• 316 Citations
1986 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Manjula’s expertise focus on educational leadership, early childhood policy especially on quality matters, as well as child and family diversity, and professional learning, mentoring and career development of early childhood personnel. For her contribution to the study of early childhood educational leadership, Manjula was awarded a Honoris Causa in Education by the University of Tampere, Finland. Manjula has been exploring the conceptualisation and enactment of leadership within Early Childhood settings for almost two decades.  She initiated the dialogue on theorising distributed leadership paradigm in Early Childhood settings, and this research continues to evolve through collaborations with Scandinavian researchers.


Manjula has an extensive track record of working in the Early Childhood sector in a variety of roles comprising being a classroom practitioner, a parent, a policy analyst, an advocate, a teacher educator, an academic writer and researcher. She has a deep knowledge of Early Childhood policy and practice built through teaching, research and active involvement in the sector for over three decades, including holding office in various community organisations including Early Childhood Australia and UNICEF Australia. Manjula’s continuing interests in cross-cultural research have been built through collaborations with colleagues from diverse countries especially those from Estonia, Finland, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore and South Africa. In connection with this work Manjula was appointed the Editor-in-Chief for Early Childhood Education by Bloomsbury Publishers. She is one of four international scholars who oversees the preparation of articles from around the world, for inclusion in Bloomsbury’s digital platform dedicated to Education and Childhood Studies (www.becs-bloomsbury.com).


External positions

Adjunct Professor (Docentship), University of Tampere

Sep 2008 → …

Visiting Professor of Early Childhood Research, University of Oulu


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Research Outputs

Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)

    Early childhood educators’ workplace well-being: it’s everyone’s right!

    Jones, C., Johnstone, M., Hadley, F. & Waniganayake, M., 9 Oct 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. p. 1-16 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Insights on mentoring practices within the early childhood sector in Singapore

    Wong, D., Waniganayake, M. & Hadley, F., 2020, Mentoring and coaching in early childhood education. Gasper, M. & Walker, R. (eds.). London: Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 89-98 10 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Keeping children safe in out of school hours care

    Hadley, F., Waniganayake, M., Mevawalla, Z., Jones, C., Blythin, S. & Beauchamp, D., 4 Sep 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Child Abuse Review. 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Merit selecting school leaders: Australian principals' perspectives

    Steed, K., De Nobile, J. & Waniganayake, M., 25 Apr 2020, In : International Journal of Educational Management. 34, 8, p. 1303-1315 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Prizes

  • Doctor Honoris Causa in Education

    Manjula Waniganayake (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Honorary award

  • Scholarship

    Manjula Waniganayake (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Other distinction

  • Activities

    NSW Education Standards Authority (External organisation)

    Manjula Waniganayake (Member)
    May 2017Jul 2017

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    Bloomsbury (Publisher)

    Manjula Waniganayake (Editor in chief)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    International Journal of Early Years Education (Journal)

    Manjula Waniganayake (Member of editorial board)
    Jun 2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    South African Journal of Early Childhood (Journal)

    Manjula Waniganayake (Member of editorial board)
    Jan 2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work