Ralph Ashton

Ralph Ashton
Director, Australian Futures Project

This presentation will focus on the vision of the Australian Futures Project, and what conditions are needed for Australian children to flourish into the future.


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Ralph founded the Australian Futures Project to build Australia’s capacity to make decisions for a flourishing shared future. It is a multi-sector, non-profit, and non-partisan initiative hosted by La Trobe University. Ralph began his career as a corporate lawyer and investment banker. Since then, he has worked with, advised, and consulted to governments on every continent, the United Nations, the World Bank, business (including the World Economic Forum), academia, and the for-purpose sector. He has built a track record of conceiving, creating, and leading non-partisan initiatives to tackle cross-sector challenges.
Gillian Calvert AO

Gillian Calvert AO
Child Advocate

This presentation will explain what matters for children when it comes to child protection policy. It will highlight what has been done in the past that has worked and what else needs to be done into the future.

Coming together for Australia's children


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Gillian Calvert AO has been an advocate for kids for over 30 years. As inaugural NSW Children's Commissioner she established it as one of Australia's leading children's policy and research centers, one built on being child centered and child inclusive. Prior to that she was responsible for coordinating government action for children and importantly re-focusing attention on the importance of the early years. She was instrumental in breaking the silence around child sexual assault where her leadership at the NSW Child Protection Council established NSW’s collaborative and comprehensive approach to tackling child abuse and neglect. She started her career as a family therapist with troubled children and their families and the importance of listening to children and families experience has underpinned her lifelong commitment to children and their well-being. Currently she sits a number of Boards including Life Without Barriers and co-chaired The Nest. 

Warren Cann

Warren Cann
Parenting Research Centre

This presentation will focus on the importance of building strong relationships between professionals and parents to ensure optimum outcomes for children.

Parenting support in Early Childhood Education and Care


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Warren Cann is the Chief Executive Officer of the Parenting Research Centre, a national organisation that aims to improve outcomes for children by connecting research and practice in family support. Trained in clinical pscychology, Warren has over 25 years experience in designing, researching, implementing and teaching in the field of parenting support. Current projects include the development of professional practice frameworks for collaboratively working with parents in early childhood settings. He is also a founding Director of Australia's national parenting website, the Raising Children Network.

Dr Ben Edwards

Dr Ben Edwards
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

This presentation will discuss the lessons learned from LSAC which have influenced government policy and professional practice over its time.

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children - learnings for policy and practice


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Dr Ben Edwards is involved in managing several longitudinal studies:


Among the other projects that he manages include The Defence Families Wellbeing Study, a study examining the health and wellbeing of 35,000 family members of transitioned personnel, those currently serving, reservists and their families.

Another area of research interest is administrative data linkage, under Ben's leadership AIFS has become an accredited Data Linkage Integrating Authority and has been linking administrative data sets to LSAC for some time.

A feature of his research has been my capacity to use large-scale surveys, particularly longitudinal studies that include multiple family members and employ sophisticated statistical techniques to analyse data across a wide range of issues. Many of the longitudinal studies he has employed have involved linked administrative data or climate data such as rainfall, soil moisture. He has collaborated and co-authored with researchers from a wide range of disciplines including economics, psychology, demography, criminology and social work.
He has been able to develop and maintain, effective and productive relationships with a wide range of government and non-government organisations including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Australian Government Departments of Social Services, Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), Education, Employment, Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet, the New South Wales Department of Community Services, the Benevolent Society, The Smith Family, Carers Australia and Carers Victoria. 

Dr Richard Fletcher

Dr Richard Fletcher
Family Action Centre

In this presentation, two innovative projects utilizing mobile phone technology will be described: The beyondblue funded SMS4dads project which targets mainstream new dads and the Supporting young Aboriginal men in their transition to fathering through a user-developed website project.


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Dr Fletcher is a senior lecturer in the Family Action Centre, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle, NSW. He has been conducting programs and research with boys, fathers and families for over 20 years and is the convenor of the Australian Fatherhood Research Network. His current research includes: Father’s role in families with PND; Young parents’ strengths; Father-infant attachment; Aboriginal fathering; Fathers of children with Autism; Using the web for parent support; and, Supporting separated parents of young children.

Dr Stacey Fox

Dr Stacey Fox
ARACY

This presentation will provide an outline of The Nest and how you can be involved.

The Nest Improving the wellbeing of Australia’s children and youth


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The Nest: A vision and shared outcomes for child and youth wellbeing in Australia

The Nest is grounded in the voice of young people themselves about what matters for a happy and healthy life.  It outlines six overarching outcomes and a set of common national indicators that all child, youth and family services can work towards and sets up some bold goals for action.  The Nest also provides evidence-based, preventive-focused priority directions to achieving those goals and supports the development of further evidence.  Central to this agenda is working to get evidence-based programs, practices and tools into service delivery at scale and across the systems that ensure child and youth wellbeing. 

Stacey Fox manages ARACY's state and territory Convenors and six research and practice Networks. Stacey also manages training and implementation of The Common Approach, a resource kit that supports universal and secondary practitioners to engage with parents about their children’s wellbeing. Previously, Stacey led ARACY’s work on parent engagement and managed a major research project that aimed to build a shared understanding of parent engagement between families and schools and developed resources to measure parent engagement practice and progress. She also assisted in the implementation of the right@home sustained nurse home visiting program and progressed the formative work to develop a service model for families with highly complex needs.

Prior to ARACY, Stacey worked on strategic and international social policy, program design and family policy at the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and as a lecturer in higher education development at Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Stacey completed a PhD at UWA in 2008.

Professor Fiona Judd

Professor Fiona Judd
Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Team, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

This presentation delivered in collaboration with Dr Fiona Wagg, will focus on the importance of engaging parents with depression or other mental illnesses in the perinatal period, including their experience with interventions that result in positive outcomes for children and their parents.


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Professor Judd is a perinatal psychiatrist with the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Team, part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service-THO South. She is a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, and Clinical Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania. Until recently, she was the Inaugural Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the Women’s Hospital in Melbourne where she led the development of clinical, research and education initiatives in perinatal and infant mental health. Fiona has a strong interest in mental health service development and policy. She has served on several State and Commonwealth Committees, as the Honorary Federal Secretary of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and was a member of the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health for a decade.

Sue Kingwill

Sue Kingwill
Contact Inc

This presentation will showcase the principles developed by Indigenous people which service providers are recommended to use when working with communities.

Working with Aboriginal communities


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Since 1994 Sue Kingwill has lead the Contact team to develop and implement a range of innovative initiatives for isolated children, families and communities. Sue has   had over 30 years experience of working in isolated and rural and remote areas, consulting, engaging and working with communities to develop responsive child and family programmes, grounded in the context, values and needs of the communities that they serve.

Over the last 5 years a major achievement has focused upon the evolution of the Contact Children’s Mobile based in Alice Springs and servicing children, families and communities in   some remote areas of Central Australia.

June McLoughlin

June McLoughlin
Director Family and Children’s Services, Doveton College

This presentation will focus on the rationale behind the establishment of Doveton College and the issues experienced implementing this ground breaking initiative.


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June McLoughlin is the Director of Family and Children’s Services at Doveton College which is a placed based demonstration site in Victoria addressing social disadvantage by utilising the universal platform of a school.  June has extensive experience in both policy and service development, research and practice in early childhood, family support and children's services fields, which has given her a broad and deep understanding of issues relevant to the needs of parents and their children. 

June has managed many state and national projects designed to refocus early years services to provide more integrated support for families with young children with a particular interest in vulnerable children. 

June is currently a Board Director of Early Learning Association Australia and the Queen Elisabeth Early Parenting Centre and the Victorian Convenor for ARACY.

Sonia Singh

Sonia Singh
Tree Change Dolls

Sonia will share with us how the idea of Tree Change Dolls came about, how she upcycles the dolls, how she wants to support creativity in children, the importance of outdoor imaginative play in her own childhood and about the wider debate she has inadvertently tapped into.

Tree Change Dolls


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Sonia Singh is the artist behind social media phenomenon Tree Change Dolls. Sonia is a scientist, a science communicator and illustrator. Sonia's once secret hobby of restyling old and discarded dolls has sparked a global conversation about the true nature of dolls and toys.

Fiona Skelton

Fiona Skelton
Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC)

This presentation delivered in collaboration with Professor Maggie Walter, will focus on the success of the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) model, and the lessons learned which have influenced policy and practice.


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Fiona Skelton lives on Ngunnawal/Ngambri country. She is not Indigenous.  Fiona has worked on Footprints in Time since its initial funding in 2003, including: community consultations, study design, community trials in the Torres Strait, quantitative and qualitative pilots and interviewer training.  She currently manages LSIC content development for the various waves in the Department of Social Services.  Fiona has three fabulous children, a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of New England, and a Master of Social Research from the Australian National University.

Dr Lindsay Smith

Dr Lindsay Smith
ARACY Tasmanian Convenor
Lecturer and researcher, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania

Creating conditions for children to thrive


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Dr Lindsay Smith is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Tasmania, where his teaching and research areas include child, adolescent and family health from a strengths perspective, and translating research into healthcare practice through project management.

Lindsay began his career as a nurse employed in various hospital and community centres supporting families across the lifespan. Lindsay moved into university education and has received two major teaching awards – most recently a Vice-Chancellor's citation for outstanding contribution to student learning in health science.

Lindsay graduated in 2011 with a Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) through the Quality of Life and Social Justice Research Centre, Australian Catholic University. Lindsay's passion is to understand how the bioecological theory of human development can be applied in health promotion to optimise children, youth and family health outcomes. Recent publications include two chapters in the Australian text Child,Youth and Family Health: Strengthening Communities (2nd edition) and SAGE Open 2013 vol. 3 no. 2.

Professor John Toumbourou

Professor John Toumbourou
Communities That Care

This presentation will overview the implementation and evaluation of the Communities That Care model that has operated in Australia for over 12 years.

Encouraging effective community prevention to measurably improve the healthy development of children and young people: The Communities That Care approach


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Professor Toumbourou serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the not-for-profit company Communities That Care Ltd, which is auspiced by the Royal Children’s Hospital and supported by the Rotary Club of Melbourne. He is the Chair in Health Psychology within the School of Psychology at Deakin University and an Associate Director of the Deakin University Strategic Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing Research. He is a prominent researcher and social advocate in areas related to child and adolescent mental health promotion and the prevention of alcohol and drug problems. With Dr Sophie Havighurst, Professor Toumbourou co-convenes ARACY’s Prevention Science Network.

Dr Fiona Wagg

Dr Fiona Wagg
Perinatal, Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

This presentation delivered in collaboration with Professor Fiona Judd, will focus on the importance of engaging parents with depression or other mental illnesses in the perinatal period, including their experience with interventions that result in positive outcomes for children and their parents.

Conception to Community


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Dr Wagg is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Head of Department of Perinatal, Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (PICAMHS) South in Tasmania. Dr Wagg has special interests and experience in perinatal and infant mental health, developmental neuropsychiatry and eating disorders. She is involved in teaching and supervision across disciplines and is undertaking research into interventions with vulnerable families and infants.  In her HoD role she is involved in strategic planning and service development of PICAMHS in Tasmania with a multisystemic and early intervention agenda.

Professor Maggie Walter

Professor Maggie Walter
Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC)

This presentation delivered in collaboration with Fiona Skelton, will focus on the success of the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) model, and the lessons learned which have influenced policy and practice.

Predictors for a positive start from Footprints in Time


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Professor Walter is a member of the Briggs/Johnson family and a descendant of the pairrebeenne people from tebrakunna country in North Eastern Tasmania. She is a Professor of Sociology and also the inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania. Maggie is a long term member of the steering committee of the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children and has published extensively in the field of race relations, Indigenous family and personal life and Indigenous research methodologies. Recent publications include her book Indigenous statistics: a quantitative methodology (with Chris Andersen University of Alberta, Left Coast Press 2013).

Sonia Whiteley

Sonia Whiteley
Social Research Centre

This presentation will focus on the recent changes made to the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) reporting and how policy and practice can best respond to the AEDC evidence to improve outcomes for children.

Just scraping the surface: How to get more value out of your AEDC data Just scraping the surface: How to get more value out of your AEDC data


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Sonia Whiteley is the Executive Director, Research Strategy at the Social Research Centre and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Social Research Methods, ANU. She has worked in the public service and the commercial sectors as an applied social research manager and strategist. Sonia specialises in large-scale research programs to support evidence based decision making about policy and practice, particularly in the areas of education, welfare reform, housing and justice. Her current research projects include the Australian Early Development Census and the Quality Indicators for Teaching and Learning for the Australian Government Department of Education.

   

 

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