Nexus Seminar | C&K - childcare and kindergarten

Nexus Seminar

10 October 2015, Griffith University Logan Campus

Seminar Program

The purpose of seminar was to explore the nexus between early childhood education and care and family support from the perspectives of policy and programs, parents, research and practice.

If you want to view the video-recording of Nexus, refer to the times next to each speaker’s name and this will assist you to fast forward the video if you want to view a particular speaker.

The powerpoint presentations are uploaded beside the relevant speakers name. 

Welcome to country- Shannon Ruska

Shannon Ruska is a descendant of the YUGGERA people of the Brisbane Region, Nunukul and Nugi people of Stradbroke and Moreton Islands, and Koombamerri people of the Gold Coast area.

Shannon has been performing since the age of 8 years old. Shannon is one of the founders and directors of the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dance Troupe since its establishment in 1995. The Internationally acclaimed Aboriginal dance troupe, Nunukul Yuggera whom are Traditional Custodians of the Brisbane Region and also Stradbroke and Moreton bay Islands and Gold Coast Regions started 18 years ago and has travelled the world extensively, performing alongside some of the world’s greatest performers and cultural ambassadors showcasing Traditional Aboriginal culture through song, dance and other various forms of cultural expression.

They won the Queensland Tourism Award three consecutive years putting them in the Hall of Fame for their tourism Experience, Riverlife Mirrabooka located alongside the Brisbane River. Nunukul Yuggera prides itself on being one of the leading Aboriginal dance groups in Australia.

It is through hard work, determination and perseverance that they have established themselves as a powerful cultural force.  Their performances mesmerise the audience through their honest, heartfelt and spiritually lifting expression as if the Dreamtime unfolds before your eyes. He has shown great ability of his coreography expertise in the his cultural performance field through traditional and contempory arts performance.

Shannon has performed all over Australia and the World showcasing his cultural performance through song, dance,art and storytelling.

Nexus Video 0:00 – 10:08

Michael Tizard, Chief Executive Officer, C&K

Michael commenced as the CEO of C&K in August 2013 after more than 30 years’ experience in the child and family services sector working in the areas of statutory child protection, disability, family support, parenting and early childhood education and care. He has worked in both government and non-government organisations including the Children’s Protection Society, NSW Department of Community Services, NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, The Benevolent Society and Uniting Care.

Michael has previously served on the Boards of the Children’s Welfare Association of Victoria and PeakCare, and is a current Board member of the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia Inc (CAFWAA) and Families Australia.

Children’s wellbeing has always been Michael’s highest priority and he feels a genuine alignment with C&K’s commitment to putting children first.

Nexus Video  10:08 – 17:45

Lindsay Wegener, Executive Director, PeakCare

Lindsay Wegener is the Executive Director of PeakCare Queensland, a child protection peak body. A Social Worker by profession, Lindsay has spent around thirty-five years working in the fields of child protection and youth justice. As a government employee for around twenty years, Lindsay held a range of practitioner, senior policy and operational director positions before moving to employment in the non-government sector in a number of State manager and director roles. Around four years were spent providing consultancy and contracted services to both government and non-government agencies and as a casual member of the teaching staff of Griffith University prior to the commencement of Lindsay's current role with PeakCare in 2011.  

Nexus Video  17:46 – 21:31


Policy and Program Perspective – What is the Queensland Government’s policy framework to connect the programs and roles of early childhood educators and family support practitioners in community?

Penny Creamer, Director, Children and Family Programs Team, Early Childhood Education and Care Division, Department of Education and Training

Penny Creamer is the Director of the Children and Family Programs Team in the Early Childhood Education and Care Division, Department of Education and Training. Penny has worked in the youth and children sector for over 20 years, in both government and non-government organisations. The Children and Family Programs Team lead the design, establishment and implementation of integrated early childhood development models, working in partnership with other government departments and non-government organisations. Penny has most recently been working with the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training to develop and trial community based early childhood development models.

Penny Creamer Powerpoint presentation

Nexus Video  21:31 – 48:00


Parents’ Perspective- Parents and staff from Family Place, Woodridge discussed their experience with education and care for their young children and family and implications for service design, as well as showing the video on Family Place

(In order of photo) Angela Tuisamoa parent, Mindy Nelson Family Place, Ben Archbold parent, and Glenn Hodgson, Family Place

Mindy Nelson leads a transdisciplinary team responsible for the development and facilitation of The Family Place program in Logan: a model for soft-entry, universal, early intervention/prevention family support and community development. Mindy has completed degrees in Child and Family Studies and Education and is mother to thirteen year old Michael.

Glenn Hodgson is a father of two; son (9) and daughter (1), and has worked at the Family Place for 2.5yrs as the Dads Empowerment Program worker assisting with all programs as well as delivering father specific programs and providing family support. The aim of this work is to engage fathers in the programs and support their role in their family and the community. Glenn has a Bachelor to Behavioural Science and Masters in Social Work and is a tambourine virtuoso.

Ben Archbold 35 years old, father of three two daughters 8 and 5 year and one son 5 years old with a developmental delay. Full time student studying Masters of counselling (through the Australian Institute of Family Counselling. Moved to Logan from Sydney over eight years ago. Primary carer for my children, full time student and volunteer at a local homeless shelter.

I have been in Australia since April 2014. My husband and I decided we needed to get out of our comfort zone in regards to the life we were living in New Zealand so we packed up 3 of our 4 children and made the gigantic leap of faith and start again in Logan City Qld. We left our older daughter in New Zealand to continue her University studies. Our children attend Chatswood Hills State School and Shailer Park Rd Community Kindergarten. It hasn't been easy but we can see the promise in this new venture we have embarked on.

Nexus Video 48:01 – 59:00


Nexus: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families - This session discussed the implications of nexus for early childhood education and family support practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families

Gerald Featherstone, CEO Kummara Association Inc

A proud dad of one, Bundjalung man, social worker, research and CEO. Kummara is a multifunction organisation providing child care, early intervention, family support and tertiary responses for families in need.

Gerald Featherstone powerpoint presentation

Nexus Video 1:00:00 – 1:24:15


Growing together – expanding roles for family support practice in early childhood education and care, this session discussed C&K’s experience of the nexus between early childhood and family support, which families are most vulnerable, and strategies C&K uses for engagement

Jess Wilson, General Manager, Business Development and Strategy, C&K

Jess Wilson commenced as General Manager Business Development and Strategy for C&K in May 2014. She has worked in the Human Services sector for over fifteen years in both government and non-government organisations, including Anglicare, Queensland Department of Communities, NSW Department of Health and The Benevolent Society. Her roles have included direct service delivery to children and families, development and delivery of large scale health promotion campaigns, policy and legislative review, project management and senior management positions. These diverse roles have seen her work with a wide range of stakeholders across the government, non-government and corporate sectors to develop and implement new and innovative strategies and models of service delivery that support improved outcomes for children, families and communities. Jess has a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching(Hons). As both a social worker and a teacher and having established and managed integrated services, Jess understands first-hand the benefits of transdisciplinary work and is passionate about strategic partnerships that achieve positive social impacts for communities. 

Jess Wilson powerpoint presentation

Nexus Video 1:24:16 – 1:55:16


Practice Panel – shared their practice experience on the benefits and challenges of the nexus between early childhood education and family support.  

Meg Jones, Regional Manager, North Coast/South West, C&K

Meg Jones is the Regional Manager, North Coast/South West at C&K. Meg has been with C&K since 2012 as an Educator and Early Childhood Advisor, and has over 20 years’ experience in early childhood education and care. She has worked as an associate staff member at QUT mentoring student practitioners, and across many early childhood service types. Meg has a strong interest in children’s rights and researching with children and is currently researching educators feeling s of competency around undertaking research with children

Nexus Video 1:55:17 – 2:24:00

Aydan Inal, Team Leader, Cultural Support and Education, Social Inclusion, MDA Ltd

Aydan has over 20 years experience in the community/welfare, human management and community education fields both in Queensland and interstate.

She has been coordinating the bicultural support services program at MDA since November 2009. Her position involves recruiting, training, supporting and supervising the pool of cultural support workers who provides cultural insight and linguistic support to eligible child care services.

Dr Kaye Pickering, Director of Services, Act for Kids

Kaye Pickering is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and her special interests include child development and childhood trauma as a result of abuse and neglect. Kaye has worked in hospital, educational and private settings prior to joining ACT for Kids 9 years ago. During the past 9 years Kaye has worked as the Regional Director for the Gold Coast and Southern Queensland. In this role she was responsible for more than 70 staff across multiple programs focussing on early intervention and family support as well as integrated therapy teams focussed on childhood abuse and neglect and early childhood development. Kaye has recently taken on the role of Director of Services across all of Act for Kids programs.


Circles of Change

Following an introduction to Circle-s of Change methodology, participants used the methodology in small group discussions to reflect on what has been learnt today and how this may influence everyday practice going forward

Associate Professor Kym Macfarlane, Research Chair – Communities for Children The Salvation Army/ Griffith University Knowledge Partnership, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University

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 these disciplines 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. 

Kym Macfarlane powerpoint presentation

Nexus Video 2:25:00 – 2:48:56