Holcombe, Wendy

Position: Scholarly Teaching Fellow
Study area: Inclusive Education 
Location: Gippsland Campus, Room 2S-215 
Phone: 5122 8053
Email: w.holcombe@federation.edu.au


  • Master of Education – Monash University - 2016
  • Bachelor of Education – Monash University – 1997
  • Diploma of Teaching (Primary) – State College of Victoria at Frankston - 1979



  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • Bachelor of Education (Birth –Year 6)
  • Bachelor of Education Studies


  • Understanding Disability (EDBED1013)
  • Inclusive Education (EDBED1014)
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners (EDBED2010)
  • Collaborative Partnerships (EDBED2112)
  • Wellbeing and Social and Emotional Learning for the Primary Years (EDBED2113)
  • Gifted Education (EDFGC2512)
  • Social Emotional Wellbeing and Personal Development (EDBED3011)
  • Teaching Students with Complex Needs (EDBED3113)
  • Technology and Communication for and with Diverse Learners (EDBED3116)
  • Responding to Challenge: Mental Health, Behaviour and Learning (EDBED3117)
  • Wellbeing in the School Context (XC01 & XC02)


Wendy is an educator working in the School of Education with a passion for inclusive practice. Wendy completed a Master’s Degree in Education at the Gippsland campus as a Monash student during the merger with Federation University and commenced work here as a Research Assistant and Sessional Lecturer in Disability Studies. Prior to working at Federation, Wendy was employed as an Autism Coach with the South-Eastern Victoria Regional Office of what was then the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). During this time Wendy was seconded to the Central Office of the DEECD to work as an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Project Officer, collaborating in a range of initiatives to support inclusion in schools. Wendy has previously held positions in education as a Behaviour Management and Support Consultant, a Classroom Teacher in primary, secondary and specialist settings and a Shared Specialist working within a cluster of small rural schools. Wendy is currently undertaking a doctoral degree at Federation University in the field of inclusive education.

Areas of expertise

Wendy works in the field of Initial Teacher Education with a focus on disability, wellbeing and inclusive education. She has a significant interest in giftedness and twice-exceptionality, particularly within students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Her research interests are in the areas of student support, inclusive practice and holistic education.

(1) Student support: Diversity, personal needs and wellbeing

Wendy’s research into educator perspectives on support for high-functioning students with ASD, highlights the need for improved alignment between student needs and the nature of support provided. As an inclusive educator she acknowledges difference and diversity as beneficial and seeks deeper understanding of ways in which students’ needs can be addressed to optimise wellbeing, engagement and achievement in schools.

(2) Inclusive practice: Universal Design for Learning (UDL), differentiation and personalised learning

As a Head Teacher of a one teacher school, Wendy’s early career path provided the natural environment for an affinity with the principles of UDL, differentiation and personalised learning to emerge. Within a multi-aged class, diverse needs and abilities were managed as an everyday occurrence. This has led to a deep interest in pedagogical approaches underpinned by these principles.

(3) Holistic education: Classroom climate and culture

Wendy has a strong commitment to the development of safe, supportive and productive environments. She recognises the value in positive relationships and communication, and acknowledges the need to create ways of working that empower all learners, regardless of their unique characteristics, needs, abilities and interests

Research interests

  • Inclusion in schools
  • Teacher perspectives on working with diversity
  • Individual rights and social justice
  • Twice-exceptionality
  • Temperament influences


Book chapters

Plunkett, M., Dyson, M. & Holcombe, W. (2018). Experimenting with place: The China project. In M. Plunkett & M. Dyson (Eds.) Surviving, thriving and reviving in adolescence: Research and narratives from the school for student leadership (pp. 173-201). Springer.

Refereed journal articles

Holcombe, W. & Plunkett, M. (2016). The Bridges and Barriers Model of Support for high-functioning students with ASD in mainstream schools. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 41(9). http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2016v41n9.2


  • Victorian Institute of Teaching