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Key Note Speaker 

Associate Professor Kym Macfarlane


PhD (QUT), BEd (QUT) Dip.Teach (Early Childhood) (BKTC) Research Chair The Salvation Army/Griffith University Knowledge Partnership School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, Logan Campus


Making magic happen: Working in soft entry early intervention and prevention programs.


Kym Macfarlane has worked in the early childhood sector for many years. She has experience as an early childhood teacher and in higher education in the field of Child and Family Studies in Human Services.

She has extensive experience in working and researching practice issues with children 0-18 years and their families. Kym demonstrates a strong understanding of practice related issues in the disciplines of human services and education and has a particular interest in soft entry early intervention and prevention, universal service delivery and strengths-based practice.

Her PhD research entitled “An analysis of parent engagement in contemporary Queensland schooling” particularly relates to the notions of community engagement and disengagement in schooling and the issues for parents that result from this engagement and disengagement in
contemporary contexts.

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Associate Professor Kym Macfarlane

Circles of Change Revisited

Circles of Change Revisited outlines a process of guided conversations, which use learning circles and a specific model of critical reflection to engage staff in a process of critical thinking.

Praveena Rajeswarran, Gareth Quinlan & Margaret Berrigan

Coming together to get kids on track in time. A Systemic approach to early intervention. 

The Got It! Team will discuss the evidence has for the play-based learning and therapy they offer,
and provide practical resources to facilitate playbased activities and parent-child dyadic techniques with clients.

Karen van Woudenberg, Maria Bifulco, Sarah  Shadieh & Angela Quigley

Playgroups in 2018, Innovative approaches to engage and empower families through play.

Playgroup NSW will present three playgroup models: Intergenerational Playgroups, Trauma Informed playgroups for families with a refugee experience and PlayConnect Playgroups for children with Autism and type behaviours. In this interactive workshop you will gain insight into playgroups and the benefits to children and families, as well as receive some useful tools to encourage innovation through family collaboration.

Toni Latham, Emma Flower, Joanne Mavrigiannaki & Taren Parth

Strong Childre, Strong Families, Building protective factors for children, families and educators in Early Childhood Education and Care.

For children experiencing disadvantage, quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) services play an important role in not only enhancing children’s developmental outcomes but also in protecting and fostering wellbeing. ECEC services can also be a valuable source of support for families. This presentation reports on the findings of a practice based research study into the implementation of family centred practice principles within the ECEC context.

Kimberly Chiswell & Amelia Harrison 

Nabu - Centering Culture in the Engagement Process

Amelia and Kimberly will provide a history of the development of the Nabu model and the successful outcomes. They will illustrate how Waminda’s model of care informs the case work and therapeutic approach. Then they will discuss Waminda’s trial with the FFT-CW model and learnings about what it truly means to be family centred, reflective, accountable to the community and how to work with families in a culturally responsive way.

Janine Molyneux

IACC Child and Family PRactitioner Project; A Collaborative Approach Improving Child and Family Engagement and Wellbeing. 

This workshop will provide an overview of the Child and Family Practitioner Project at Clipper Road Children’s Centre East Nowra, an innovation of IACC in recognition of the community in which the service is situated.

Honora Jenkins & Lillian Rodrigues-Pang

Holistic circus skills for engagement of children and families

Learn practical and ready to use circus techniques to engage children and families and have the added bonus of enlivening a space.

Sarah Seddon & Veronica Riordan

SUPPS - a Drug and Alcohol service for pregnant women and their families.

Pregnancy is a time of change and for many women this is period of time when they are motivated to address substance use issues.

SUPPS clinicians will provide a detailed account of the service and how it aims to work in partnership with the mother-to–be and a range of services to maintain the family unit.

Afternoon Plenary

Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright & Dr Susan Collings

Permanency reforms in New South Wales out-of-home-care: Practices to support children and families.

The presentation will summarise the evidence on the purpose and benefits of contact for children in permanent care in NSW and the challenges that it presents for carers and birth parents; present examples of promising practices from here and elsewhere that can assist families to build openness, trust, empathy and respect; and facilitate a discussion of the application of these tools to the local context. We will describe a study that is underway to hear from children and families about their views and experiences of contact.

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