Fiona Smith
Dominic Westbrook
Dr Helen van Vliet
Dr Cathie Harrison
Dr Natalie Rimlinger
Dr Anna Westbrook

Dr Cathie Harrison

“Let Nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth


Dr Cathie Harrison is an early childhood and gifted education consultant with Gifted Minds. Drawing on her research, doctoral study and many years of experience Cathie supports parents and teachers to understand and respond to the joys and challenges of living, playing and learning with young gifted children. Cathie provides practical parenting and educational advice in relation to children birth to eight years. She can assist with gifted education and parenting recommendations for parents and/or educational settings and is available for face to face and phone consultations. Cathie will also undertake observational visits to early learning centres and schools and engage in collaborative dialogue with parents, carers, teachers and educational leaders to ensure that young gifted learners are recognised and supported. Cathie is also available to deliver professional learning seminars and workshops for teachers or parent education sessions for parents and carers and keynote presentations at conferences. 

Professional Background 

Cathie has been an academic, teacher, researcher, writer and consultant and has over thirty five years of experience in early childhood and tertiary education. Cathie’s Master of Education degree focused on gifted education and her doctoral study combined interests in gifted education and contemporary approaches to learning in the early years. She is the author of the books Giftedness in Early Childhood, Young Gifted Children - Their Search for Complexity and Connection, and co-author of Rethinking Learning in Early Childhood Education and articles on giftedness in the early years in academic journals. In 2010 Cathie was invited to work with colleagues from NSW Department of Education to develop a resource “Gifted and Talented Kindergarten” [GKY] to identify gifted children from low SES and minority backgrounds. The acknowledgements within GKY state, ‘The wisdom and inspirational work of Dr Cathie Harrison has guided the development of the Gifted and Talented Kindergarten Resource Package.’ Cathie has been an invited member of the Victorian Government Expert Panel on Gifted and Talented Children. In 2016 Cathie represented gifted education on the national Early Childhood Australia expert panel on inclusion and in 2017 authored Gifted and Talented - Inclusion and Exclusion for Early Childhood Australia. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and delivered keynote addresses at international, national and state gifted education conferences.



Robinson, C., Treasure, T., O'Connor, D., Neylon, G., Harrison, C., & Wynne, S. (2018). Learning through Play - Creating a Play Based Approach within Early Childhood Contexts. London: Oxford University Press. 

Harrison, C. (2017). Gifted and talented: Inclusion and exclusion. Watson, ACT: Early Childhood Australia

Yelland, N., Lee, L., O’Rourke, M., & Harrison, C. (2008). Rethinking learning in early childhood. London, UK: Open University Press. 

Harrison, C. (2005). Young gifted children - Their search for complexity and connection. Sydney: Inscript Publishing. 

Harrison, C. (2003). Giftedness in early childhood. Sydney: GERRIC, UNSW. 

Book Chapters 

Harrison C., & Robinson C. (2017) Looking Deeper: Play and the Spiritual Dimension. In: Lynch S., Pike D., à Beckett C. (Eds) Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Play from Birth and Beyond. International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, Vol 18. Singapore: Springer. 

Harrison, C., & Morandini, C., (2010). Children creatively engaging each other- Multiliteracies practices in an inclusive program for children with diverse abilities. In P Fitzsimmons & B. McKenzie (Eds) Creative Engagements - Thinking with Children, Oxford UK: Interdisciplinary Press.

Harrison, C. (2009). Opening the dialogue- Children- Families and Educators - An exploration of learning stories as a tool for documenting play and learning. In W. Turgeon (Ed). Creative Engagements - Thinking with Children, Oxford UK: Interdisciplinary Press.

Harrison, C., & Tegel, K. (1999). Play and the gifted child. In E. Dau (ed.), Child’s Play. Revisiting play in early childhood settings. Sydney: Maclennan and Petty. 

Journal Articles

Harrison, C., & Heinrich Joerdens, S. (2017). The combined Bachelor of Education Early Childhood and Primary Degree:  Student perceptions of value. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 42 (1), 4-13.

Harrison, C. (2012). Watching the children watching Play School: Indicators of engagement, play and learning. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 37(4), 44-50.  

Harrison, C. (2013). Take a Look 'Through the Windows' at ABC Play School - Forty five years in a changing media landscape. Early Childhood Education, 183(1), 137-148.

Harrison, C., & van Vliet, H. (2013). Learning Together: An Innovative Parent Education Project to Facilitate Children’s Learning, Wellbeing and Resilience. International Research in Early Childhood Education, 4(1), 35-52.

van Vliet, H., Harrison, C. & Anderson, T. (2013). Adult mediation of children's television viewing experiences as a catalyst for learning and development: a case study, using Play School, Early Child Development and Care, 183:1, 17-36.

Barr, J., De Souza, S., Harrison, C., Hyde, B., van Vliet, H & Saltmarsh, S. (2012). Parenting the ‘Millennium Child’: choice, responsibility and playing it safe in uncertain times. Global Studies of Childhood 2 (4) 302-318.

Harrison, C., van Vliet H., & Anderson, T. (2012). Australian Play School: Viewing and post-viewing behaviours in young children. Educational Psychology.

Harrison, C., Anderson, T & Van Vliet, H. (2012). ‘Play School’ - A catalyst for play? The International Journal of Play 1(2) 151-164.                  

Harrison, C. (2011). Choices and changes in early childhood education in Australia: A Play School perspective. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. 36 (1) 36-43.

Harrison, C., Lee, L., O’Rourke, M., & Yelland, N. (2009). Maximising the moment from ‘Pre’-school to School – The Place of multiliteracies and ICT in the transition to school.  International Journal of Learning 16, (11) 465-474. 

Harrison, C. (2004). Excellence in television for children - Entertainment, engagement, empowerment. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 29 (2) 50-57. 

O’Rourke, M. & Harrison, C. (2004). The introduction of new technologies - New possibilities for early childhood pedagogy. Australian Journal of Early Childhood. 29 (2) 11-18. 

Harrison, C. (2004). Giftedness in early childhood - The search for complexity and connection. Roeper Review, 26, (2) 78-84. 

Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Harrison, C., & Morandini, C. (2003). Sharing the lived experiences of children. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 28 (2), 8-13. 

Harrison, C. (2000). But three year olds can’t: Glass ceilings in early childhood. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 25 (2), 22-27. 

Harrison, C. (2000). Out of the mouths of babes: Spiritual awareness and the young gifted child. Journal of Advanced Development 9, 31-43. 

Harrison, C. (1999). Visual representation and the gifted child. Roeper Review, 21(3), 189-194. 




























































































































































































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