The National Educational Leaders Conference: Transforming Practices


IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Misprint in our hardcopy calendar. Correct price for the full day conference is as listed on this website. Thanks for your understanding.


Short overview: The role of the educational leader is a corner stone of quality, with the role responsible for supporting staff to excel. In order to achieve this, educational leaders should maintain a commitment to their own professional development. This conference will provide delegates with the opportunity to reflect on their role, develop new knowledge and connect with other educational leaders.Our speakers will present on a range of topics relevant to the role of educational leaders. This unique opportunity is not to be missed.


KELLY GOODSIR - The courage to lead: cultivating strong learning relationships

The learning relationship is one of the most important relationships an educational leader has the privilege to build into.  It has the potential to transform people and change organisations. Leading learning requires nurturing a shared responsibility, a sharp focus and a willingness to do things differently.  That means it can be risky!  It also means leading is more about empowerment and not power!

Kelly will weave stories and case studies of various early childhood settings to inspire courage in your educational leadership.  We will unpack the following: 

  • Mobilising teams through coaching relationships
  • Overcoming isolation and individualism in turn for unity and collaboration
  • Getting comfortable with challenges, differences and difficulties.  Embracing problems as an invitation to explore and innovate.
  • Disrupting traditional paradigms by pushing past old frameworks and advocating for new realities
  • Finding your way as a leader through authenticity, courage and kindness 


JILL MCLACHLAN - With hope into the unknown: refection’s on leadership, listening and learning

What does it look like when our philosophies, dreams and educational ideals meet with the reality of life in our schools, early childhood services, and in our daily lives as early childhood educators and leaders? Is it possible to bring about the changes we dream of? If so, what are some keys that might work to sustain and equip us to stay connected, hopeful and inspired in our work with young children, their families and each other? 

The purpose of this session will be to join Jill in her reflections on the varied, complex and significant decisions we face in our work as leaders, especially as those decisions are enacted through a myriad of complex relationships. Jill will look at both the honour and challenge it is to be an educational leader and will share from her own learning about herself and leadership, through both the highs and lows of her experiences. 

Key ideas that will be explored include: knowing yourself, recognising what you don’t know, stepping towards (rather than away from) otherness, acknowledging your power, recognising what is (and is not) your responsibility, and finding ways to work, with strength and hope, in an imperfect world.

ANTHONY SEMANN – When the unknown becomes a barrier to change – understanding in order to learn and grow

The role of educational leadership brings along with it some interesting challenges and in doing so creates some opportunities for organisational change and transformation. However, is this possible if educational leaders themselves remain in a space of unknowing? Working on ‘self’ and increasing the knowledge of educational leaders is a critical first step in building the skills of those around us and to begin this journey educational leaders need to engage in some critical thinking and knowledge gap analysis. In this presentation key ideas on knowledge, truths, educational change and pedagogical transformation as a key to quality will be explored

KIRSTY LILJEGREN- Leading a culture of genuine parent partnerships - the impact on teaching and learning

What is the role of leadership in creating or shifting a culture where participation becomes an integral part of practice, where family partnerships moves beyond a statement, to something that is lived with authenticity?

 It is well understood that outcomes for children are heightened when educators have respectful relationships with families. Despite the best of intentions, this is not always achieved to a degree that may be aspired to.

Through a leadership lens, this session will reconceptualise approaches to working together with families, drawing on the diversity of parental perspectives, and what this can look like in terms of involvement and participation.

Examples will be shared through a series of projects and initiatives that: 

  • bring adults and children together, with exchange and dialogue as critical components 
  • work towards creating and sustaining systems of home-centre-community partnerships
  • investigate the notion of parental agency
  • examine the cultural shift to parental engagement as a responsibility  


  • What do we believe about young children and their learning? 
  • How do we draw on beliefs and practices to develop shared understandings? 
  • How do we navigate our way through the different theories of children, childhood and learning that a diverse team brings?

Coming together as an early years team is a complex and rewarding process. We have moved away from the time when isolated islands of practice were the norm and where collaboration was an option. Instead, today, early childhood educators find themselves in learning teams which ask them to critically reflect, bravely re-think, seek new questions and uncover shared understandings together.  This agenda looks toward a future for children that is hopeful, diverse and connected; valuing constant conversation as a tool for professional learning. 

This presentation explores strategies for leaders and teams to come together and research the deeper connections between our practices, beliefs and actions. 


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