Meredith O’Connor is currently Deputy Principal at the Queensland Children’s Hospital School located in Brisbane, Queensland. The school is one of a kind in Queensland and provides educational services to over 3500 students every year, from kindergarten to Year 12.
Meredith has extensive teaching experience with over 25 years in diverse educational settings including rural, remote, as well as urban schools. She has embraced the challenges presented to her throughout her career as a classroom teacher, educational advisor, acting Principal, Head of Curriculum, Senior Project Officer and Deputy Principal.
Meredith has more recently returned to hospital education following a five-year secondment on an Australian Curriculum project. Working with a team of writers, Meredith designed and developed a range of teaching materials for state-wide implementation. This opportunity also afforded her the ability to work closely with the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority during subsequent revision phases.
Meredith’s leadership skills were acknowledged through the awarding of a Premier’s Excellence in Teaching scholarship which enabled her to travel to a number of hospital schools throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Subsequent to this work, Meredith undertook further research into hospital education in Australia, New Zealand and more broadly, internationally. The resulting paper, presented to the Queensland Department of Education, paved the way for a more collaborative and cohesive state-wide approach to educational services in health settings across Queensland.
Meredith considers herself a life-long learner with a thirst for knowledge. She is a strong believer in actively investing in her own professional learning and in turn, supporting staff to actively pursue their own professional journey.
The recent educational disruptions have paved the way for Meredith to re-evaluate and realign herself as a leader, ensuring that opportunities for change are embraced and new ways of thinking are captured. In the words of Einstein, ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’