Wendy Hickson - Team Leader, Queensland

Tell us about your previous roles?

I graduated from university as a PE/Primary school teacher working in schools in Central and South-west Queensland. After 7 years, I moved into various roles including learning support, special education teacher, advisory visiting teacher (AVT: Inclusion) with a focus on students on the autism spectrum, Senior Teacher: Behaviour and Deputy Principal. In 2004, I took up the role as Principal Education Officer: Student Services in the Darling Downs South West Region based in Toowoomba. In 2010/11, I was seconded to Positive partnerships as Queensland Team Leader Parent Carer and then to National Leader Parent Carer. From 2013 through to December 2015, I was Regional Coordinator for the More Support for Students with Disability initiative.

Why Positive Partnerships?

Having been involved in Positive Partnerships phase 1, I knew I wanted to return if the opportunity ever arose! To me the culture is so unique and being part of this journey is a privilege in so many ways. I really enjoy being part of a team that is so professional, committed, connected and supportive of each other. In Positive Partnerships, you are challenged at a professional level which I enjoy. Positive Partnerships genuinely believes in people!

How long have you been working in the disability sector?

I have been working in the disability sector since 1985. At this time I was in my sixth year of teaching and was working in a rural and remote school in western Queensland. I was asked to take on the role of Learning Support teacher. Typical of working in these geographical locations, this was a very broad role which saw me supporting a range of diverse learners including those students with a disability. This experience was life changing for me and I have worked in the area of disabilities ever since. It is so rewarding!

What personal values and attributes to you bring to the role?

I would hope that I bring to the role my strong belief that every student can learn. As educators it is our responsibility to know students as individuals – look at their strengths and interests and establish learning environments that cater for their unique learning styles and needs. My personal attributes of being a team player and learning from others drives a lot of what I do in my role. I have a strong commitment towards inclusive practices for all, demonstrated through a whole school approach led by committed leaders.