Application to Present


Applications to present at the ECA National Conference are now CLOSED

The 2021 Early Childhood Australia National Conference is expected to attract more than 2000 in-person delegates—these numbers include practitioners, academics, professionals and policy-makers in the field of early years education and care. Applications to present at this conference are now open under the five conference themes: Children as citizens, Multiple perspectives on pedagogy and practice, Fostering creativity and curiosity, Ethics and leadership, and Workforce capacity, capability and wellbeing. Presentations can be either a stand-alone Oral Presentation or a Poster Presentation.

To have the opportunity to join these esteemed sector colleagues and present your chosen topic, simply submit your abstract online (which must be no more than 300 words and be accompanied with a 50 word bio & author details).

Download a copy of the application to present


Key dates

Item Deadline
Closing date for submission of your application to present Extended to 16 December 2019
Review of applications by ECA Conference Program Committee and notification to applicants of outcomes Between 6 January and 28 February 2020
Draft program published on conference website 31 March 2020
Closing date for successful applicants to register 25 July 2020
*Extended to 30 June 2021
Submission of the final PowerPoint presentation

15 August 2020
*Extended to 6 August 2021


Essential information

Applicants to present should identify which of the five conference themes their paper contributes to most directly:

Children as citizens

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

Multiple perspectives on pedagogy and practice

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

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.

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?

Workforce capacity, capability and wellbeing

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

Applicants will be asked to identify the audience for their presentation—who is most likely to benefit. For example, presentations might target one or more of the following groups or individuals, including but not limited to:

  • educators and teachers working with infants and children under the age of three years
  • educators and teachers delivering preschool programs to three- to five-year-old children
  • educational or pedagogical leaders in early childhood services and schools
  • family support workers of parent educators
  • service or school leaders and executives with managerial responsibilities
  • providers of pre-qualification training and/or ongoing professional development
  • those involved in quality improvement or regulation/assessment
  • researchers, academics and thought leaders
  • policy-makers and program administrators within government agencies.

The application process will ask about the experience of the presenter(s) and whether the content has been presented elsewhere. Please understand that this will help us to balance the program with a mix of new and known content. It will also help us to meet our aim of delivering consistent, high-quality presentations while also giving some new or inexperienced presenters an opportunity to gain experience.


Session types

Oral presentation

Oral presentations will last 45 minutes, including time for attendees to ask questions or engage in a discussion with the presenter(s). ECA encourages presenters to deliver their presentation in an interactive way. There will be a 10-minute room change opportunity between sessions.

Presenters may be asked to present twice during the conference if their session proves to be very popular.

Poster presentation

A designated 15-minute time slot will be determined during the conference for authors to present their posters. A template to assist with your preparation of the poster design is available here or click the template button below. Criteria for the poster:

Dimensions and layout

  • The maximum size allowed for posters is 1.2 metres (h) x 1.0 metre (w).
  • The title and author names need to be clearly indicated at the top of the poster. Large letters are to be used for the title (equivalent to 80-point font size or larger).
  • All text on the poster is to be legible from a distance of one metre. It is suggested that headings be a minimum of 30-point font size and that the body text be a minimum of 24-point font size.
  • Posters are to be either printed on poster paper or assembled on light cardboard.

Suggestions to consider

  • Use of columns is recommended, as material arranged in columns is easier to read than material arranged in rows.
  • Presenters are encouraged to include visual aids (for example, images, flow charts, graphic representations of data) in their posters.

Use of a digital augmented reality app

Poster presenters are encouraged to display a poster and use digital augmentation software as part of their presentation. ECA recommends using HP Reveal, which can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. Presenters opting to use the app will be required to display signage (A4) or hand out instructions to conference attendees on how to use their smartphones or devices to interact with the poster.

Download Poster Template

Presenter registration

A condition of being able to present is that all presenters must register for the day on which they are presenting at the conference. If presenters wish to stay for the whole conference, payment needs to be made for the full three days. All presenters will receive the ECA member discount rate for full conference registration. A maximum of three (3) presenters per paper will be allowed to register and participate at the discounted rate. If registration confirmation and payment are not received by 30 June 2021, abstracts will be withdrawn from the conference program.


Selection Criteria

Key focus

Applications must focus on:

  • relevance to at least one of the conference themes
  • examples of emerging or exemplar practice that enhance children’s experiences
  • research, action research or extension of existing thinking
  • relevance to the target audience, understanding that delegates attending the session may come fromacross Australia and overseas.

Required inclusions

Applicants must ensure that their research papers:

  • specify the aims of the project or research questions and/or focus of inquiry, where applicable
  • outline research methods and/or analytical and/or theoretical framework in brief
  • have a strong emphasis on research findings and/or translation to practice and contribution to the professional practice of the target audience.

Publication of papers

All selected abstracts will be published on the 2021 ECA Conference App and website, and presentations will be published on the conference website only. Presentations will not be edited and will be converted directly to PDF files from their submitted format. Some presentations and papers may also be separately published in other ECA publications. These will be independently decided on by the ECA Publications Advisory Committee. The ECA Publications team will approach presenters independently regarding potential publication. This may involve presenters summarising their paper or presentation for a magazine format. Further instructions will be provided by the ECA Publications team, as required.

Audio-visual requirements

PowerPoint facilities (data projectors, computers and screens), along with internet access, will be available for presenters. The conference will be networked, which means that presentations will be available in the workshop room from a central location. Presentations must be in PowerPoint format. The full and final electronic presentation must be submitted by 6 August 2021 to ensure compatibility with the system that will be used.

Review process

All applications to present will be reviewed by a panel that includes members of the Conference Program Committee. Members of the Conference Program Committee will:

  • know the identities of the applicants
  • assess the applications to ensure the quality and relevance of the presentations
  • assess the applications in accordance with the ECA selection criteria.

Wherever possible, feedback will be given to unsuccessful applicants, depending on the number of applications received.

Free of commercial interest

Applicants must confirm that their papers are free of commercial interest. Any paper that is selling or promoting a particular product or commercial service will not be accepted.


ECA seeks to minimise any negative environmental impact from the conference. We would, therefore, prefer that presentations do not involve the use of single-use plastics or unnecessary printed material—any handouts can be pre-loaded onto the conference website, app or USB. In keeping with ECA’s sustainability drive, all abstracts must be submitted online.

Terms and conditions

Successful candidates must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • ECA may record any or all presentations (audio or visual) and make the recordings available at a later date, in accordance with ECA policies. For example, as a downloadable file on the ECA website.
  • ECA may broadcast the presentation(s) via live-stream to external conference delegates.
  • At the start of the presentation, all presenters will acknowledge the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in the area, and the Country on which the conference is being held. The words for an Acknowledgement of Country will be provided to all presenters at the conference.
  • Presenters must ensure their availability for media comments about the conference.
  • Presenters must be available to speak at any time during the conference (excluding their presentation session).
  • Presenters may be asked to repeat their session, if it proves to be popular or if delegates miss out on the session due to lack of space.
  • Presenters grant ECA the right to publish their papers on the conference website, and/or publish them in various ECA publications.
  • All selected presenters must register for the day on which they are presenting at the conference. If presenters wish to stay for the whole conference, payment needs to be made for the full three days. Up to three (3) presenters will receive the ECA  member discount rate for full conference registration.

Abstracts will be withdrawn from the conference program if registration confirmation and payment are not received by 30 June 2021.

How to submit your abstract

Applications to present are now CLOSED.

In keeping with ECA’s drive to improve environmental sustainability, all abstracts must be submitted online. 

Instructions for completion of application

Step 1: Read all instructions carefully.

Step 2: Complete an application to present, which is made with a submission of a 300-word abstract.

Step 3: Ensure your application addresses the selection criteria.

Step 4: Submit your abstract—no more than 300 words—online, no later than 16 December 2019. 

Step 5: Ensure presenter biographies are no more than 50 words in total.

Step 6: Supply at least one presenter photograph with the application( limit file size to a maximum of 1MB).

Please note

  • All abstracts and biographies received will undergo editing before being printed in the conference program.
  • A maximum of three (3) presenters will be allowed to register and present per paper at the discounted rate.
  • Presenters may submit multiple papers, however only one paper can be accepted to present at the conference.
  • Applications received in any way other than online—including hard copy—will not be accepted.


Before you submit online, please ensure that you have read and understood this information.
If you have any questions, please contact the Conference Office for more information:

T: 02 6242 1800
E: conference@earlychildhood.org.au