Professor Cate Carroll-Meehan discussed her lifelong educational journey as she delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture at Liverpool Hope University.
The new Dean of the School of Education considered the nature of the life story with tales of journeys which recognise the value of place, identities, voice, belonging, aspirations and hope.
These are themes that have characterised Professor Carroll-Meehan’s research over the course of her 30-year career as an educator, all of which were explored in a lecture entitled: My journey to Hope – Being, Belonging and Becoming.
The idea of ‘being, belonging and becoming’ allowed the Professor of Education and Pedagogy to explain the experiences which have shaped her professionally and personally and how that will inform her work at Hope.
Commenting on her Inaugural Lecture, Professor Carroll-Meehan said: “This lecture was an opportunity for me as a new member of the Hope community to set out my ‘stall’ for Education.
“It was an opportunity for me to introduce myself, my research and experience in education and to introduce some of the key issues facing education, namely exploring the important question: What is the purpose of education in the 21st century?”
Professor Carroll-Meehan joined Hope in October 2022, bringing a wealth of experience in both higher education and as an early childhood educator.
A dual Australian-British citizen, she began her career in Brisbane, where she qualified as a teacher specialising in education for children from birth to eight years from Queensland University of Technology.
She went on to run a 24-hour childcare centre in the largest public hospital in Brisbane before embarking on a PhD which sparked her move into Higher Education.
Upon completion of her PhD, Professor Carroll-Meehan was appointed Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent. She spent 12 years there and progressed to Faculty Director before joining the University of Portsmouth as Head of Education and Sociology in 2018.
As Professor of Education and Pedagogy at Liverpool Hope, Professor Carroll-Meehan has a dual focus of early childhood education and student experience in Higher Education.
Her research and practice with students centres on making a difference and realising the transformational possibilities and potential of education and the role of the educator.
“I am looking forward to working with colleagues in the School of Education and wider University to make a contribution to continuing to transform lives through education by creating a learning environment that values the learners’ perspectives, fosters feelings of belonging and enables learners to aspire and achieve their ambitions,” she added.
“That for me is what working at Hope is about - hope for those who need it.”