Early Childhood Australia Victoria Branch advocates to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to children from birth to eight years and ensuring that these children have a voice.  Our vision is that ‘Every young child is thriving and learning’.

The Victorian branch achieves this through speaking on behalf of young children to parents, governments, educators, carers and the community. We are committed to promoting high standards of practice in the early childhood sector and contribute to and comment on policy that effect young children and their families.

ECA Vic Branch is governed by a volunteer committee and is a member of the ECA national organisation.  We engage our members through regular communication via social media and newsletters and hold regular forums that members can attend to keep up to date with current policy, research and issues within the sector.  The Branch is strongly committed to increasing our membership and advocating for the early childhood sector work force.

To view the ECA Victoria Branch Constitution please click here.

Acknowledgement of Country

We would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waterways and pay our respects to Elders past and present and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We must reflect upon the significance to true reconciliation for all of ECA’s work for all children and particularly for Aboriginal children and their families.

We also recognise that Aboriginal people have been nurturing and teaching children on this land for many decades and we honour and respect that role.

Branch Committee

Branch President Marie Howard
Branch Vice President Alistair Gibbs
Secretary Sean Whiting
Treasurer Sharon Jordan
National Director Janet Williams-Smith
General Member Nicole Pilsworth
General Member Rachel Pollitt
General Member Sarah Louise Gandolfo
General Member Simon Daniel
General Member Casey Goodman
General Member Claire Cooper

For a short bio on the ECA Victoria Branch Committee Members, please click here.


2020 Annual General Meeting – Tuesday 10 November


t: 03 9192 8370
e: ecavic@earlychildhood.org.au

Level 3/145 Smith Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

ECA Victorian Branch Facebook page—you don’t have to sign up to look.

Committees with Branch Representation

The Victorian Branch has representation on a variety of early childhood committees, advisory groups and professional support services throughout the state of Victoria.

  • Early Learning Everyone Benefits Campaign Reference Group
  • Regulation of Education and Care Services – Key Stakeholders
  • Early Childhood Development Advisory Group (DET)
  • ECA Leadership Forum
  • Early Childhood Strategic Communications (DET)
  • Kindergarten Reform Design Sub-Group
  • ECA Learning Hub Advisory Group
  • VIT Early Childhood Teacher Stakeholder Reference Group
  • Deakin University: Bachelor of Education Advisory Board
  • Box Hill Institute: Early Childhood Course Advisory Committee
  • DET Respectful Relationships Early Years Working Group
  • Kindergarten Expansion Consultative Committee (DET)


Each year the Victorian Branch of Early Childhood Australia hosts a series of forums as an opportunity to engage with members and early childhood professionals alike. Our 2021 forums will include a combination of both online and face-to-face events. Further details of each event will be made available closer to the event.

  • Reconciliation:  Engage and explore the topic of Reconciliation whilst we share our RAP progress.
    Tuesday 27th April 2021 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Leadership:  Come together with professionals to dive deep into the realms of leadership supported by our ECA Leadership Box of Provocations.
    Tuesday 27th July 2021 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Research Forum:  An opportunity to connect with some of the current research being undertaken by Victorian early childhood researchers and practitioners.
    Tuesday 12th  October 2021 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • AGM: The branch AGM is an important opportunity for us to share the work of the year with our members
    Tuesday 9th November 2021 6:00pm – 8:00pm


The Victorian Branch of Early Childhood Australia offers a range of awards that celebrate student achievement and research excellence, in addition to providing financial support to attend professional development. The awards were established in 2005 and have expanded to six award categories, to meet the diverse needs of the early childhood community. Consider submitting a nomination, for you or someone you know.

Please click here for our Awards brochure.

Agnes Farrance Conference Award

In recognition of her strong commitment to the professional development of early childhood educators, the Agnes Farrance Conference Award enables someone from within the profession to participate in a professional conference and to have the opportunity to share their experience with colleagues and peers.

This award provides financial support for an early childhood educator to attend a conference up to the value of $1,000. This could be the National Early Childhood Conference or another significant conference.

For application forms and further details click here.

Dianne Chandler Memorial Award

Diane Chandler was strongly committed to the belief that all staff working within the sector needed to remain abreast of current research, trends and influences which would affect teaching practice in early childhood.

In recognition of her strong commitment to the professional development of early childhood educators, the Diane Chandler Memorial Award enables someone from within the profession to participate in their choice of a professional development opportunity that would improve outcomes for young children and their families.

This award provides financial support to an early childhood professional educator, to undertake professional development of their choosing to the value of $1500.

For application forms and further details click here.

ECA VIC Doctoral Thesis Award

The Victorian Branch Early Childhood Australia Doctoral Thesis Award was established in 2015.  The aim of this award is to recognise the level of excellence and diligence required to undertake and complete a Doctoral thesis and to encourage the generation of quality and early childhood research in Victoria.

The thesis must be a PhD or EdD (Professional Doctorate) awarded in the year of application or the previous year by a university in Victoria.

The Doctoral Thesis Award comprises:

  • A citation delivered with the presentation of the award at the ECA Victorian Branch AGM and/or Research Forum
  • Travel support if required to attend the Victorian Branch AGM and/or Research Forum

The Award recipient will also receive a 12-month complimentary membership to Early Childhood Australia and subscriptions to ECA publications:  AJEC; Every Child: Research in Practice and Everyday Learning.

For submission and assessment guidelines click here

For application forms and further details click here

ECA VIC Student Excellence Award

The Student Excellence Award showcases the endeavours and accomplishments of early childhood graduates, recognising not only academic excellence but also personal, professional and community achievements.

The Victorian Early Childhood Australia Student Awards are offered in the final year of pre-service teachers’ studies. The successful candidates for this award must be in the final year of their Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) or Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) course to be eligible for this award.

The Award recipient will receive a 12-month complimentary membership to Early Childhood Australia and a 12-month subscription to the Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub as an acknowledgment of being part of a dynamic, collective of early childhood professionals.

For application forms and further details click here.

Warrawong Conference Scholarship Awards

The Warrawong fund supports not-for-profit early childhood services and organisations in Victoria to enable staff to undertake training and professional development in the field of early childhood.

From time-to-time, the Victorian Branch of Early Childhood Australia secures funding from the Trustees of the Foundation of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies and the Warrawong Foundation to provide financial support to early childhood professionals, particularly those who are disadvantaged from participating in these types of opportunities due to geographic location, physical, personal, economic or social circumstances, to attend the ECA National Conference.

The Warrawong Conference Scholarship Award provides financial support of up to $2000 to early childhood professional educators who, through financial or isolation disadvantage, may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the ECA National Conference.

For application forms and further details click here.

Rose Kelly Recognition Award

The Rose Kelly Recognition Award aims to acknowledge well-recognised and respected early childhood professionals who have engaged in effective advocacy for social justice and equity on behalf of young children and the early childhood sector.

This award provides financial support to attend an ECA event in the year awarded.  The successful recipient will also receive a 12-month subscription to the Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub.

For application forms and further details click here.

Special Interest Groups

ECA Victorian Branch operates with a number of special interest groups (SIG’s) that support the needs and interests of ECA members. SIG’s operate under the auspice of a larger organisation and adhere to their policies. Each SIG is shaped by what its members want and hope to achieve, with objectives including but not limited to, a research and reading focus, discussions, networking, visits, guest speakers or advocacy. They offer opportunities for smaller groups to get together to think through marginalised and or specialised areas of interest.

Each SIG has two convenors who oversee the group.  SIG convenors can be contacted directly if you are interested in joining the group or if you would like further information.

Click here to view the policy that guides the formation and structure of a Special Interest Group. As each SIG has a different focus and identity, this policy is a guide only.

Talking Reconciliation SIG
Convenor: Susan Werner and Leanne Mits—swerner@swin.edu.au

“Talking Reconciliation” aims to provide a regular opportunity for educators interested in progressing reconciliation within their services, and providing programs that include Indigenous perspectives in meaningful ways, to meet and share knowledge and skills. If you are interested in joining this group please contact the ECA Victoria Branch office.

This group is made up of interested participants in protecting and advocating for children.

Let’s Reflect – An opportunity for early childhood professional discussion
Convenors: Melissa Lowndes and Josie Caryuso—sigletsreflect@gmail.com

Let’s Reflect offers an informal space for educators, pre-service teachers, teachers and professionals from across the sector to come together to reflect on current ideas and challenges that are occurring within their practice. Let’s Reflect host four forums a year with a particular topic of discussion and where possible we invite along a professional friend who has a particular specialty or research in the topic.

Anti-Bias SIG
Convenors: Alistair Gibbs and Sarah Louise Gandolfo
Anti-Bias SIG aims to create a space where early childhood educators, teachers, students, specialists and professionals can come together to bravely discuss hard topics, questioning their practices and perceptions and making plans for a more inclusive environment.


Over the years, our Victorian Branch SIG’s have developed a variety of resources for the early childhood sector (below).

Click here to view slides that were presented at an open meeting as a way of demystifying what a Special Interest Group (SIG) is, what they can do and what they could look like.

1. Healthy biodiversity is no luxury – it’s the foundation of all life on earth – exploring biodiversity and conservation in Early Childhood Practice. (Download)
2. Energy Matters – exploring understandings of energy, and energy conservation in early childhood education. (Download)
3. Water play is essential play – exploring water play and conservation in Early Childhood Practice. (Download)
4. Environmental Sustainability article one (Download)
5. Environmental Sustainability article two (Download)
6. Environmental Sustainability article three (Download)
7. Sustainability web links (Download)

The child-friendly version of the Convention on the rights of the child (CROC).


Through the Victorian Branch Bulletin, we would like to report on regular activities of the branch members, and as a collective, representing the rights of children. Here we will share with you individual reports as well as showcase our Committee members, so you may become familiar with all of us.