2022 Early Childhood Australia National Conference

Passion to power: Our future profession

As we gather in Canberra, the seat of government, it is timely to reflect on how far we, as early childhood professionals, have come—from the visionary and passionate women of the 1920s to the competent and qualified educators of the 2020s—and where we hope to go next. Now is the time to design and plan our future. Let’s consider how we can move beyond just being viewed as ‘essential workers’ and position ourselves as thought leaders and powerbrokers.

In keeping with the broader theme of reflecting on the past to design the future of the profession, the insights and knowledge shared by keynote speakers from past ECA conferences will serve as inspiration for the 2022 presentations.

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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!

Application to present now open

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Designing our profession

‘teachers with the good face should get paid more’

Maria Aarts, 2016

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Beyond Quality

‘Do you choose to work with quality or go beyond quality?’

Professor Peter Moss, 2019

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Self-regulation and wellbeing

‘There is no such thing as a bad kid’

Dr Stuart Shanker, 2018

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Play, technology and power

‘take the children’s points of view’

Ann Pelo, 2014

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Reflection and reconciliation

as uncomfortable as it is, we need to reckon with our history

Stan Grant, 2018

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Climate activism and sustainability

‘I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is’

Greta Thunberg, 2019

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Welcome from Chris Legg, ECA National President

Chris Legg, ECA National President

The Early Childhood Australia (ECA) National Conference is one of the most eagerly anticipated events among those who work with young children. Early childhood educators, teachers, academics, leaders and allied professionals from across Australia, and from even farther afield, come here to be inspired through shared ideas and experiences in an environment conducive to collegiality and collaboration.

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

During the 2022 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. I look forward to warmly welcoming delegates to Canberra and to connecting with everyone in person.

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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National Convention Centre Canberra

31 Constitution Ave, Canberra ACT 2601


+61 2 6242 1800 conference@earlychildhood.org.au

My Country

© Licensed by Kayannie Denigan


This artwork is from the My Country series by artist Kayannie Denigan. Kayannie was inspired to create the series when, flying over the land of her ancestors, she was struck by the beauty of the harsh desert. The delineation of the shrubs, grasses, rocks and sand dunes she observed from the plane window was stark and stunning. Upon returning home to Canberra, Kayannie developed the series using vivid colours to represent rocks, mountains, night skies, rivers, desert flowers and plants of her childhood home, Cape York, the Luritja deserts of her Nanna’s lands and the Kuku Yalanji beaches and rainforests of her Nanny’s Country. Kayannie incorporated these elements into her work, both on canvas and in digital formats, to show how they are connected—forming part of Australia’s beauty—but also separate and powerful on their own.

Kayannie Denigan is an emerging Australian Aboriginal artist who currently lives and works in Canberra, Ngunnawal Country. She is Luritja by birth and is connected to Iltjitjari and Unturu in Central Australia through her grandmother (Nanna) and great-grandmother respectively. Kayannie is also connected to the Bagarrmuguwarra, Guugu Yimithirr and Kuku Yalanji people of Far North Queensland, specifically Cape York, through her Nganjan (adopted father). She maintains strong connections to Country at Buru, Starke and Yuku Budhuwigu and to the communities of Hope Vale and Wujal Wujal. Kayannie works predominantly in acrylic on canvas and is inspired by a painting style that was passed down from her grandmothers—the iconic dots and symbols of Central Desert art. She combines this ancient form of storytelling with the colours and stories from the lands and cultures of her childhood home in Cape York.