This is childhood celebrates the capability, strengths and joy of children and childhood in Australia now.

At the 2016 Early Childhood Australia National Conference share a vision that places childhood at the centre of practice and pedagogy for the early years. This is childhood in Australia. The thriving, complex, beautiful Top End, has the highest proportion of children in the population than in any other part of Australia. Come and learn in the place that fuses diverse Australian childhoods, where capital city and urban meet remote and regional. Venture into new territory that brings culturally diverse perspectives, evidence-based practice, traditions and new thinking together. Connect with colleagues, share and consider early childhood teaching and learning through practical, theoretical and reflective lenses.

If you missed ECA’s 2016 National Conference in Darwin or missed the streamed Keynote webcasts, you are in luck. The ECA Learning Hub now has two Conference Keynotes available click here to see details.



Light a spark. This theme will inspire, challenge and provoke new aspirations and innovation. Learn and reflect with peers and leaders…

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When imagination meets evidence, practice and pedagogy are transformed. This lively theme will be hands-on, interactive and accessible.

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Strong connections and lively collaborations are at the heart of practice and pedagogy in the early years for all children and families.

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Every early childhood educator is a leader. New and experienced leaders will explore what it means to be a leader.

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Welcome from Ros Cornish, ECA National President


The Early Childhood Australia’s National Conference is one the most eagerly awaited events by those who work with young children across a myriad of professions. As such it brings together early childhood educators, teachers, academics, leaders and other allied professionals from all around Australia and indeed overseas, to be inspired and share ideas and experiences in an environment of collegiality and collaboration.

It is an opportunity to challenge and be challenged, to affirm and be affirmed, to reflect critically and constructively, and importantly celebrate the achievements and gains.

On behalf of Early Childhood Australia I warmly welcome participants, look forward to meeting you during the conference and associated events, and share the hope that you will return to your respective workplaces with renewed energy and inspiration that contributes to improved outcomes for young children.

Promo from Early Childhood National Conference 2014

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Meet our speakers

Malarndirri McCarthy

Keynote speaker

Dr Chip Donohue

Keynote Speaker

Maria Aarts

Keynote Speaker

Leigh Hobbs

Invited Speaker

Jill McLachlan

Invited Speaker

Discount for ECA Members

Early Childhood Australia members receive a discount to the conference. If you are interested in becoming a member, there are a variety of Early Childhood Australia membership categories to choose from.

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Become a sponsor

Sponsorship of the Early Childhood Conference is a great way to promote your organisation or business to the early childhood sector. ECA will ensure that your investment is worthwhile with many direct and indirect benefits.

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Register today!

Secure your spot before it is too late! There are different registration fee options for ECA members and non-members. Online registration is available by clicking on the link below. Follow the prompts to complete your registration.

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Stokes Hill Rd, Darwin, NT 0800

Our Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors - without your support the event would not be possible.


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Platinum Sponsor

Modern Teaching Aids, often known as MTA, has been making a difference in Australian education for 60 years.

MTA offers over 11,000 quality education resources, working with over 100 of the world’s most well-known education brands and resource developers.  MTA’s own-developed resources are created with the advice and input of educators and aligned with local curriculum.  The scope of resources is huge – from babies to high school, and across Pretend & Play, Sand & Garden, Art & Craft, Maths, English, Science and more. offers easy online purchasing, personalised institution accounts, live stock availability and speedy service and fulfilment.

MTA – your partner in play and education since 1956.

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CHARMAINE PWERLE UTOPIA NT b. 1975 Charmaine's early life was spent with her family at Utopia, a remote Aboriginal settlement of various tribes and language groups, north east of Alice Springs. Although a recent development the area is now world famous for the painters such as her grandmother Minnie Pwerle, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and many others. CHARMAINE herself was educated in Adelaide SA before returning to live in Alice Springs for most of the year. 'Awelye' (traditional designs painted on the bodies of women) are the recurring subjects of her work.These motifs symbolise the ancient rituals of music and dance which are the core of desert womens’ ceremonial life.