‘Possum skin pedagogy’ developer, Dr Sue Margaret Lopez Atkinson, honoured in 2020 Queen’s Birthday List

by Jason Roberts

June 07, 2020

Dr Sue Margaret Lopez Atkinson, the developer of Possum Skin Pedagogy: A guide for Early Childhood Practitioners and a co-founder of Aboriginal education consultancy Yarn Strong Sista has been awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to early childhood education, and to the Indigenous community. 


Dr Lopez Atkinson, a Yorta Yorta woman, has been, and continues to be, a leading voice on Indigenous identity and conceptualising Aboriginality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). 


In 2000 she co-founded Yarn Strong Sista alongside Annette Sax and Arakwal educator Delta Kay to support greater understanding of Indigenous Aboriginal history and Ways of Being in the context of ECEC and in 2017 she released Possum Skin Pedagogy: A guide for Early Childhood Practitioners which aims to support services to embed Aboriginal perspectives into their programs via a framework constructed in consultation with Victoria Aboriginal elders and community leaders. 


Dr Lopez Atkinson is also a Board Member of FKA Children’s Services (fkaCS), the 111 year old organisation that has been advocating for children’s cultural and linguistic rights since being founded and offers professional development and service support to the ECEC sector.  


Elsewhere Mrs Marie Joy Billington received the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to early childhood education and therapy. 


Mrs Billington, through her active service at Charles Sturt University’s Early Childhood Intervention Program has been supporting the provision of resources, advice and information tailored to meet the needs of children and the family as a whole. 


Since 1998 Mrs Billington has been a member of the Board and prior to that, from 1981 to 1998, she was the Director of the service. 


To review this year’s Queen’s birthday honour list please click here