Originally from India, Meenakshi—or Meena to those who know her—always had a passion for teaching and children.
While she explored different study and career paths as she travelled around the world, it was her love of early childhood learning and inclusion that led her to enrolling in the Master of Special and Inclusive Education.
“We moved around the globe a fair bit and when we decided to make Australia home, I thought I would explore the avenue of early childhood,” said Meena.
“I’d worked as a primary school teacher in India for two years without formal training. I was a good teacher, but I was acutely aware of the fact that I was lacking qualifications."
Before continuing her career in childcare Meena completed a Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, as well as a Bachelor of Education.
“I started working with a child who had a disability. I worked closely with his therapists and family and found that the qualified staff in the centre didn’t have the knowledge or capacity of including a child with a disability into a mainstream setting.
“For me to be able to support an educator and advocate for the inclusion of children, meant I needed to know more, that’s what brought me to the Master of Special and Inclusive Education.
“This program has given me the confidence and understanding to explain current practices to educators without overwhelming them.
“The course has been so intriguing, and I have so many new skills now. It was hard to choose a specialisation because they all looked great, so I picked a general specialisation. It was like a taste of everything,” added Meena.
Now as an Inclusion Professional for KU Children’s Service, Meena is able to put her training and expertise to use, supporting young children through their early schooling development.
“I’ve realised this course has been far more relevant than I ever expected and it’s probably the best thing I have done in my life,” added Meena.
Meena Viswanathan is now working as an Inclusion Professional since completing her Masters of Special and Inclusive Education in 2018.
I’ve realised this course has been far more relevant than I ever expected and it’s probably the best thing I have done in my life
The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.