Most Productive Researcher Award for the Faculty of Arts and Education

Prize: Internal prize


Professor Sharynne McLeod is one of our 2021 Faculty Research Awards winners. Sharynne is the winner of the Most Productive Female Researcher Award and the Most Productive Researcher Award (by Overall Category A RPI Points) for the Faculty of Arts and Education.

Sharynne is a speech-language pathologist and professor of speech and language acquisition at Charles Sturt University, in the School of Education. She is an international research leader. In 2021, she was the first International Affiliate to receive Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) since the award began in 1944. ASHA has over 218,000 members. The Australian Newspaper named her as Australia’s Research Field Leader in Audiology, Speech and Language Pathology in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and “best in the world based on the quality, volume and impact of work” in 2019.

Sharynne's many achievements and contributions to our University and broader community are remarkable. She is Co-Chair of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech, and Deputy Chair of the Child Speech committee of the International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Executive Council Member of the Asia Pacific Society for Speech, Language and Hearing. A Life Member of Speech Pathology Australia, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. Winner of Editor’s Awards from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing: Speech (2018, awarded in 2019), the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2019, awarded in 2020), and Topics in Language Disorders (2020, awarded in 2021). As well as having been an invited keynote speaker at many American Speech-Language-Hearing Association conventions, and at conferences and universities all around the world.

Previously, Sharynne was also editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (Q1), Vice President of the International Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Association, and Elected Board Member of the International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders (IALP).

Tell us a bit about your research?

My research focuses on monolingual and multilingual children's speech acquisition. I also research the prevalence and impact of childhood speech sound disorders and link to policy and service delivery issues.

In the past decade Sharynne has been awarded over $1.6M from the Australian Research Council to undertake research supporting children’s speech, language and communication, and has been an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She has co-authored 11 books and over 230 peer reviewed journal articles and chapters focusing on children’s speech acquisition, speech sound disorders, and multilingualism.

How does your research impact Charles Sturt and our community?

My research aligns with the Resilient People and Flourishing Communities spheres of Charles Sturt’s 2017 research narrative.

Professor McLeod is co-leader of the Faculty of Arts and Education Early Childhood Research Group. In 2020 she co-chaired the Early Childhood Voices 2020 conference that was attended by 2700 people from more than 70 countries. She is an active member on many university committees, provides many research presentations, and research mentorship to individuals across the university. Her Charles Sturt PhD students and postdocs have won many University, national, and international awards.

Sharynne is a co-leader of the Charles Sturt Scheme: Accelerating Interdisciplinary Educational Research (AIER), and of the International Children’s Communication Theme. The AIER Program supports Charles Sturt’s contribution to Sustainable Development Goals 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG10: Reducing Inequalities.

My research foregrounds the right of everyone, particularly children, to participate fully in society.

In 2019, she presented a speech about communication rights at the United Nations in New York. She has provided expertise into the children and youth version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and the Rehabilitation Competency Framework for the World Health Organization.

Professor McLeod has collaborated with professionals across the Central West to develop the NSW Health website Waiting for Speech Pathology.

You can also visit her website Multilingual Children’s Speech website (, which has free resources in over 60 languages and is typically downloaded over 18,000 times per month.
Degree of recognitionRegional
Granting OrganisationsCharles Sturt University, Australia