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 Karen Green
General Member Sue Grieshaber
General Member Catharine Hydon
General Member Nicole Pilsworth
General Member Rachel Pollitt
General Member Louise Hennessy

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


Notice of Annual General Meeting

In accordance with the Early Childhood Australia (Victorian Branch) Constitution, notice of the Annual General Meeting of Early Childhood Australia (Victorian Branch) is given.

Date:     Tuesday 10th November 2020

Time:     5:30pm – 6:00pm (followed by an online workshop from 6:00pm – 7:30/8:00pm – details to follow)

Place:    Online via Zoom (event registration details to follow) 

The business of the annual general meeting shall be:

  • to confirm the minutes of the previous annual general meeting.
  • to receive from the committee reports upon the transactions of the Association during the last preceding financial year.
  • to receive and consider the financial statement submitted by the Association in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
  • to appoint an auditor for the 2020-2021-2020 financial year.
  • to elect on officer of the Association (President) and four ordinary members of the committee.

The associated documents can be accessed through the links below:


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
  • 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
  • Protective Behaviours Working Group (VICPOL)


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.


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 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

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 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.

Warrawong Awards

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.

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 Alistair Gibbs—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.

Financial support to study and work in early childhood

Financial support in the form of scholarships and employment incentives are available for people looking for a rewarding career in the early childhood sector.

Those choosing to work in early childhood will play an important role in implementing funded universal kindergarten programs for all three-year-olds across Victoria over the next 10 years.

Whether you are starting your study, upskilling as an educator, or already studying an early childhood teaching qualification there are a range of scholarships available. People wishing to undertake study or who began studying an eligible bachelor or postgraduate teaching qualification after January 2017 are encouraged to apply.

Financial incentives are also available for qualified teachers who take-up positions in kindergarten services that are delivering funded universal kindergarten programs for three-year-olds from 2020.

More information can be found on the Victorian Department of Education and Training by clicking on the links below:

Early childhood teacher scholarships and employment milestone payments

Early childhood Aboriginal pathway scholarships

Early childhood teacher incentives

**Please note: the above programs are applicable to those who live in Victoria only.


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.