BA, MA (Special Education), PhD, Macquarie University
Current and previous positions
Meree has extensive experience working in primary schools in NSW. She worked as a class teacher for 5 years and support teacher for students with learning difficulties and mild intellectual disabilities for 8 years. She also worked as a special education consultant in the state and independent school systems for several years and was involved in the administration and delivery of regional and state services for students with learning difficulties and disabilities for the NSW Department of Education from 1993 to 2003.
Following her retirement from the NSW Department of Education, Meree has continued to work in roles that reflect her passion for preventing and remediating reading difficulties and in catering for students with special education needs. Her recent part-time roles include working as a consultant to MultiLit in the development of new programs and in the delivery of programs in research projects. Currently, she is a member of the MultiLit Research Unit and an Honorary Associate of the Macquarie University Special Education Centre.
Meree has been involved in the development of the English curricula in NSW and in the preparation of support materials for schools and teachers for recent syllabuses. In recent years she was the special education representative on the consultative committee for the current state English K-10 Syllabus. She was also involved in a phonics forum in March 2015 that was conducted to provide advice to ACARA about ways to strengthen the areas of phonemic awareness and phonics in the current National Curriculum: English.
Research and Publications
Meree’s main research focus has been in the area of literacy acquisition and prevention of reading difficulties. She undertook a PhD through Macquarie University seeking evidence about cost effective ways to get all students off to a good start in reading and was awarded her degree in 2010. Aspects of her research included investigating the effectiveness of MiniLit and establishing benchmarks of progress for students in Years One and Two in NSW schools.
Meree has been the lead author of a number of papers that relate to her research into the effective interventions in early reading and the development of benchmarks in early literacy. She has been involved in writing instructional programs, materials for teachers that are based on the findings of scientific research and support documents for state syllabus materials. She has also written training modules for teachers that reflect the findings of reputable research. These include the Making a Difference Training Course for Support Teachers Learning Difficulties, the Early Learning Course and the Learning Assistance Support Training (LAST) Course.
Meree received a NSW Department of School Education Director-General’s Award for Excellent Service to Public Schools in March 1998, for her work with schools during the implementation of the State Literacy Strategy.
Her contributions to research during her PhD studies were recognized within the University and she received a Higher Degree Research Excellence Award (Faculty of Human Sciences) in 2009 and a Higher Degree Research Award for Refereed Publications in 2008. In 2007 she received the Lee Mills Teacher Training Award 2007 from the Australian Association of Special Education for a paper relevant to the field of special education.