We were thrilled with the success of our inaugural The Good Childhood Conference. I know you can’t judge success by numbers but here are a few statistics:
Over the 3 days of the conference (starting with the pre-conference workshops) we had 1000 people in attendance;
During the two day conference there were 64 presentations & activities, including: 8 keynote addresses, 10 keynote presentations, 40 concurrent sessions, 2 performances, 1 youth panel, 1 youth led workshop, 1 football skills drill, and 1 book launch;
63 young people and 25 foster carers attended the conference on scholarships;
There were 18 displays and exhibitors, as well as a street artist creating a work in front of our eyes;
We were supported by 7 sponsors, 22 supporting partners and many friends of the conference who provided scholarships for young people and carers.
Presenters and delegates alike have been very positive in their feedback and we thank you for your encouragement.
In holding the conference we were seeking to explore what sustains a good childhood and how we can best support those who have not experienced a good childhood and we are keen to understand whether we met this aim.
We are currently analysing delegates’ evaluation forms and will be sending out a survey to those who attended to obtain further information to assist us with future planning. Watch this blog to find out about some of the themes from this feedback.
What happens now? One of the unique features of The Good Childhood conference was the presence of young people from SYN Media who attended all of the keynote and a range of other sessions, commenting on conference themes on twitter and drafting blog posts which we will share over the coming weeks.
This blog is going to become a permanent fixture for the Berry Street Childhood Institute as we encourage you all to engage in this conversation about what we want for children in Australia in the 21st century.
Why don’t you enter this conversation right now by commenting here? Otherwise get involved on Twitter at @ChildhoodInst.
Thanks to all of you who participated in any way at our conference!
We are pleased to announce that due to the generous support of Friends of The Good Childhood Conference, we are now able to offer youth scholarship places to The Good Childhood Conference!
The Berry Street Childhood Institute, along with many of the conference presenters and organisations working with children and young people in Australia, want to have a national conversation about what sustains a good childhood in the 21st Century.
We believe this conversation needs to include the unique perspective of young people who are currently growing up in the 21st Century. That’s why we ask that you share this opportunity with your students, clients, colleagues, friends and family.
Just having young people in the room changes the conversation. It reminds us that young people are not an analogous group of individuals that all do, think and experience the same things. It reminds us that young people have valuable insights into childhood too.
In general, we are offering scholarship places to young people aged between 16 and 21 years, however, we will receive applications from interested parties outside of this age range.
These scholarship places will be allocated on a first-in-first-served basis. So get in quick!
*Note: These scholarship places do not include a teacher/worker place, if a support person is required the support person will need to be registered through the usual registration process here: www.goodchildhood.org.au
In the youth sector, the education sector and the welfare sector, we are often immersed in adult conversation. Even when we consult, hold focus groups and work alongside young people, the majority of the time we are adults talking to other adults.
At Berry Street, like other organisations across the country, we are committed to raising the bar in youth participation. We believe that young people have a key role in improving the lives of Australian children in the 21st Century.
But how do we support young people to take on this role?
And how can we ensure that young people are getting their fair say about what sustains a good childhood?
In the lead up to The Good Childhood Conference, the staff at the Berry Street Childhood Institute have been working to ensure that young people get their say.
We know that we don’t have all the answers.
We know that holding a national conference that brings adults and young people together will provide many lessons in youth participation. And we know we won’t stop there.
We have been buoyed by the interest of other organisations, and the overwhelming support from individuals (young and old) wanting the opportunity to come together.
Like the many organisations that we have taken inspiration from, we look forward to sharing our experiences with you.