Conference Themes

Kumarninthi—Becoming one: Old ways, new wisdom

This theme title reinforces that although we still hold on to and value old ways, theoretical perspectives and knowledge, there is and can be a contemporary approach to implementing this into new wisdom and becoming one.

Kumarninthi means ‘becoming one’ and comes from the South Australian Kaurna people. By using the Kaurna language in our conference theme we pay our respect to the Kaurna heritage and people of Adelaide and the Adelaide Plains.

Conference presentations will be aligned to one or more of the following areas of inquiry:

Children’s multilingual lives

Language is something we do as we co-construct, symbolise and communicate the ideas and sentiments we consider important, including moral and social. It is how we express our beliefs, our knowledge of the world and our place in it as well as our identities (individual and shared).  The theme appreciates that language is multimodal—we deploy speech, inscription, sculpture, gesture, song, dance, music and other symbolic systems to represent events, thoughts and emotions in meaningful ways. It asks delegates to consider how we view language, the modes and purposes of language in and beyond our professional lives, and how young children are using and learning language within and beyond educational settings.

Ecological identity and sustainability

Growing children’s understanding of their natural world and their role within that world is an increasing priority within early childhood services. Encompassing education on ecology, environmental sustainability and nature pedagogy, this sub-theme will explore best and emerging practice.

Deep listening and two-way learning

Australia’s First Nations people invite us to be still, to listen deeply, and to learn their ways—their connection to country, their language and knowledge. It is a generous invitation and not to be taken lightly, we must learn with respect and integrity.

Moving forward; standing strong

At the Hobart 2019 Conference Rachel Robertson said that leadership is not a position or a role but rather seeing that something needs to be done and doing it. We all need to be leaders in the early childhood sector. In the ECA Code of Ethics, we acknowledge that strong pedagogical and courageous leadership is essential to support and promote the rights and voice of children. How do we grow and nurture leadership in our sector? What are the most effective ways? This sub-theme will explore leadership and growth, the importance of self-care and self-compassion.

Diversity, inclusion and the rights of all children

How can we learn from the various lived experiences of children to ensure we facilitate a space that safeguards the rights for all to learn, develop and grow? What are the specific things we can seek and learn from children—who bring experiences such as neurodiversity, trauma, physical, social and psychological diversity—that support this? This sub-theme will explore trauma-informed practice, the environment as a third teacher and relational pedagogy.