ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics

The ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics provides a select group of leaders in the early childhood sector with the opportunity to engage in deep, connected professional learning through a series of facilitated dialogues.
Occurring in a dedicated space with facilitators who bring expertise in the study and practice of ethics and ethical leadership, the colloquia dialogues interlink with the key themes and content of the ECA National Conference.
This is an exclusive opportunity to participate in the ECA Conference in a new and dynamic way, where we will be joined by some of the conference keynote presenters, community leaders and sector protagonists.

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


The colloquia program will begin on Tuesday 4 October, two days prior to the commencement of the ECA National Conference, and will end on Friday 7 October. We recommend participants arrive in Canberra on the afternoon of Monday 3 October for a social gathering before the formal program begins.
Colloquia sessions (dialogues) will be intertwined with the ECA National Conference and will take place in a dedicated space set aside for participants and facilitators. The first two days of the colloquia (Tuesday 4 October and Wednesday 5 October) will run independent of the conference, followed by two days (Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October) that will be incorporated into the conference program, leaving Saturday 8 October as a free day, which will allow participants to connect with colleagues at the conference before heading home.

ECA Colloquia on Leadership and Ethics FolderPreparation

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 about ethical leadership using a critically reflective approach for advocacy and action
• gain deeper understanding of 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 dialogues will expand and reimagine the early childhood leadership landscape as we know it, laying the foundations for participants to create a sense of shared humanity as trailblazers tasked with ethical decision-making as they contribute to a more 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 is the Principal Consultant and Director at Hydon Consulting. She has been practising, leading and advocating in early childhood education for more than 30 years. Her work as a consultant and critical friend supports innovative practice, pedagogy and transformational change. Catharine’s collaborative approach has taken her all over Australia to think alongside leaders and educators in a collective effort to define quality. Cultivating professional dialogue that responds to complexity and invites deep reflection is central to Catharine’s work, and her ongoing aim is to make grounded connection between theory and practice. 


Trent MoyTrent Moy is the founder of Halide, a consultancy specialising in ethics, decision-making, culture and leadership. He spent 25 years in managerial and leadership roles in financial services, including as head of corporate responsibility and sustainability for one of Australia’s largest companies. Trent teaches educational philosophy and social justice as a casual academic at the Australian Catholic University. He is a long-term associate of the Ethics Centre, a Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors and holds qualifications in arts, business and higher education. Trent defines ethics as ‘thinking and doing decisions when something of critical value is at stake’.


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 4 October to Friday 7 October 2022, in tandem with the ECA National Conference, ‘Passion to Power: Our future profession’, at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.


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

Colloquia Alumni testimonials

The facilitators led the participants on a path of challenge, deep conversation and questioning of ethics, leadership and our identity. We were united in our desire to discuss and deeply reflect on the readings given prior to the colloquia.  The management of our time and dialogue that we were inspired to enter into have given me an even deeper thoughtfulness about my own leadership and ethics in the early childhood sector.Jane Bourne

I had been looking for something a bit different to engage with my own leadership and ethical skills. The colloquia seemed like the perfect opportunity to do this. What transpired was beyond my wildest expectations. I was offered the tools and space to take a deep dive into philosophy, ethics, leadership and rights, all the while using the opportunity to reflect on my own professional journey, the perspective of the sector and ways we can or ought to exert our influence.

I would recommend joining the colloquia, where you will be able to connect with a small number of professionals from a diverse range of locations, vocations and career pathways. You will be invited to take part in events that will connect to social justice issues within local communities. Most importantly, you will engage in dialogues that will leave you processing your potential long after the event.Alistair Gibbs

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.