Author Biography

Simone Collier is a Special Education teacher who has taught in behaviour support and special Education and mainstream settings for several years. Simone worked as a Deputy Principal and as a Guidance Officer before moving into the Child Protection sector. Simone is currently in a State Project Manager role. Simone is deeply passionate about supporting children with complex trauma and is currently engaged in her doctorate research investigating the barriers and enablers for mainstream classroom teachers to engage in professional development of trauma informed classroom pedagogy.

Recently, Simone published her first children’s book, titled “Jeremy’s Changing Family” which is focused on hearing the voice of a little boy who is the biological child of foster carers. Simone intends to provide consultancy services and support to teachers and children with developmental trauma post-graduation.

Professor Karen Trimmer focus is leadership for community capacity building, through research that impacts on education and social justice policy and governance through professional development and empowerment of leaders in education organisations and communities. She currently works within the Professional Studies program to develop leadership in practice and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and postgraduate students.

India Bryce is a Lecturer in the School of Education at USQ and a specialist consultant in the field of child maltreatment, specializing in cumulative harm. India has published books, book chapters, and journal articles, including two co-edited reference books, Child Abuse and Neglect: Forensic Issues in Evidence, Impact and Management, and Child Sexual Abuse: Forensic Issues in Evidence, Impact and Management. India’s current research areas include cumulative harm, trauma narratives, Trauma informed pedagogy, transgender youth and juvenile justice, and separated parents and the education system.

Dr. Govind Krishnamoorthy is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. Dr. Krishnamoorthy’s research and clinical practice focuses on improving mental health and educational outcomes for children, youth and families from priority populations. He has collaborated extensively with schools and a number of health and child welfare services, in implementing systems approaches for trauma informed and attachment sensitive practices.


This paper is based on a research approach that aims to explore and explain the roadblocks and enablers for mainstream classroom teachers engaging in professional development and training focused on trauma informed pedagogical practices.. Teachers seeking resources that promote discrete behavioural and cognitive skills in the social emotional developmental domain can easily access advocacy, policy articles and resource materials that are in the form of guides, toolkits, and programs. Notwithstanding this, a second focus area is the relational approach whereby the main tenet is children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development is dependent on the relational context in which they spend their time. It is an area that emphasises the interpersonal skills of adults rather than focusing on the knowledge and behavioural skills of the child. A considerable body of research exists that supports the relational approach of trauma informed practice to mitigate the effects of risk factors in the lives of children with developmental trauma. The aim of this paper is to assess and discuss the methodology, rationale, and results for this research through examining the qualitative research process undertaken with a group of mainstream primary school teachers. This paper will examine the outcomes of the teacher interviews that highlight the roadblocks and enablers for teachers engaging in education and training to enhance their skills and knowledge on being trauma informed in their teaching practices. These results have significant implications for future framework development in school settings.