Early Childhood Australia National Conference 2021

After much consideration, and with the safety of our delegates in mind,
Early Childhood Australia has made the difficult decision to make the 2021 National Conference fully virtual.

We are very excited to bring a virtual conference program
which will now feature the FULL CONFERENCE program of over 100 sessions on the 6 – 9 September 2021.

Young Citizens: the right to play, learn and be heard

Young Citizens: the right to play, learn and be heard is the theme for Early Childhood Australia’s (ECA) National Conference, to be held virtually from Monday 6 September—Thursday 9 September 2021.

In 2021 we celebrate young children as citizens with rights. Throughout this conference we will explore how we respect and support those rights – particularly through play, play based pedagogy and child-informed practice. This builds on the QLD Branch’s leadership in the development of the 2014 Statement of Intent on Children’s Rights in Early Education and Care and over 60 years of celebrating ‘Under Eights Week’.

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Why should I attend?

The conference will provide you the opportunity to: 

  • develop and reflect on your practice with young children
  • hear new ideas from Australian and international experts
  • participate in the larger conversation—be challenged and affirmed
  • discuss your own and others’ work, and grow your professional network
  • engage with the other attendees, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors
  • join early childhood professionals to connect, share and celebrate the sector’s achievements 
  • have fun and meet new people!


Children as citizens

Children are citizens from birth with civil, cultural, linguistic, social and economic rights.

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Multiple perspectives on pedagogy and practice

There are many different perspectives on teaching and learning that we can draw on as educators and teachers.

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Fostering creativity and curiosity

Creativity and curiosity are two of the most important strengths children can develop to live resilient lives in a rapidly changing world.

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Ethics and leadership

What are the skills and knowledge needed for ethical leadership and how do we build the ethical leaders we need for the future?

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Workforce capacity, capability and wellbeing

Quality is dependent on workforce, professionalism, training and planning.

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Welcome from Chris Legg, ECA National President

The Early Childhood Australia (ECA) National Conference creates anticipation among those who work with young children, akin to the excitement their young charges experience in the run up to birthday parties. Early childhood educators, teachers, academics, leaders and other allied professionals from across Australia, and even further, come here to be inspired through shared ideas and experiences, in an environment conducive to collegiality and collaboration.

Delegates will be able to critically and constructively review their thoughts and actions, and also celebrate among peers the achievements attained and advancements made in improving the outcomes for children, their families and those who work with them every day.

During the 2021 ECA National Conference, and associated events, delegates will have various opportunities to meet with old and new acquaintances and to forge relationships with others in the sector.


Discount for ECA Members

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

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!


Registration for the 2021 ECA National Conference is closed!

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Our Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors—without your support the ECA National Conference would not be possible.



Platinum Sponsor

Modern Teaching Aids has been helping teachers and educators deliver the right learning outcomes for over 60 years. We stock the largest array of teaching resources and education supplies in Australia.

Our extensive range of educational products has been sourced from around the world to ensure Australian educators and their students have access to the best quality products. All resources come with a 12-month warranty and are quality assured. We stock over 15,000 resources in robotics, digital technologies, art & craft, mathematics, literacy resources, developmental products, school consumables, STEAM, classroom stationery, science equipment, STEM, sporting gear, school furniture, books, play and educational toys.

Visit teaching.com.au or contact our specialist team by email at sales@teaching.com.au or by phone on 1800 251 497.

  • Modern Teaching Aids
  • Queensland Government
  • Goodstart Early Learning
  • Guardian
  • KU Children's Services
  • Storypark
  • Be You
  • C&K
  • Narragunnawali

© Wayne ‘Liwingu’ McGinness licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd WAYNE ‘LIWINGU’ MCGINNESS, ABORIGINAL STEEL ART, WARU 1 (SEA TURTLE). Wayne ‘Liwingu’ McGinness was born in Atherton QLD where his mother is from. His grandmother was Maggie ‘Djairrami’ Anning and her people, the Ngadjon tribe (rainforest people), were located all over the Atherton Tablelands. Her husband, Gerald Anning, was a fisherman, master lumberjack and one of the Yidinji tribe. Wayne spent the majority of his life in the Northern Territory where his father’s family is from. The Kungarrakan Tribe (paperbark people) of the Finnis and Darwin River area. His grandfather Valentine Bynoe McGinness (a welder, wheelright and mechanic) was born on a mine claim near the Finniss River to a local Kungarakan woman (Alyandabu’Lucy’ McGinness) and an Irish rail worker (Stephen McGinness). His father’s biological mother was Emma Hodges, a Torres Strait woman. And, although Wayne never knew her, his looks and art seem to be a reflection of this mix.

Wayne’s style of sculpture is a result of creating contemporary Aboriginal art using steel, in both two and three dimensions. Many of Wayne’s designs represent the animals of his childhood and family and of his grandparent’s lands. However, he is always willing to design and create pieces depicting animals from other regions of Australia. The movement of the animals, reflected in his work, is what inspires him as he believes nothing is more natural. Wayne creates all his pieces from Australian 316 marine grade stainless steel, a beautiful steel alloy that is durable, clean and pleasing to the eye.