Dr Zinnia Mevawalla



Personal statement

Zinnia Mevawalla is a Lecturer in Early Years Education at the School of Education. Zinnia has previously worked across institutions in Australia (University of Canberra, Macquarie University and Sydney University) and the United Kingdom (University of East London).

Zinnia is interested in understanding how initiatives and practices in the early years can foster participation, inclusion and equity for children, families/caregivers and communities. There are five central themes to her work: Social Inclusion in Early Childhood, Inclusive Education in Early Childhood, Social Justice in the Early Years, Resistance and Dignity Work in the Early Years and Critical Qualitative Research Approaches.


Critical Consciousness, Social Justice and Resistance : The Experiences of Young Children Living on the Streets in India
Mevawalla Zinnia
Education and Struggle Education and Struggle (2020)
Generative listening : using arts-based inquiry to investigate young children’s perspectives of inclusion, exclusion and disability
Cologon Kathy, Cologon Timothy, Mevawalla Zinnia, Niland Amanda
Journal of Early Childhood Research Vol 17, pp. 54-69 (2019)
The 'troublemakers'
Mevawalla Zinnia
Multiple Early Childhood Identities (2019) (2019)
Increasing inclusion in early childhood : key word sign as a communication partner intervention
Cologon Kathy, Mevawalla Zinnia
International Journal of Inclusive Education Vol 22, pp. 902-920 (2018)
Advocacy and activism in early childhood
Mevawalla Zinnia, Archer Nathan
Oxford Bibliographies Online (2022) (2022)
English language learning as a Trojan horse? Examining early childhood teachers' views of teaching young children in an English-medium NGO in India
Mevawalla Zinnia, Palkhiwala Sanobia
Language, Linguistics and Development Practices (2022) (2022)

More publications


Zinnia teaches Early Years subjects across the undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the School of Education. She is also involved in the supervision of PGR students.

Research interests

Zinnia is interested in understanding how initiatives and practices in the early years can foster social inclusion for children, families/caregivers and communities. Using critical and resistance theories, her work focuses on listening to children, families/caregivers and community stakeholders who experience systematic exclusion in diverse international contexts. Her focus is on research which examines barriers and the potential for inclusion, equity, participation and transformative resistance. Zinnia is also interested in research which explores how educators, transdisciplinary professionals and community stakeholders work across early childhood contexts to support children and families/caregivers who experience social exclusion.

Professional activities

Early Childhood Australia Events Connect
Keynote/plenary speaker
How can we advocate for infants and toddlers rights to learn and thrive?
What are we so afraid of? Joyful pedagogies for social justice in the early years
European Early Childhood Educational Research Association (External organisation)
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Kitchen table talk for "cultivating care, dignity, love, and respect in education.

More professional activities


Co-creating transdisciplinary environmental solutions with children and young people
Wang, Yuchen (Principal Investigator) Davis, John (Co-investigator) Mevawalla, Zinnia (Co-investigator) Martinez-Lejarreta, Loreain (Researcher) Ross, Kirsty (Co-investigator) Somorin, Tosin (Co-investigator) Lennon, Marilyn (Co-investigator) Liggat, John (Co-investigator) Mckendry, Stephanie (Co-investigator) Mitchell, Richard (Co-investigator) Smithx, Cowboy (Co-investigator) Cairns, Liam (Co-investigator) Phillips, Alexandra Lort (Co-investigator) McGroarty, John Paul (Co-investigator) Walters, Hannah (Co-investigator)
The project aims to develop an interest group through snowballing to establish an internal network and shape the vision and framework of a Strathclyde-based Hub on children and young people's leadership role in sustainable environmental solutions. The intended outcomes are: extended transdisciplinary networks to enable Strathclyde-led research, KE and CDTs development; increased capacity in Strathclyde’s community on working with children and young people as agents of change.
03-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2022
Embracing Diversity Through Picturebooks
Mevawalla, Zinnia (Principal Investigator)
A professional development workshop on using picture books to embrace diversity.
Self-regulation matters: Examining how an inclusive play-based program can enhance pre-schoolers' transitions to school
Pino-Pasternak, Deborah (Principal Investigator) Pamphilon, Barbara (Co-investigator) Simoncini, Kym (Co-investigator) Perry, Nancy (CoI) Mevawalla, Zinnia (CoI)
This project will investigate the effectiveness of a play-based program to enhance pre-schoolers’ self-regulation (SR) in the transition to school, with a particular focus on children and families from diverse backgrounds and those experiencing risk or vulnerability. The program will be co-designed with families, Early Childhood (EC) educators, and school teachers. The program will subsequently be trialled in a small-scale pilot study involving two transition teams (EC providers and schools). Children’s SR, learning dispositions, and developmentally appropriate academic learning will be assessed following a quasi-experimental pre-/post-test design. Findings will inform the development of a larger scale study that will scale-out the program more widely in the ACT and/or into other jurisdictions.
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2023

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