Margaret (Maggie) Fanning

Maggie Fanning is a nurse and midwife with child and adolescent health qualifications.

Inspired by the challenges faced by her son with developmental problems including autism, Maggie and others in the regional Victorian town of Benalla founded the Capability Building Inc charity to support children with disabilities. In 2008 the doors of EdSpace opened providing a specialist school for students like her son.

While working full-time at EdSpace, Maggie undertook a Graduate Diploma of Education through La Trobe University and eventually became school Principal.

Maggie’s role is very complex involving not only teaching and management, but dealing with challenging mental health problems and supporting students and their families.

EdSpace has been recognised in a number of ways, including winning a state NAB Schools First award for their dog program.

In 2017, during its ninth year, EdSpace was visited by Members of Parliament conducting the Victorian Inquiry into Services for People with Autism, along with families from around Victoria who wish to replicate the service in their own communities.

Local paediatricians and other services recognise the good outcomes for students who were previously disengaged or not at school.

Maggie is currently helping to develop a farm-based apprenticeship scheme for some students with local landowners.