Supporting the independent education community

Teachers r Teachers: Passion to Power: Our Future Profession conference

IEU Early Childhood Organisers Tina Smith and Kate Damo attended the Passion to Power: Our Future Profession conference in Canberra and held an IEU stall to greet members, encourage new ones and network with other stakeholders. 


The conference was well attended, and the main theatre was at near capacity. The opening address and welcome by Federal Education Minister Jason Clare reiterated that the language we use to describe our profession needs to change.


‘Kids’ are children and ‘childcare’ is early childhood education. This was heartening as the IEU early childhood team has been advocating this for many years. 


Keynote speaker Dylan Alcott, Australian of the Year 2022 and multiple Paralympic medal holder, spoke about his life, relationships with family and friends and how he overcame his fears.


Dylan said if you have the passion, you will have a purpose. Be bold, put yourself out there and good things will happen. 


The international keynote was Dr Laura Jana, a paediatrician and early childhood specialist, who focused on social and emotional development and other skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.


She highlighted the important role early childhood teachers play in enabling maximum brain development in young children through being a ‘CEO’ – Chief Engagement Officer.


Tina and Kate attended several workshops such as Put the ‘I’ in Team with Sandra Cheeseman and Lennie Barblett and Bullying in the Early Education Sector, Prevalence and Protective Factors delivered by Tamara Cumming and Rebecca Bull from Macquarie University.


The day finished with a panel discussion Building Our Future Profession.



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