model, were developed from a 10-year research project undertaken at the Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC).

We continue to incorporate emerging evidence-based practices into our programs. We also conduct our own research, usually in collaboration with academics from the Institute of Special Educators (InSpEd).

Studies and Publications

From the beginning, STaR has been committed to contributing to the evidence base in early intervention for young children with disabilities and additional needs, and to the evidence base in special education more broadly.

Download a list of publications and conference presentations based on research with STaR program children and families. For more detail about recent studies, see our research reports.

STaR Research Reports

Engaging preschool children with severe and multiple disabilities
using books and iPad apps

The use of peer mediation and educator facilitation to promote turn taking in young children with autism spectrum disorder in inclusive childcare

Current Research Projects

Our current research projects involve collaboration with researchers from InSpEd and include:

Family perspectives of post-school experiences of young people with disability in Australia

Purpose of this study: to gain an understanding of what parents/guardians think about the post-school experiences of their young adult children with disabilities. We want to know how these compare to their experiences in the early childhood and school years. We will use the information we collect to identify how post-school services for people with disability could be improved.

Research team: Dr Sarah Carlon, Dr Coral Kemp, Margaret Meaker and Dr Roshini Chandroo.

The qualifications, skills and experience listed in advertisements for positions in early childhood intervention services and whether these reflect best practice in early childhood intervention

Overview of the Research: to investigate the knowledge, skills and experience listed as being either essential or desirable in job advertisements for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) practitioners applying for roles in ECI. Over a five-month period in 2021, 250 online advertisements for Australian ECI positions were downloaded and information on the essential and desirable criteria for employment were examined for 246 of them. Fewer than 40% of the advertisements sought skills that related to Australian best practice guidelines, while fewer than 20% requested assessment and intervention skills. Implications of these findings are to be reported in the context of integrating ECI research and practice.

Research team: Dr Sarah Carlon, Dr Jessica Zauttini, Associate Professor Susana Gavidia-Payne and Dr Coral Kemp.

On behalf of the InSpEd research team, Dr Sarah Carlon will be presenting data from this study at the 2022 International Society on Early Intervention (ISEI) conference – Chicago, USA, 27-30 September 2022 (held in conjunction with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of Early Childhood)