The Good Childhood Conference welcomes teachers and school leaders!

Tom Brunzell, Senior Advisor, Teaching and Learning

Students reading
Students reading.

Having a good education is a critical part of having a good childhood, so we’ve made sure our Good Childhood Conference features a specific learning stream for educators and school-based support providers.

We think it’s important to support educators to better understand the cognitive skills needed for learning, as well as nurturing character skills like gratitude, mindfulness and positive engagement.

That’s why a number of keynote presentations will focus on flourishing school communities and the science of wellbeing.

First, let’s focus on gratitude. We can assume that gratitude feels good in the moment—for both the giver and the receiver. But did you know that gratitude also promotes sustainable wellbeing outcomes?

In fact research tells us that gratitude is something that we can practice, promote, and develop as a daily wellbeing practice. Dr Lea Waters will share her work on gratitude in schools and talk about how gratitude can transform classroom culture.

Mindfulness can be a powerful foundation for safe and supportive classrooms where students learn strategies to last a lifetime.

We are fortunate to have Dr Craig Hassed presenting at our conference. He will talk about the importance of teaching mindfulness practice in order to empower our children with emotional awareness and positive self-regulation.

And finally, I will be discussing how strong and caring relationships promote positive engagement in the classroom. I wants us to think about addressing students’ needs through the re-conceptualisation of engagement as a mosaic of rhythm, rigor, flow, authentic feedback and a strengths based-curriculum.

Please join us on October 10th & 11th 2013 for these and many other interesting perspectives on how education can contribute to a good childhood.

Register now at http://goodchildhood.org.au/

A great way to start a conference!

Marg Hamley, Director, Berry Street Childhood Institute

Baroness_Connelly_Owen
Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, Professor Marie Connolly, Jan Owen.

Day One of The Good Childhood Conference will get off to a great start with an array of powerful speakers. 
We really want to challenge conference delegates to consider what a ‘good childhood’ represents in the 21st Century, so we’ve invited three eminently qualified women to stimulate our thinking.

We kick off with the sometimes controversial, but always interesting, Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE. Susan is an English neuroscientist, writer and broadcaster.

She receives a lot of international attention for her forthright views on the impact of modern technologies, particularly social media, on how children and young people think and feel.

Her first presentation at the conference, on day one, takes a broad perspective and has this very long and impressive title – Helping children & young people thrive, achieve and belong: How neuroscience can contribute to framing and identifying the outcomes we want for children and young people in the 21st Century.

Next up, we have Professor Marie Connolly. A few years ago the University of Melbourne enticed this acclaimed social work leader and academic away from New Zealand. Berry Street was thrilled when Marie agreed to be a member of our Board!

Marie is a thoughtful, intelligent and passionate speaker who is bound to provide a new perspective on contemporary childhood. She will be approaching childhood in Australia from a rights perspective.

The morning session concludes with the much lauded Jan Owen AM, CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians. Jan will be sharing her vision for young Australians in the 21st Century. She has a very optimistic view of the capacity of young people to create change and has herself always been at the forefront of social change organisations in Australia.

Last year Jan was named Australia’s “Woman of Influence” – expect to be inspired and motivated!

Register now at http://goodchildhood.org.au, and join us on Thursday 10th October for this great line up of speakers

Welcome to The Good Childhood Conference blog!

CEO, Berry Street
Sandie de Wolf AM – CEO, Berry Street

This is a first for me as I join the blogging community!

At Berry Street, we believe that all children should have a good childhood, growing up feeling safe, nurtured and with hope for the future.  Sadly, evidence and our experience over 136 years tells us that this is not a reality for far too many children.

I think there is a lot for us to learn and share about what sustains a good childhood and how we best support those who have not had this experience. One of the key ways forward is bringing together parents’ experience, the knowledge of practitioners and different disciplines.

There are a wide range of terrific speakers lined up for our inaugural The Good Childhood Conference, designed to appeal to different audiences.  Some will be controversial. That’s part of the intention, because we really want to start a broad conversation about childhood.

We hope to have a large contingent of young people at the Conference – as both presenters and participants.

Like the work of Berry Street, our Conference will appeal to people from many different disciplines.  50 workshops will cover areas such as child protection, education, early years, wellbeing, place-based initiatives, family violence, the impact of technology and Out of Home Care.

We couldn’t be doing this without our Sponsors and Supporting Partners. We are especially grateful to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, who describe their role as helping to build a strong and fair society for all Australians and developing social policies to:

  • Increase opportunities for all Australians to participate in our society and work
  • Promote cohesive and connected society
  • Support basic living standards
  • Support individuals, families and communities to build their capacity

So, please spread the word and I look forward to meeting you at the conference.

Sandie de Wolf, CEO, Berry Street