AIFS biennial conference commences today
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > AIFS biennial conference kicks off at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

AIFS biennial conference kicks off at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

by Freya Lucas

June 11, 2024

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) biennial conference commences in Melbourne today, with internationally renowned researchers and experts in the family wellbeing space gathering at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Running until 14 June, the event will be opened by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP (via video link) and Attorney-General, the Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC, MP (in person).


Importantly for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, AIFS’ Dr Kristel Alla will be presenting a preliminary report on the benefits of nature play, highlighting that children spend a large proportion of their time indoors, and why this is problematic.


Keynote speakers include: 


  • expert in gender equity, family care time, employment-care balance and social policy, Professor Lyn Craig; 
  • Australia’s first Indigenous doctor and child psychiatrist, and expert in Aboriginal mental health provision, Dr Helen Milroy; 
  • clinical psychologist, researcher and leading men’s mental health expert, Dr Zac Seidler; and;
  • speech pathologist, autism researcher, community advocate for children and science communicator, Professor Andrew Whitehouse.


More than 700 delegates from the child and family wellbeing sector are expected to attend the conference, held over four days (including the pre-conference workshops on Tuesday 11 June). Speakers include researchers, policy makers, service providers, practitioners and thought leaders from around Australia and overseas.


Dr Jennifer Baxter will present new research revealing the proportion of eligible mothers and fathers taking up government-funded paid parental leave, along with a report on how couple families share child care in the home.


Dr Emily Stevens will present a new report on improving the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children – a collaboration between AIFS and the Australian Human Rights Commission, with funding from The Ian Potter Foundation.


View all speakers and the full program using the links provided, or visit the conference website for more information. 

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