Program & Speakers

The symposium was held on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 September 2012 at the Hilton Adelaide in South Australia.

National Symposium 2012 Program (PDF 247KB)

Program subject to change.

Speaker biographies:

Dr Margy Whalley, Director of ResearchPen Green Research, Development and Training Base and Leadership Centre, United KingdomMargy Whalley has managed multi-disciplinary early years services in Brazil, Papua New Guinea and England. She was the founding Head of the Pen Green Centre for Under 5’s and their families and has worked there since 1983. She has an MA in Community Education, and completed a PhD which focused on Leadership in Integrated Centres. She was seconded to the Open University where she wrote course materials for parents wanting to increase their knowledge and understanding of child development. Margy was heavily involved in the development of the Early Excellence Centre program. She was appointed to the advisory board of the National Early Excellence Evaluation program and the Early Years Advisory Group for the DfES. She has also worked as an advisor to Margaret Hodge as Minister for Children and Families directorate. In 2008 Margy was asked to chair the National Reference Group for Children’s Centres.She is currently Director of the Research, Development and Training Base at the Pen Green Centre and is involved in research, training and consultancy work in the UK and in relation to policy transfer and integrated services in Germany, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. The primary task of the research base in its first 10 years was the design and development of a knowledge sharing program which involved parents in their children’s learning. This program has now been adapted regionally, nationally by local authorities and internationally by those developing integrated services. Pen Green was funded by the National Parenting Institute under the ELP programme, to train and disseminate this approach across four local authorities in 2007-8.Margy, contracted through the DfES, was also responsible for developing a leadership learning route for those leading integrated centres. Initially this was offered as an advanced module in Leadership funded by the DfES and delivered by Pen Green in association with the University of Leicester. Subsequently Margy and the Pen Green team of consultants were responsible for developing the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership program and producing the National Standards for Leadership in Integrated Children’s Centres. The Pen Green Team supported the first two years of the roll-out of the NPQICL programme through 11 learning communities across England. Margy also worked on the design team for the TDA/NCSL leadership program for extended schools / extended services.On a personal note she has a wonderful 30 year old daughter and is grandmother to an amazing 4 year old Molly and more recently gorgeous 1 year old Tom. She is very committed to local politics, loves eating out with friends, visiting new places and meeting new people and is addicted to reading and study.
Dr Charles E. Pascal, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of TorontoCharles E. Pascal is an internationally recognized educator with expertise in early and higher education, training, policy development, and leadership & organizational development. He has published extensively in the fields of psychology and education.In late 2007, Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed Charles as his Special Advisor on Early Learning. In June 2009, Charles released his seminal report With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario that is informing policy and practice within and outside of Canada. Currently, Charles is Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at OISE/University of Toronto where he is coordinator of the PhD. Program in Early Learning. Charles is also the Senior Advisor to the Chagnon Foundation in Montreal, advisor to Australia’s Good Start Early Learning organization, and continues to advise governments in Canada and beyond. Charles is also a regular contributor to the Toronto Star newspaper and a baseball coach at the University of Toronto.Charles graduated from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in psychology in 1969 and immediately joined the psychology faculty of McGill University in Montreal. While at McGill, he was a founder of The Centre for Learning and Development. He also founded the McGill Community Family Centre, a full-service child-care centre that was the first of its kind in Canadian universities. He also served on numerous community advisory boards and committees dealing with the education of disadvantaged and special-needs children. In addition, Charles headed a team at Montreal Children’s Hospital that provided training to help parents support children with disabilities.Charles has been a college president and a former deputy minister, heading up departments of health, social services and education. Charles has received recognition from many organizations to date, including five honorary diplomas and doctorates.
Isabelle Trowler and Steve Goodman, Morning Lane Associates, United KingdomIsabelle Trowler qualified as a social worker from the London School of Economics & Political Science in 1996 and since then has worked within both the voluntary and statutory sectors both in education and social care settings. She has worked in a variety of roles – as a front-line practitioner, a commissioner of children’s services and in the last ten years as a senior manager with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hackney.Steve Goodman has a BA (Hons) Psychology from Hull University, an MA in Social Work and a Masters in Business Administration from Leicester University. He has had extensive experience in the field of social care and began his career in Leicestershire, originally as a front-line social worker and then in a range of managerial and strategic roles. Whilst there he played an integral part in the development of the county’s child-care strategy which improved support to families and resulted in a significant reduction in the care population.
Dr Rosemary Roberts, Early Years Consultant and Trainer, United KingdomRosemary Roberts is an independent consultant and writer. She holds a post-graduate diploma from the Tavistock Clinic UK in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies; and a recent PhD for which she researched wellbeing development from birth to three in the home. She has worked in nursery, primary and higher education, and in the voluntary sector; and was a founder director of Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP), working with Sure Start programmes in disadvantaged areas. In 1999 she was awarded an OBE. She has written two books: Self Esteem and Early Learning, 2006, 3rd ed.; and Wellbeing from Birth, 2010.
  Rod Cooke, CEO, Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council(CS&HISC), NSWRod Cooke is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC).  As CEO, Rod directs CS&HISCs work in identifying workforce challenges for the community services and health industries and leading the response to industry changes, growth, workforce shortages and workforce development issues on a national basis. CS&HISC works closely with government, industry and training providers to identify changes in these industries and change in work roles, advise on workforce development, assist in supporting workforce participation and develops the appropriate job performance, skills standards and qualifications required.  Rod has an extensive background in training and recruitment, and in the vocational education sector. He has held senior management and training positions and also has a strong community services background.
  Dr Tim Moore, Senior Research Fellow, The Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, MelbourneTim Moore trained as a teacher and psychologist at the University of Melbourne, subsequently and has worked as an educational and developmental psychologist for over 30 years, both in Australia and England, in a variety of mainstream and specialist settings. Prior to taking up his present position in 2000, he was Co-ordinator at Monnington Early Intervention Centre, a statewide early childhood intervention service for deaf children. In his current position at the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH), Dr. Moore works with colleagues from different disciplines in providing advice to state and federal government and non-government agencies on best practices in early childhood, and in conducting research and project work in generalist and specialist early childhood services and in service development. He has been the principal writer on numerous CCCH reviews, reports and policy briefs, including reviews of early childhood intervention services, sustained home visiting services, integrated service systems, and place-based approaches.
Dr Dianne Jackson, Executive Director, Connect Child & Family Services Inc, NSWDianne Jackson has held the position of Executive Director of Connect Child and Family Services for the past 8 1/2 years . Connect is a multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit organisation that provides cutting edge early childhood focused programs at 3 centre-based sites, and across 48 outreach sites in western Sydney, including 20 school sites. Dianne also holds an adjunct position at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and is the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) NSW State Convenor.Dianne’s leadership and passion for children and families is renown and she is regularly invited to work and present nationally and internationally. Through Connect’s research alliance with the UWS, she is currently involved in a large early childhood and family engagement project in Chile.Dianne has published widely and her doctoral research on supported playgroups won the 2010 Best Practitioner Research Award from the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA). She also co-convenes an EECERA special interest research group with Pen Green in the UK that focuses on innovative, integrated approaches to working with families. Dianne holds a degree Early Childhood, a first class honours degree in Social Science and her PhD brought together both of these disciplines.
Associate Professor Christine Woodrow, School of Education, University of Western Sydney, NSWChristine Woodrow is a researcher and early childhood teacher educator in the Centre for Education Research at the University of Western Sydney, with research interests across many dimensions of early childhood policy and practice. She is particularly interested in and has published about professionalism, leadership and professional identity of early childhood educators in Australian and international contexts.Her other research includes exploring dimensions of quality learning environments, teacher interactions, curriculum planning and implementation, leadership, teamwork and parent involvement in regional , rural and metropolitan early childhood centres in Australia, and in early childhood centres in Chile. Christine is project leader of an innovative literacy focussed early childhood pedagogical and community leadership program, Futuro Infantil Hoy in Chile and as part of this work has led the design of a highly innovative model of sustainable leadership capacity building to sustain the expansion of the program.
Dr Frances Press, Faculty of Education, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSWFrances Press is a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Charles Sturt University (CSU). She has a long standing interest in early childhood policy frameworks and her doctorate provides a critical analysis of early childhood education and care policy in Australia. With her colleagues Sandie Wong and Jennifer Sumsion, she has led a number of research projects and written extensively on integrated programmes and collaborative practice in Australia. These projects include the Integrated Early Years Provision in Australia Report; a resource to support leaders in Australian early childhood integrated services – both for the National Professional Support Coordinator’s Alliance (PSCA); and a report on Collaborative Practice for the Victorian Department of Education and Early Child Development.
Dr Sandie Wong, Faculty of Education, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSWSandie Wong is a Research Fellow within the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning & Education at Charles Sturt University. Sandie has a PhD in early childhood education and has worked as an academic, manager, researcher, evaluator, educator, consultant and nurse, within a range of early childhood, academic and health organisations. Sandie’s research is driven by a concern with the role early childhood education and intervention has in ameliorating disadvantage and reducing marginalisation. She is particularly concerned with utilising collaborative, strengths-based approaches to evaluation and research, supporting practitioner enquiry and bridging the gap between research and early childhood practices. She also has an on-going interest in historicising early childhood through history of the present and oral history methodology. Her current research investigates inter-professional work in early childhood integrated service settings.
Professor Margaret Sims, Professor of Early Childhood, University of New England, NSWMargaret Sims is Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England. She has research interests in quality community-based service delivery to young children and their families and has written widely on a range of issues addressing this. She had 3 books published last year: Program Planning for infants and toddlers: in search of relationships with Teresa Hutchins, Social Inclusion and The Early Years Learning Framework: a way of working and Building Integrated Connections for Children, their Families and Communities with Karl Brettig. Prior to becoming an academic she worked in a range of community services including support for people with disabilities, child care, early intervention and family support. Margaret’s work using cortisol, a biomarker of stress, was featured in the Life at One documentary shown on ABC TV.
Dr Jennifer Cartmel, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, QldJennifer Cartmel lectures in the area of Child and Family Studies, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University.Jennifer has worked in a wide range of children’s services as well as teaching educators. She has taught in preschools and primary schools including the hospital school, and worked in outside school hours and vacation care programs. Her doctoral thesis is titled Outside school hours care and schools. She has won several national awards for teaching including a national Carrick Award for Higher Education Teaching for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for the innovative strategy “Circles of Change”. This strategy has been important in building transdisciplinary practice amongst early childhood professionals.Her research interests include workforce development particularly transdisciplinary practice and reflective practices, children’s play and adults’ roles and the many facets of school age care services.
  Kaye Colmer, Executive Director, Gowrie SAKaye Colmer is the CEO of Gowrie SA an integrated early childhood program that brings together child care, preschool, early intervention programs for parents, family support programs and professional development and learning programs for educators. Shortly after commencing at the Gowrie she realised that the separation of the early childhood programs undermined the efforts of the staff as well as the outcomes for children and families. Since then she has been a passionate advocate for integration systematically integrating all aspects of Gowrie work. Her experience of integration includes insights gained from sponsoring Through the Looking Glass an early intervention program at a number of other integrated sites within SA and nationally. She was instrumental in the development of the research brief for the PSC Alliance that resulted in the research study Integrated Early Years Provision in Australia, conducted by Charles Sturt University 2009-2010.
  Professor Sven Silburn, Director, Centre for Child Development and Education, Menzies School of Health Research, DarwinSven Silburn is a national leader in clinical, epidemiological and evaluative research in child development and education with influential publications including major epidemiological studies of child health and school readiness (Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey; the Australian Early Development Index).He was a member of the original design team and steering committee for the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), a lead investigator on a current NHMRC program grant ‘Early Developmental Pathways Linking Health, Disablity, Education, Welfare and Justice’ and is leading the evaluation of the NT Department of Education and Training’s ‘Strong Start-Bright Futures’ program now being developed in 20 communities across the Northern Territory.
Kathryn Jordan, A/Executive Director, Early Childhood Services, Department for Education and Child Development South AustraliaKathryn Jordan has an extensive background in early childhood education and care and has degrees in early childhood education and social science. Kathryn has undertaken a number of service delivery and leadership roles in community based long day care, out of school hours care and preschool and has contributed to the development of the professional early childhood workforce by providing pre-vocational training to secondary students and delivering in-service training to those already employed in the field.Kathryn has a particular interest in integrated early childhood development services and has led the establishment of the South Australian Government’s flagship integrated Children’s Centres for Early Childhood Development and Parenting. In her current role, Kathryn has state-wide responsibility for Children’s Centres, preschools, child care, family day and out of school hours care, early learning and quality reform.
  Sally Brinkman, Telethon Institute for Child Health ResearchSally Brinkman is a social epidemiologist with the majority of her research focusing on societies’ impact on child development. Sally is a Senior Research Fellow and Program Manager Faculty Member at the world renowned Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth.  Sally is well known for spearheading the use of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in Australia, being the first to pilot the instrument outside of Canada. Sally continues to work across the country to help facilitate the use of the Australian EDI (AEDI) working with communities, service providers and governments.  Locally Sally consults to the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development’s Policy Directorate primarily around data-linkage, the Children’s Centres Operational Group around evaluation, and the SA AEDI Team around community advocacy and research translation.Internationally, Sally works with Governments and donor organisations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, AusAid and the Bernard Van Leer Foundation working with various measures of child development for monitoring and evaluation purposes.Sally has over 50 publications including books, chapters, monographs and journal articles covering topics such as infant mouthing behaviours, child physical activity and nutrition levels, the measurement of alcohol related violence, the evaluation of teenage pregnancy prevention programs, how child development varies across communities and the impact of socio economics and service integration on child development.As such Sally brings locally, nationally and internationally recognised epidemiological skills particularly in relation to population monitoring of child development and education.  She has a commitment to practical, pragmatic and translatable research.
Katerina Eleutheriou, National Project Manager, Engaging Families in the ECD Story, SAKaterina Eleutheriou is the National Project Manager leading stage 2 of the Engaging Families in the Early Childhood Development Story, a national project supported and funded by the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC).Katerina’s practical experience is in youth affairs and early childhood development where she has shaped policy and practice in collaboration with the South Australian community; designed and implemented innovative youth engagement initiatives and led a state-wide team of Community Development Coordinators who worked with families to increase their parenting capacity and early childhood skills and knowledge.Drawing on her experience in early childhood development and working with parents, Katerina is well placed to deliver effective strategies to share the most current neuroscience evidence for parenting from the Engaging Families initiative with the community.
Jan Millikan OAM, Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange, VicJan Millikan is the Australian representative to the Reggio Children International network, and former Founder and Director of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange. She has been the recipient of a University Fellowship to Japan,  is a Fellow of the Australian Council of Educators and  also a Churchill Fellow.Other professional roles have involved her as a consultant in Multicultural Education, and a lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of Melbourne.Her particular educational interest is with children 2- 8 years of age and has involved teaching in Australia, the UK, Singapore, and Canada, organising conferences and workshops, consultancy in schools, and as a keynote speaker at both National and International conferences.She has had a significant involvement with the International Baccalaureate Organisation as a Primary Years teacher-educator, and consultant, and as an authoriser of schools. Jan is on the editorial board for the Journal of Research in International Educational.
  Ms June McLoughlin, M.Ed., Director Family and Children’s Services, Doveton College, VicJune McLoughlin has expertise in service and policy development within early childhood education and care, disability, parenting and family support fields. For many years June worked within the Victorian State Government and at the Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children’s Hospital managing a variety of national and state-based projects designed to refocus early years services and provide support to practitioners to deliver more integrated evidenced-based services for families of young children. More recently June has held the position of Assistant Regional Director Early Childhood Southern Region, within the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Currently June is leading the establishment of a fully integrated Family and Children’s Service within the context of a major ‘public/private partnership school redevelopment in Victoria. The school campus includes a wide range of programs and supports for families in the Doveton community from the prenatal period to Year 9 secondary.June sits on a number of community boards and committees and is the past Board Chair of the National Childcare Accreditation Council and the Parenting Research Centre. She is currently a board member of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.
  Catharine Hydon, Hydon Consulting, representing Early Childhood Australia

Catharine Hydon is an experienced early childhood professional with extensive experience in a broad range of early childhood settings. She draws on her work with educators, children and families and her master’s studies to inspire those wishing to explore excellence in early childhood service provision. Most recently Catharine worked for the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Gowrie Victoria managing early years projects focused on leading change and practice innovation.  Catharine is best known as a strong advocate for professionalism, ethical practice and as a facilitator of pedagogical leadership.

Program subject to change.