Professor Sumsion has made a sustained and distinguished contribution to the early childhood education academy and profession both nationally and internationally as well as the culture and performance of educational research at Charles Sturt University.
The esteem in which Professor Sumsion is held for her contribution to the field of education is not only evidenced by her many documented achievements, but also by the many national and international invitations to serve as an international expert and reviewer on national research councils in Australia and overseas including being asked to review proposals and manuscripts for the world’s leading publishers in her field and serving on the board of national and international peer-reviewed education research journals. She has been an invited keynote speaker in New Zealand, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Her contribution to the field stems from her sustained work in the area of early childhood education workforce capacity and sustainability through its focus on professional preparation, and ongoing learning and development; professional identities, cultures and work contexts; and intended and unintended effects of policy settings in relation to quality, curriculum and accountability.
Importantly, for the profession of early childhood in Australia, Professor Sumsion’s research outputs have made significant contributions to informing the Council of Australian Government’s national early childhood reform agenda. In 2008 and 2009 Professor Sumsion led the development, trial and validation of the first national early childhood curriculum, Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Such is her capability as a leader and her expertise in liaising with a broad range of stakeholders, senior bureaucrats, academics, and early childhood educators from around Australia participated in the ‘co-production’ of the Early Years Learning Framework.