About Mairead Hannan

Mairead manages projects that increase community participation in the arts and education. She has extensive experience in engaging diverse communities, including migrants and refugees across a range of settings including an AFL club (North  Melbourne Football Club), schools, university, local government, and grass roots arts and community organisations.

Mairead holds several awards for musical composition and a Centenary Medal for contribution to Australian Society. The Huddle, which she developed from inception has won many awards.

As an educator she has a special interest in the arts, languages, and digital skills and she leads professional learning and pre-service teaching programs in language education. She also works as a musical director, producer and composer.


MAIREAD HANNAN composes music for film, theatre and concerts. She composed and was musical director for the musical film One Night the Moon (ABC, 2001), featuring Paul Kelly and directed by  filmmaker Rachel Perkins, and written by Hannan, Kelly, Kev Carmody, John Romeril and Perkins (http://alturl.com/8kkwn).

As founder of north arts, an organisation that harnessed the energies of local artists, she managed a multidisciplinary program of artist-led events at the Arts House (1999-2006) to increase participation in the arts in the North Melbourne area. She joined the City of Melbourne’s Music Strategy Advisory Committee in 2013.

Mairead was awarded a Centennial Medal for Contribution to Australian society 2003, Australian Guild of Screen Composers: Best Soundtrack Album 2002, and in 2001: AFI Best Original Score, New York Independent Film and TV festival Best Musical; Film Critics Circle of Australian Award Best Music.

Mairead composes music inspired by modal traditions for Xylouris Ensemble and performs with various musicians. 

Mairead devised and composed for kyklos, the first in a trilogy (dir: Paul Hampton, Arts House, 1999 & 2000) and Square (dir: Robin Laurie, Arts House, 2004). She composed a live version of One Night the Moon (dir: Wesley Enoch, Malthouse, 2009); and Village Tales (dir: Robert Meldrum, Arts House, 1999).

euphonia 1


Mairead currently works at The Huddle devising innovative programs for bilingual youth including digital storytelling to build identity, language and belonging. She has extensive experience in TESOL with new arrivals and in mainstream schools and a Master of TESOL on educational policy and its effects on bilingual students. She was President of VicTESOL, the professional association for TESOL and multicultural education. Mairead has lectured in TESOL education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and has represented Victoria on the Australian Council of TESOL Associations.

Mairead has worked at The Huddle since its inception. The Huddle was awarded the national Migration and Settlement Award for Sports Leadership (2013); the Victorian Premier’s Award for Community Harmony (2012); a Melbourne Award for contribution to Multiculturalism by an organisation (2016); and an Award for Excellence from the Centre for Multicultural Youth (2016). In this blog you can read about The Huddle’s programs for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. For more information on The Huddle, see http://www.nmfc.com.au/huddle



  • “Building Community Connections” panel member, VicTESOL Symposium (2016)
  • Video resources, ACTA International TESOL Conference (2014) http://victesol.vic.edu.au/index.php/acta2014-conference-videos/
  • “Language and Who We Are” panel member, Victorian Association for the Teaching of English conference, (2012)
  • “EAL in Community Settings”, online presentation for EAL Matters, DEECD (2012)
  • “The Huddle’s Study Support Program”, Learning Beyond the Bell, Centre for Multicultural Youth (2012)
  • “Tales from Many Lands” performance for middle years students, Melbourne Writers Festival, (2011-12)
  • “Empowering (and listening to) students through digital storytelling”, New Arrivals Program Professional Learning Day, (2012)
  • “The Power of Digital Storytelling”, Online Professional Learning for the DEECD, (2011) https://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/pages/View.aspx?pin=ZK9NST
  • ESL Matters, DEECD webconference, (2011)
  • Valedictorian, University of Melbourne, (2010)
  • “The impact of the Literacy Crisis on ESL in mainstream schools”, New Arrivals Programs Conference, (2010)
  • Presentation of research findings on language and literacy policy, VicTESOL Conference, (2009)
  • Language and Literacy Education Research Day, University of Melbourne, (2009)
  • Action research project on reflective practices, Leaders In The Making, DEECD, (2008)
  • Language and Literacy Education Symposium, University of Melbourne, (2007) http://www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/lale/about%20LALE/2007tevents.html
  • Gatherings, a multilingual parent network for North Melbourne Primary School (2007-9)



  • Hannan, M. (2009). Righting Wrongs and Writing Rights. Tamara Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, 8 (8.1 and 8.2) ISSN 1532-5555 (http://www.peaceaware.com/tamara/issues/81%2082%20issue.pdf)
  • Hannan, M. (2009). The Discourse of ESL Policy: the Impact of the ‘Literacy Crisis’. University of Melbourne, Melbourne. (dtl.unimelb.edu.au/researchfile126438.pdf)
  • Regular articles in VicTESOL Newsletters http://www.victesol.vic.edu.au/victesol-newsletter.php
  • “The Huddle Activity Book” (201o). North Melbourne Football Club
  • “Hop To It” (2013). North Melbourne Football Club

School-based multicultural and multilingual publications



  • Action Research project, North Way at The Huddle
  • Master of TESOL, supervised by Professor Joseph Lo Bianco at the University of Melbourne, “The Discourse of ESL policy: the impact of the ‘literacy crisis’“ (2009)
  • The implementation of the “Reading to Learn” approach to literacy teaching, Innovation and Change in Language Education, University of Melbourne (2007)
  • Action research project on reflective practices, Leaders In The Making, DEECD, (2008)


Community Development Projects

  • Australian Council of TESOL Associations – Treasurer and Executive, leading the ACTA International TESOL Conference, 2014 (Melbourne)
  • The Huddle – social cohesion through digital storytelling, education, careers and sport for young people; development and management of key programs such as the Schools Program (years 3-10), Study Support Program (ages 15-25), North Way (for EAL learners in the middle years), True North Leadership Program, Work Expo and Careers for young people from diverse backgrounds.
  • north arts – creating a coalition of artists in the City of Melbourne, culminating in the foundation of north arts, a groundbreaking organization that harnessed the energies of local artists through innovative projects across art forms, developing managements skills and audiences (1998-2006)
  • Telling Stories – Enhancing the storytelling skills of a culturally and linguistically diverse community – culminating in the trilingual publication Telling Stories (2006)
  • Square – working inter-generationally with Irish Australian communities to explore cultural maintenance and the Irish diaspora through epic song, dance and music cycles (2004)
  • kyklos – supporting the Pontic Greek community group APOTHE to create and present a performance about the exile and dispossession of its people form the Black Sea and their identity in Australia (1999)


  • Master of TESOL, University of Melbourne, (2009)
  • Certificate IV in Marriage, Australian Institute of Education and Training (2005)
  • Diploma of Education, La Trobe University, (1989)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Melbourne, (1986)


  • Valedictorian, University of Melbourne, (August 2010)
  • Centennial Medal, Australian Government, (Melbourne, 2003)
  • Best Original Score, Australian Film Industry, (Melbourne, 2001)
  • Best Soundtrack Album, Australian Guild of Screen Composers, (Sydney, 2002)
  • Best Musical, New York Independent Film and TV Festival, (New York, 2001)
  • Best Music, Film Critics Circle of Australian Award, (Sydney, 2001)
  • Teacher Professional Leave, DEECD, 30 days leave, (Melbourne, 2009)

Prestigious Appointments


  • Member, Music Strategy Advisory Committee, City of Melbourne (2013–2016)
  • Member, VicTESOL committee (2013-2017)


  • Treasurer, Australian Council of TESOL Associations, (councilor since 2010-5), tesol.org.au
  • Member, Ministerial Advisory Committee Multilingual and Multicultural Victoria (2011-4)
  • Member, External Reference Group, Immigration Museum’s Symposium (2014)
  • Treasurer, VicTESOL (since 2012-15)
  • Member, Conference Planning Group, ACTA International TESOL Conference 2014 (2012-14), http://www.tesol.org.au/ACTA-Conference
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Language and Society Centre, Monash University (2012-14)
  • Member, Stakeholders Group, Public Record Office of Victoria (2010-13)
  • President of VicTESOL, (2010-12) http://www.victesol.vic.edu.au
  • Guest Co-Editor, TESOL in Context, Vol 2010, No 1, (2010)
  • English as an Additional Language Teacher Education Forum, Department of Education Victoria (2011)
  • Planning committee, VicTESOL ESL Conference (2011) victesol.vic.edu.au/conferences
  • Ministerial Advisory Council for LOTE, ESL and Multicultural Education (2009-10)
  • National Working Party for Advanced Primary Teaching Standards (2009)
  • National Symposium on Assessing English as a Second/Another Language in the Australian Context, University of New South Wales, (2009)
  • Founding Leader, north arts (1998-2006), http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ntharts

3 thoughts on “About Mairead Hannan”

  1. Thank you so much for your very helpful information on One Night the Moon. This will be invaluable for teaching the film – we are very grateful for your generosity, for sharing your expertise and insights into your creative processes. Thank you again!

  2. I’ve just discovered One Night the Moon (yes, slow, I know – sorry!), and fallen in love with Moon Child in particular. Is it possible to get the sheet music for it anywhere?

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