ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics

The ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics provides a select group of leaders and aspiring leaders in the early childhood sector with the opportunity to engage in deep, connected learning through a series of facilitated dialogues. The colloquia dialogues will be interlinked with the 2021 ECA National Conference, occurring in a dedicated space with facilitators who bring expertise in the study and practice of ethics. The colloquia will also be attended by some of the conference keynote presenters and sector leaders. This is an exclusive opportunity to participate in the conference in a different way—to encounter deeper and broader ways of developing your knowledge.

I know you won’t believe me but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.’—Socrates


The colloquia will be hosted near the conference venue and will take place over four days, commencing on Tuesday 22 February 2022. We recommend participants arrive in Brisbane the Monday evening before; a social gathering will be held before we begin the formal program.  They will come together in colloquia to explore and expand on the ideas presented by the keynote speakers of the 2021 ECA National Conference and contemporary issues for the early childhood sector. 


Prior to coming to the conference, colloquia participants are asked to engage with a curated set of thought-provoking resources (these will include readings as well as audio/visual resources). It is recommended that participants allow 30 hours for preparation in the weeks leading up to the colloquia. The dialogues will be structured around a tailored conceptual framework containing three key themes that historically and currently shape our sector—childhood, civil society and identity.

Outcomes for participants

As a participant in the colloquia, you will:

  • expand your understanding of what it means to be an ethical leader using a critically reflective and informed base for advocacy and action
  • gain deeper insights into understanding the importance of diverse perspectives, dialogue and negotiation as critical elements of ethical leadership
  • strengthen your capacity to be an informed thought leader for achieving improved outcomes for children, families and the community
  • challenge and reconsider your role in empowering, enabling and enhancing future leaders in the children’s services sector.

Development and framework

The colloquia dialogues have been developed by a team of experts in ethics and leadership, both within and beyond the early childhood professional context. The program facilitators, guest speakers and group dialogue will expand and reimagine the landscape as we know it, laying the foundations for leaders to create a sense of shared humanity and their individual responsibility as trailblazers tasked with ethical decision-making in building and contributing to a civil society.


Our highly skilled facilitators will use the conceptual framework and Socratic questioning techniques or similar to generate deeper, broader and transformed ways of thinking and being. Each dialogue session will be led by two facilitators, who will be confident with the content and processes, and have a broad understanding of ethics as well as their application to early childhood sector leadership.  

Catharine HydonCatharine Hydon With over 30 years’ experience, Catharine is the Principal Consultant and Director at Hydon Consulting. Her work as a consultant and critical friend supports innovative practice, pedagogy and the art of transformational change. Catharine’s collaborative approach and engaging style has taken her all over Australia to think alongside leaders and educators in a collective effort to create meaning and define quality. Cultivating professional dialogue that responds to complexity and invites deep reflection is central to Catharine’s work, and her approach is informed an ongoing drive to make grounded connection between theory and practice. Amongst other pursuits, Catharine is a long-time member of Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and is a regular contributor to ECA publications. She has just completed a seven-year term as Co-chair of the Reconciliation Advisory Group. Catharine has been a member of the ECA Code of Ethics working group for the past two reviews and is a co-author of the recently published implementation guide, Ethics in Action. She is a Board Member of the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) and the Early Years–10 Curriculum and Assessment Committee for the VCAA, and was recently appointed as a second-tier reviewer for ACECQA. Her qualifications include a Dip Teaching (Early Childhood) and MEd (Early Childhood Education).  


Chris MasonAssociate Professor Chris Mason As Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, Dr Chris Mason is one of Australia’s leading ethics researchers and is a global thought leader in social enterprise. Chris’s work explores the boundaries between ethics theory and practice, focusing on learning how we make sense of ethical thinking in our daily lives. His work encourages us to re-think the major challenges that we face in our personal and working lives, using a multi-disciplinary approach. His research has a global reach, and has been published in leading business, management and public policy journals. Chris was nominated as Australia’s leading ethics researcher in 2020.  


Trent MoyTrent Moy Trent Moy is the founder of Halide, a specialist consultancy in ethics, decision-making, culture and leadership. He consults to variety of clients from ASX-listed companies to elite sport and not-for-profit organisations. His experience includes 25 years of management and leadership in financial services, including the leadership of corporate responsibility and sustainability for one of Australia’s largest companies. As a specialist in ethics, which he defines as ‘thinking and doing decisions when something of critical value is at stake’, Trent has a deep understanding of complex organisational cultures and culture change, a dislike for rules, and a passion for cross-discipline and lifelong learning. Trent is a casual academic with Australian Catholic University, where he teaches educational philosophy and social justice. He is a long-term associate of The Ethics Centre and a Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors which seeks to improve the governance of Australia’s not-for-profit organisations. He holds qualifications in arts, business and higher education.  


Anne KennedyProfessor Anne Kennedy Professor Anne Kennedy has provided input on the development of the colloquia and guidance to support the facilitators. A consultant, researcher, trainer and writer, Anne was a member of the Charles Sturt University Consortium which developed the Early Years Learning Framework. She was also involved in the revising of ECA’s Code of Ethics in 2006.




We need to look to our past. Has anything really valuable been lost in the onward surge? … We need to evaluate our present very carefully. There is so much that could be done. … We need to look to the future lest present habit and expediency determine our direction; rather should we be guided by reasoned planning based on expanding knowledge of children and seen in relation to a complete scheme of education in its widest sense.’ Editorial excerpt from the Australian Preschool Quarterly, 1963

Dates and location

The ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics will be held from Tuesday 22 February to Friday 25 February 2022 in Brisbane.


To express your interest in attending the ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics, please send an email to For further information, please contact Elmarie Snyman of the ECA Conference and Events team.

ECA Leadership Colloquia
Telephone: 02 6242 1800

Terms and conditions

ECA’s usual terms apply for cancellations, and due to the nature of this event we will need to approve any registration transfer. Refer here for more information.