Promoting Children’s Health & Safety Conference
Embedding a culture of information sharing in early childhood
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is pleased to announce the Promoting Children’s Health & Safety Conference: Embedding a culture of information sharing in early childhood to be held on 18 July at the Rydges Hotel, Exhibition Street Melbourne. Join us on the day for a deep dive into the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS), listen to some expert speakers and participate in workshops to build on your knowledge and confidence while learning from colleagues and other professionals from information sharing entities.
Dates, location and registration
|18 July 2023
186 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Please note: all registration fees are inclusive of GST.
Please note: changes to the program can be made at any point at the discretion of the conference organisers.
|Stuart Cardell is the Project Director, Stakeholders, Implementation and Training at the Department of Education. He has been leading the implementation of the Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Reforms for the last five years.
Dedicated to enabling positive and lasting reform to support the wellbeing and safety of children, Stuart has spent the last 20 years working across policy, regulations, program and implementation roles in children, youth and education sectors. Prior to the Victorian Government, Stuart worked in strategic planning and program implementation roles across the Australian Government and in the United Kingdom, promoting better outcomes for children and young people.
|Meena Singh is the Acting Principal Commissioner and Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in Victoria. She is a Yorta Yorta and Indian woman, born and living on the land of the Kulin Nations. Meena started her legal career with Victoria Legal Aid, where she practised in human rights and criminal law, and was also their inaugural Associate Director, Aboriginal Services. She has led legal services and programs at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Human Rights Law Centre, as well as consulting in training and organisational development across many organisations. She has a passion for centring the voices of people with lived experience and service design that promotes inclusion, connection and ultimately achieves social justice and equitable outcomes.
|With over 30 years’ experience in the early childhood sector, Marie Howard has held senior roles in state government and not-for-profit organisations including Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA), Early Childhood Management Services (ECMS), and Mission Australia Early Learning. She has worked at KU Children’s Services in its Business Development Team, and at Uniting Care as the Early Years Consultant, where she assisted with the merger of the Uniting Care agencies into one organisation—Uniting Vic Tas. She has also been an active ECA Victoria Committee member for 14 years.
Marie sits on the board of the YMCA Victoria and the Tweddle Child and Family Health Service. She has a strong interest in governance and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Marie’s final formal role was at KU Children’s Services in its Business Development Team; she now works part-time as a consultant which allows her more time to devote to her volunteer roles. Marie has been the CISS Grant project lead for ECA for the past two years.
|Amy Furse is a Senior Specialist Family Violence Practitioner with Berry Street’s Northern Specialist Family Violence Service. She is currently working on the Hume Early Years Family Violence Project (HEYFVP), focusing on community capacity building and direct practice with families.
Amy is a social worker with several years of experience working in the family violence sector, utilising the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) to support with assessing and managing risk for families that are experiencing family violence.
|Georga Simmons is the Early Learning Practice Manager Quality and Compliance at Uniting Vic Tas. She provides leadership and expertise to 65 early learning services and the broader leadership team, and is currently developing early learning curriculum tools and audits to support educators’ pedagogical practice and legislation compliance.
Georga has over 35 years’ experience in the not-for-profit, community, private, tertiary education, and local government sectors managing and developing a broad range of services. She has provided leadership in kindergartens, long day care, family day care, occasional care, vacation care, central enrolment, and the Kindergarten Inclusion Support Program (KIS).
Georga believes that when children thrive and can access opportunities, we are all better off. She is passionate about connecting families to services that empower them to be active citizens and provide for their children.
|Melissa Ryan is a registered nurse, registered midwife and maternal child and health nurse currently working with the Municipal Association of Victoria to support local government maternal and child health (MCH) services with education regarding the use of the statewide Child Development Information System (CDIS), as well as supporting the workforce to implement MCH funded programs.
With 14 years’ experience working within the MCH and Enhanced MCH program supporting vulnerable families, Melissa has also held leadership roles that supported Enhanced and Universal MCH teams to work in partnership with families to meet family goals and promote health and wellbeing. She has collaborated with Child Protection, The Orange Door, early years services, and family support services. Melissa has also worked on projects such the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS).
Melissa’s passion is to build the capacity of MCH practitioners to work in partnership with families and to ensure they have support to find the resources they need, as well as the freedom to reach out for secondary consults and debriefs.
|Nicole Talarico is best known as an advocate for professionalism and children’s rights with a social justice lens always present. She recently authored a book, Asserting a Culture of Child Safety, aimed at helping early childhood education and care services to create and maintain environments that are physically, emotionally, spiritually and culturally safe. Nicole is a Reconciliation Ambassador and Council member for the Association of Graduates of Early Childhood Studies (AGECS). She sits on the Reconciliation Advisory Group for Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and is a committee member of ECA Victoria. Personable and knowledgeable, Nicole assists services with governance for systemic change to align with professional and ethical standards, helping teams to create and maintain a positive workplace culture and community engagement. Her mentoring strategies have been outlined in a range of early childhood sector publications and podcasts, and her insights shared at conferences both nationwide and overseas. Nicole is a valued and respected member of many network groups and has a prominent presence on social media and virtual communication platforms. With a long-term commitment to supporting sector growth, Nicole has a strong focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
About the Child Information Sharing Capacity Program
To help all Victorian children live safe and healthy lives, the Victorian Government is improving the way information is shared by professionals who work with children and families through the CISS. The CISS allows early childhood professionals to gain a complete view of the children they work with, making it easier to identify wellbeing or safety needs earlier, and act on them sooner.
In 2022 the Victorian Department of Education and Training worked with several organisations to build capacity within the sector.
The purpose of the Child Information Sharing Capacity Building Program (CIS Program) was to build workforce awareness of and confidence in using CISS to promote child wellbeing and safety and, where family violence risk to a child is present, the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), having regard to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM).
The department worked with peak/lead bodies to help their workforces understand and apply CISS to promote the wellbeing and safety of Victorian children. The CIS Program is distinguished by its focus on information sharing for child wellbeing and safety. This includes using FVISS and MARAM to assess or manage the risk of family violence to a child.
In 2022 ECA Victoria developed resources tailored to the sector’s needs. These resources included case studies and videos along with a targeted communications plan to build awareness of the CISS and FVISS among early childhood professionals.
In 2023, ECA is building on the work of 2022 to further embed best practice across early childhood services in Victoria.
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Click here to view the Promoting Children’s Health & Safety Conference Terms and Conditions.