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 to 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 President||Marie Howard|
|Branch Vice President||Alistair Gibbs|
|National Director||Janet Williams-Smith|
|General Member||Sue Grieshaber|
|General Member||Louise Hennessy|
|General Member||Catharine Hydon|
|General Member||Nicole Pilsworth|
|General Member||Rukmini Bose-Rahman|
|General Member||D’Lene Johnson|
For a short bio on the ECA Victoria Branch Committee Members, please click here.
t: 03 9192 8370
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
- The Department of Education and Training (DET) Early Years Awards Annual Judging
- 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
- RMIT: School of Education Program Advisory Committee
- 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)
- Early Childhood Education Conference
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.
Ethics Forum: Tackling and exploring the ethical dimension of our work in direct reference to our ECA Code of Ethics.
Research Forum: An opportunity to connect with some of the current research being undertaken by Victorian early childhood researchers and practitioners.
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 five 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
This award provides financial support to an early childhood professional educator, to attend a conference up to the value of $1000. During the year of the biannual Early Childhood Australia Conference, funds will be allocated to this conference and during the alternate year applicants can nominate an Australian or international conference of their choice.
For application forms and further details click here.
Dianne Chandler Memorial Award
The 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 aim of this award is to recognise the level of excellence and diligence required to undertake and complete a doctoral thesis.
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.
For application forms and further details click here.
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 financially support staff from rural and remote, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, vulnerable and/or high needs services to attend professional development.
In 2019 the Victorian Branch of Early Childhood Australia have ten scholarship grants, each to the value of $2000, available through the Warrawong Foundation that will enable us to allow ten lucky recipients the opportunity to attend the ECA National Conference in Hobart.
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—firstname.lastname@example.org
“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: Rose Kelly and Melissa Lowndes—email@example.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 – This new SIG has been established with a focus on Anti-Bias.
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.
Scholarships for Early Childhood Professionals
Applications are now open for the early childhood scholarships program.
The early childhood scholarships program is designed to attract new early childhood teachers to the field and support existing educators who wish to upskill to a teaching qualification or gain a relevant postgraduate qualification. Early childhood teachers and educators play a critical role in the first years of children’s lives by laying the foundations for lifelong learning and future success.
There are two scholarship options available:
- Early childhood scholarships to become a teacher (bachelor degree and postgraduate qualification)
- This option is for eligible individuals wanting to study to become a registered early childhood teacher or upskill.
- Early childhood Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pathway scholarships (Certificate III to postgraduate level qualifications)
- This option is for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wanting to become an early childhood educator or teacher. Applicants completing bachelor degree and postgraduate qualifications must meet the same conditions as the teaching scholarships.
Those completing vocational training must enrol in one of the following eligible courses:
- Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)
For more information see the early childhood scholarships program guidelines and application portal below:
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).
Welcome to the Victoria Branch Bulletin. Through this regular 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.