Hello! Welcome to Dancing Wombat!

Hi everyone! I’m Jennie Irving.

I’m based in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia and Dancing Wombat is my online forum for all of us who teach, nurture and guide kids with special needs, whether in a formal classroom setting, in the home or out in our community.

Here, I share:

  • My own experience and reflections on the experience of supporting special needs kids
  • Lesson Plans
  • Ideas
  • Resources

Why ‘Dancing Wombat’? The name is about Australia, it’s about kids, it’s about creativity, growth and fun.

Most importantly, Dancing Wombat is a community! So drop in – share something on our Facebook Page or Send a Message to share your own ideas and experiences, frustrations and triumphs.

Drop in – share your ideas and experiences, frustrations and triumphs.

Our Blog

Trekking through Teenagistan

Living with teens is, to my mind, like an uncertain trek through the ‘Stans’ of the ancient Silk Route – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and so on. We often view the ‘Stans’ as metaphors for uncertainty,...

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Ten reasons to smile when you don’t feel like it

The world looks brighter from behind a smile. It must be true – the internet is awash with memes and cute pictures celebrating that fact. There’s possibly also some serious scientific research backing this up, (although given the politics of climate change in...

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Just who do you think you are? An autism mum, that’s who!

Questions of identity Identity. Who we are. Some of us probably don’t even think about it. For others, thoughts about sexuality, gender, ethnic, religious, even national identity are a constant companion. I identify myself as Australian, Christian, a wife, mother,...

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About Jennie Irving


I’m a believer in small things that can make big dreams come true. Like creating and directing a “voice” orchestra, the Soul Voices a cappella group, fulfilling my dream to be a conductor.

Small but deep satisfactions are seeing routine stuff done perfectly – table beautifully set. Dishes stored, not just stacked. Lunch boxes in a line ready to fill, so I can kick back and do my own thing.

What really lifts me up is watching the sunset with my kids and seeing hot-air balloons pass overhead early in the morning. High points in my day are working out cryptic crossword clues and watching the seasons change in my garden.

My sister calls me a reading garbage disposal unit because I’ll devour just about anything with print, from kids’ stories about Viking warriors to the biography of Samuel Johnson.

I’ve lived in France and Canada and French is my second language. You can parler français avec moi any time!

I’ve been a trekkie on Tasmania’s Overland Track and a train-ee in Europe, Asia and North America. From horse-riding in the Canadian Rockies to ski instructing children in the Austrian Alps in my high-school German, I’ll have a go at just about anything. Try me!