Meet the 2020 AJEC Research Symposium Keynote speakers! 

Keynote Speakers

Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson

Professor Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson

Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Gothenburg University, Sweden. Ingrid holds the UNESCO Chair in Early Childhood Education and Sustainable Development through appointment by the Swedish Government. She was the world president of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education and Care (OMEP) from 2008 to 2013. Ingrid devotes her work to applying the phenomenographic research approach to education for all children. Her dissertation, The Child’s Conception of Learning, described how children become aware of their own learning. This research sparked Ingrid’s interest in metacognitive effects, focussing on didactic issues—how preschools can contribute to children’s learning. Her current research project is focused on integrating play and learning into goal-driven practice over two projects: focusing on monitoring two-year-olds in 40 preschool groups to look at children’s learning in relation to qualitative issues; and researching how metacognitive dialogues contribute to children’s learning about things unknown to them—with a focus on music, movement, and drama.


Justin Mohamed

Justin Mohamed

Justin Mohamed is a Gooreng Gooreng man from Bundaberg, Queensland. Currently, he is the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People of Victoria. Before being elected to this role, he worked closely with the Victorian Aboriginal communities for over 20 years and, at a national level, led organisations such as National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and Reconciliation Australia. He was the inaugural director of the Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE), and the CEO (later chairperson) of Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative in the Shepparton region. Justin has also held positions on multiple community, state and national working groups, committees and boards. He continues to serve as Director of Supply Nation, and Co-chair of Cricket Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.


Janine Mohamed

Janine Mohamed

Janine Mohamed is a proud Narrunga Kaurna woman from South Australia. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in nursing, management, project management as well as workforce and health policy in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector—mainly in the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector—at state, national and international levels. Most recently, Janine served as CEO of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM). Internationally, she has been a delegate at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on two occasions. She is now based in Melbourne, where she is CEO of the Lowitja Institute. In 2019, Janine was awarded a fellowship by the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity.


Sandie Wong

Associate Professor Sandie Wong

Sandie Wong is an Associate Professor at Macquarie University. She is committed to collaborating in strengths-based ways with academics from varied disciplines, as well as early childhood practitioners and government officials to lead and support quality research, evaluation, and practitioner enquiry that contributes to best practice in early childhood education. Sandie is currently investigating early childhood practices, workforce issues, educator wellbeing, and the international history of early childhood. She is on the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood editorial committee and is President of OMEP Australia (the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education). Sandie holds a Research Fellowship with Goodstart Early Learning.

Panel on Children’s rights and research

Susan Danby

Professor Susan Danby

Susan Danby is a Professor in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology. Her experience spans diverse educational contexts across government, not-for-profit organisations, social service agencies and universities in Australia and the US. Susan has led large-scale research projects on classroom, family, children’s counselling, and clinical palliative care interactions involving children. In her Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship she explored young children’s everyday practices with digital technologies across home and school. Susan was a member of the Early Childhood Australia Digital Policy Group, which launched the national Statement on young children and digital technologies (2018). She will be Director of the new ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, beginning in 2020.

Anthony Okely

Professor Anthony Okely

Anthony (Tony) Okely is a Senior Professor and Director of Early Start Research at the University of Wollongong. He is also an NHMRC Leadership Fellow. Tony’s research focuses on physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children. He led the team that developed and recently updated the Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years (birth to five years), and the Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and young people (5 to 17 years). He was part of the group that helped develop the WHO Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age, the South African 24-hour movement guidelines for birth to five years, and the UK Physical activity guidelines for children (under 5 years). Tony is currently leading an international surveillance study of 24-hour movement behaviours in the early years. The study (called SUNRISE) involves more than 30 countries, two-thirds of which are least developed or developing economies.

Jennifer Skattebol

Doctor Jennifer Skattebol

Dr Jennifer Skattebol is a senior research fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW Sydney). She leads a program of research on early childhood education in the context of family and locational disadvantage. This program includes a focus on the everyday lives of families and children who face economic and associated adversities, the practice architectures that promote effective inclusive practices, and issues of quality in a mixed-market system. Her methodological expertise includes integrated mixed-method approaches; ethnographies of everyday life, institutions and systems; and qualitative longitudinal research. She has published on the worldviews of children in the preschool years, wellbeing in the middle years, and experiences of young people within the education and welfare systems.