About us

The ECA SA Branch is an active and vibrant group of volunteers with members from across the education, care and health sectors. This broad membership base shares a common aspiration to provide leadership and advocacy on behalf of all children. Our branch priorities for 2018 are aligned with the ECA National Strategic Plan 2017-2020.
Peak organisations and government sectors invite advice from our branch to contribute to and comment on early childhood issues and policies that affect young children and their families.

Upcoming Events

Please check back soon for upcoming events in 2019.

Past Events


The SA branch Executive committee is committed to the promotion of the rights and wellbeing of all young children, and as such part of that work is critically reviewing and providing feedback on current policy, legislation and papers.

Recent written responses have been given on:

State Election Forum

In preparation for the recent state election held on March 17th 2018, ECA SA invited professionals who work with children age from Birth to Eight years to attend a special State Election Forum to consider matters of interest relating to the care and education of young children. Over 60 professionals attended the session. Tom Richardson, SA columnist with InDaily kindly donated his time to facilitate the evening. Minister Susan Close (Labor), John Gardner MP (Liberal), Ms Tammy Franks MLC (Greens), James Sadler, candidate for Morialta (SA Best) attended and each presented their Education and Care position, after which responses were given to the questions raised by our members and colleagues.


February 13th marked the Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.  A table of Friends attended a breakfast to honour the Survivors on the 10th Anniversary.  Here is some reflection from the morning. All of us were deeply moved throughout the breakfast. Ali Cobby Eckermann’s speech and beautiful emotive poetry was the highlight of the breakfast. The Timpilya (Music Stick) ceremony was very emotional but signalled a time of healing and working together.


Ali Cobby Eckermann (born 1963) is an Australian poet of Indigenous Australian ancestry. She is a Yankunytjatjara/Kokatha woman born on Kaurna land in South Australia. Ali Cobby Eckermann is a survivor of the stolen generations, as her mother was before her.


Reconciliation SA has developed this pledge;

  1. We honour the Survivors of the Stolen Generations and pledge continued support for them. Today we remember the National Apology that named their pain, hurt and suffering.  In the coming year, we will acknowledge Survivors’ stories, advocate for the journey of Healing and support a just settlement for them.
  2. We recognise the hurt that also occurred for the descendants and extended family members of the Stolen Generations. We also promise to act on their stories and find ways to put the meaning of the Apology into practice.

As members of Reconciliation SA, ECA SA branch undertakes to take this pledge into our community so together we continue to support the journey to healing.


Committees with Branch Representation

The state government and other key decision makers regularly seek our involvement in reference groups, and our opinions on projects and programs for South Australian children and families.

Currently the SA Branch is represented on the following committees:

  • Supporting ECA Networks (Margaret Sankey)
  • The Committee for the Lillian de Lissa and Jean Denton Memorial Trusts Committee (Rosemary Green)
  • Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – Teachers Reg Board Future Directions Early Childhood Reference Group – (Joan Gilbert)
  • Council of Education Associations SA (CEASA) (Susan Jackson)
  • University of South Australia –Programs Advisory Group (Susan Jackson, Karen Winderlich)
  • Early Learning Everyone Benefits Campaign Reference Group (Italia Parletta)
  • The South Australian Collaborative Childhood Project Governance Group – (Kate Ryan)
  • Re-imagining Childhood Birth to Three years Project Leaders Group (Joan Gilbert)
  • Margaret Trembath Research Fund – Lesley-Anne Ey

Branch Executive

President Joan Gilbert
Vice President Italia Parletta
SA National Director Kate Ryan
Secretary Susan Jackson
Treasurer Lynne Rutherford

Committee Members

Julie Brown
Trish Cook
Marie Cullen
Sue Dahlenburg
Lesley-Anne Ey
Kate Martin
Gayle Mills
Phyllis Mitchell
Tamara Newbery
Suzanne Russell
Trish Tranfa


e: ecasa@earlychildhood.org.au