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Dr Maryanne Pale

Lecturer and Researcher


Dr. Maryanne Pale is a Lecturer and a Researcher in the Department of Education, School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education, at Swinburne University of Technology. She has lectured in the curriculum areas of English and literacy within initial teacher education courses for over 5 years. In 2021-2022, she had developed two new units entitled: 'Teaching Early Reading' and 'Supporting Students with English as a Second Language'; both of which contributed to the teacher education course accreditation requirements. Her experience in teaching helps to inform her work in educational research and vice versa. 

In 2021-2022, Maryanne was a Chief Investigator within multi-disciplinary teams across three research projects that were awarded state and federal grants worth a combined total of $1.2 million. Her role in these projects as the only Tongan/Pacific academic and her vast experiences in the education of learners from culturally and linguistically diverse communities offered each research project important and unique cultural insights and academic expertise. Maryanne had initiated and co-led the initial phase of a Category 2 grant with the Centre of Multicultural Youth (CMY), which then expanded to a project with the National Rugby League (NRL) and engaged a number of SoSSMFE, Design and Health Sciences academics. In 2022, she was awarded with the Dean of School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education 'Emerging Researcher Award' at Swinburne University of Technology. This award recognised her initiative to form partnerships with community-based organisations such as CMY and NRL which demonstrates a significant achievement of the Swinburne research priorities area of Social Innovation. As a result, the projects have enabled Maryanne to provide direct and indirect advice to government and community partners in support of the education of Pacific learners in Australia. Her research also explores the fields of English and literacy education, teaching English as an Additional Language/Dialect, the education of Pacific learners and learners from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

In addition, Maryanne is a co-supervisor for a number of PhD students enrolled at Swinburne University of Technology. Their PhD topics include examining the teaching and learning of English in international educational contexts and the investigation of the practice of Mindfulness in Australian schools. 

Furthermore, Maryanne engages with community and industry led organisations as part of her leadership and service. Currently, she is a member of Victorian Early Childhood Research Consortium; the Victorian Institute of Teaching Accreditation Expert Group; and a member of the Australian Pasifika Educators Network Reference Group.

Educational and Professional Background:

From The University of Auckland, New Zealand, Maryanne graduated with qualifications in the arts, teaching and education. She has worked as a registered teacher and a reading specialist for early years education in South Auckland, New Zealand. Upon completing a Master of Education (Honours) from The University of Auckland, she transitioned out of teaching and into work as a researcher. After graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education from The University of Auckland, she had relocated from New Zealand to Australia to take on a number of roles at Western Sydney University within the School of Education and the School of Social Sciences and Psychology. In June 2017, she was appointed as a Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology (Victoria) and she was recognised as an Early Career Researcher in Australia for the first time. In spite of experiencing a number of significant career interruptions, Maryanne continues to work towards supporting pre-service teachers, the Department of Education, School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education, Swinburne University of Technology, and relevant communities through her teaching, research, leadership and service.

Research interests

Teacher Education; English; Literacy Education; Pasifika Education; English as an Additional Language/Dialect; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Associate Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Cultural Responsiveness And Working With Pacific Peoples Communities Education - 451401
  • English And Literacy Curriculum And Pedagogy (excl. Lote, Esl And Tesol) - 390104
  • English As A Second Language - 470306

Teaching areas

English and Literacy Education


  • 2022, Swinburne, Dean's Emerging Researcher Award, Swinburne University of Technology


Also published as: Pale, Maryanne; Pale, M.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2022: Sa’ili le ala: 21st Century career discovery sprint for Pasifika youths *; Safer Communities Fund: Early Intervention
  • 2021: Access Quality Teaching initiative *; Department of Education and Training (Vic)
  • 2021: Supporting Pasifika islander youth towards positive life trajectories *; Department of Justice (Vic) - Building Safer Communities

* Chief Investigator

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