ECEC STEM-focused researcher Marilyn Fleer joins Victorian Honour Roll of Women
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > ECEC STEM-focused researcher Marilyn Fleer joins Victorian Honour Roll of Women

ECEC STEM-focused researcher Marilyn Fleer joins Victorian Honour Roll of Women

by Freya Lucas

October 17, 2022

Monash University Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer has been selected for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her outstanding work in significantly shifting the understanding of how young children think and learn, particularly girls.


Considered a global expert in early childhood education, Professor Fleer is the founder of the Monash Conceptual PlayLab, and was one of 23 women who were recently added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, which celebrates the achievements of Victorian women who are leading change in their chosen fields and communities. 


Professor Fleer – who grew up on a farm in rural WA and started her career as a kindergarten teacher – said she was extraordinarily honoured to be selected for the Honour Roll and hopes her nomination highlights the importance of early childhood education in the community.


“How we educate our children when they are young not only impacts their lives, but our community. It has a ripple effect across time. We are fostering the next generation of scientists, artists and problem-solvers,” she said.


Professor Viv Ellis, Dean of Monash’s Faculty of Education, described Professor Fleer as a “one-of-a-kind”, particularly in the way she works with people.


“Marilyn is equally at home with policymakers, researchers, educators and very young children and shows how you can lead sustainable change that has system-wide benefits through the power of collaboration,” Professor Ellis added. 


Professor Fleer’s work has attracted more than $10 million in grants across her career, and she has published more than 170 papers, 21 books and directly supervised 40 new early childhood scholars.


Most notably, she is the Australian Research Council’s first Laureate Professor in early childhood education. Her model of teaching STEM through play not only empowers early childhood educators, but has also informed policy and practice across the world.


“When I first started as a researcher there were very few people working in this field in Australia, even fewer women and certainly no professors,” she said. “It was a field that was both under-funded and under-researched.”


“I am very proud to have been able to change this equation, and am incredibly honoured to be recognised among other outstanding Victorian women.”


Learn more about Professor Fleer’s work here. To review the full list of Honour Roll 2022 inductees, please see here

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