2019 Little People Big Dreams conference ‘a truly special day’ 
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > 2019 Little People Big Dreams conference ‘a truly special day’ 

2019 Little People Big Dreams conference ‘a truly special day’ 

by Freya Lucas

October 30, 2019

The 2019 Little People Big Dreams conference was held in Darwin 19 October 2019. Held as a collaboration between Child Australia and the Northern Territory Government, the conference was a sold out event, with representatives attending from outside school hours care (OSHC), family day care (FDC), preschool and long day care (LDC) services, as well as those from the school sector. 



Focusing on supporting educators in all service types, the conference was opened with renowned keynote speaker Dr Justin Coulson, who spoke to delegates about managing difficult conversations. A highlight of his presentation, aside from his live action representation of a vicious circle, was the notion of focusing, in challenging spaces, on the one thing which can be totally controlled – your response. 

Following on from Dr Coulson, delegates were led through a spirited exploration of risk by Louise Dorrat, who used personal anecdotes to outline the value of building resilience in children, making connections throughout the document to the approved learning frameworks, empowering educators to advocate for risk in their service, before leading the crowd to morning tea with a robust sing-a-long. 

The third keynote presentation focused on children’s behaviour, and was lead by Dr Louise Porter, who emphasised a view of children’s behaviour which stems from the perspective that children want to do well, and will do so when they can. Dr Porter’s ultimate aim is to work with educators, empowering them to teach children to behave considerately, being mindful of how their behaviour affects others, rather than relying on consequences to elicit compliance. 

Dr Porter’s presentation was followed by a keynote from Toni Powell, who explored the “assassins” of culture – those behaviours, conscious and unconscious – which erode the culture of team. In essence, Ms Powell said, life is made up of relationships, and it is up to each of us to learn the best ways to be in relationship with one another. 

After a comprehensive buffet lunch and exploration of the exhibition space, which featured providers such as QikKidsWoolworthsBe YouRandstad EducationPSTANT and others, conference delegates had an afternoon of breakout sessions to choose from, including offerings from providers, deep dives with keynote speakers from the morning, and hands on STEM workshops provided by Little Scientists

The conference concluded with networking drinks, and a spontaneous performance by Daphne Puntjina & Sarah Gallagher from MacKids who shared songs in language with those in attendance. 

Child Australia are currently seeking feedback, both about the Conference, and the composition of their 2020 professional development calendar. 

Those residing in the Northern Territory are invited to complete a four minute survey, at which time they will enter the draw for one of two $100 prizes. Last entries must be received by 11pm AWST to be eligible. 

For more information, or to complete the survey, please see here.

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