Natalie McMaster - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Natalie McMaster

MEd Flin., GradCertEd Flin., BEd C.Darwin., BTeach C.Darwin.

  • Associate Lecturer, Education
+61 7 5456 5705
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Natalie McMaster

Natalie McMaster started her teaching career in a bilingual school in a remote community in the Northern Territory and continued teaching in various remote communities in early childhood, primary and middle years settings. She moved into the corporate area of education as Education Advisor for Physical Education, undertaking education policy and teacher professional development roles for the Department of Education in the Northern Territory. In 2011, Natalie was on the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Health and Physical Education National Panel and began working for ACARA as an advisor on Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia priority in its inclusion in Health and Physical Education. She went on to become a writer for the Australian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education.

Natalie has previously been the National Vice-President of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), and has also been the President of ACHPER Northern Territory. She has also held the position of Chairperson of the ACHPER Active and Healthy Schools Committee (AHSC), established to assist in advancing ACHPER's engagement with health education communities relevant to Health and Physical Education, Recreation and Sport fields and professional contexts.

Natalie is finalising her PhD research in the Northern Territory on teachers' perspectives on the 'health work' that they do in schools, as part of an Australian Research Grant (ARC) with University of Queensland's School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences. Passionate about Health and Physical Education in education, Natalie has been contracted by Oxford University to write a textbook titled Teaching Health and Physical Education in Early Childhood and Primary Years of Schooling due for publication in May 2019.

Technologies curriculum is also an area of interest for Natalie and she designed the USC ieducate initiative which aims to improve preservice teacher knowledge, confidence and skills in integrating technology and ICT into teaching programs. USC's goal is to be a primary engine of capacity building in the broader Sunshine Coast region, from Brisbane to the Fraser Coast and the USC ieducate program has been designed to meet this goal. Natalie has also designed the Make, Integrate, Explore (MIE) School which is a HEPPP funded project with an aim to increase student interest in STEAM careers post-schooling.

Natalie is a lecturer in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Primary Education and Masters programs.

Natalie’s recent awards include a USC Advance Award for Advancing the Student Experience in 2018, and USC Vice-Chancellor and President's Award for Excellence in Engagement in 2017.

Research areas

  • health and physical education
  • assessment
  • curriculum implementation and curriculum fidelity
  • technology and ICT integration in teaching programs

Teaching areas

  • EDU103 Integrating ICTs into Learning
  • EDU204 Teaching Technologies: Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • EDU216 Teaching Health and Physical Education in the Early Years of Schooling
  • EDU300 Assessing Learning
  • EDU317 Teaching Health and Physical Education in the Primary Years of Schooling
  • EDU779 Teaching Health and Physical Education in Primary School (Masters)

Natalie McMaster is a current PhD student with the University of Queensland’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences. Her thesis questions the nature of health work being undertaken by teachers in Northern Territory Government (NTG) schools. This research provides much needed data on NTG teachers’ descriptions of the health work they perform, and the perception of this work from school and community members, in school sites, whose contexts differ greatly from mainstream schools in the rest of Australia. Natalie engages in a culturally sensitive manner with Indigenous participants in the research and seeks to foreground Indigenous ‘voices’. She has been advised by two Indigenous advisors (male and female) on data collection and communication methods (yarning sessions), interpretation of research data, and cultural background on content. Natalie’s research critically reflects on her perspective, position, power and privilege in relation to the data and how it was analysed and reported.

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