Education Professionals celebrate 2020 Children's week

05 November 2020

An old African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child, and 2020 has shown this theory to be all too true. The roles of parents, grandparents, community members, teachers, friends and colleagues have all been under the spotlight as the events of this year have shifted social norms and demanded a different approach to raising children.

Every family is different, in some cases the parents may look after the children full time, in some cases the grandparents are the caretakers, and for some families the task of raising a child is shared amongst numerous individuals, many of whom are unrelated to the child.

A wealth of research has highlighted the importance of the first 1,000 days of life, in which the foundations for future health, growth, and neurodevelopment are established. As a child grows and reaches successive milestones throughout the early years, it is vital that they participate in their community.

The University of Notre Dame Australia's Associate Professor Dee O’Connor delivered a public lecture on The Power of Participation this Children's Week.

“The Webinar provides information to help educators and parents supporting children to connect with others in these challenging times,” Professor O’Connor says, “A key focus is connection and belonging in the early years, and the importance of children participating within their communities.”

Professor O’Connor discusses opportunities for parents, early childhood and primary school educators to expand their toolkit and use strategies that may help maximise the benefit of participation, reduce anxiety and increase the resilience of children in learning environments and in their community.

A recorded live panel discussion followed the lecture, with Professor O'Connor and special guests; Research Fellow at Curtin University and Founding Director of Pindi Ltd Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, the Department of Education’s Amie Fabry, Meerilinga’s Caroline Heeris, and Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit.

The panel discuss the importance of connection, communication and participation in childhood. This discussion invites the thoughtful contribution of the audience and encourages the engagement of fellow educators and parents to stimulate an engaging dialogue on The Power of Participation and its impact on connection, belonging, wellbeing and health.

Watch the recorded webinar here.

Watch the panel discussion here.

The 2020 Children's Week WA webinar, The Power of Participation, was proudly brought to you by Children's Week conveners Meerilinga Young Children's Foundation, with the generous support of the WA Government Department of Education and Lotterywest.

Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 |