Department of Education and Training (VIC): Purpose and Professionalism

Join Catharine Hydon, Professor Sue Irvine, Associate Professor Fay Hadley, and selected Victorian early childhood teachers and educators discussing Purpose and Professionalism: Supporting career longevity in ECEC.

This series of two free webinars will explore both current research and inspiring practice as we focus on supporting early childhood teachers and educators across our sector. Drawing on a balance of research and experience, these webinars will navigate current and effective strategies that build our workforce. Within these webinars, we explore questions such as:

– What do we need, as educators, to build long term-careers in early childhood education?
– What strategies are effective as we focus on career growth?
– How can we continue to build a sense of purpose and professionalism to help sustain us as a sector?
– How do effective teams help us to build satisfying careers in early childhood education?

Webinar dates

Webinars Dates Time
Webinar 1: Professor Sue Irvine and Associate Professor Fay Hadley  Monday 18 October 2021 3.30 pm–4.30 pm AEDT
Webinar 2: Panel Discussion with Leanne Mits & Michelle Gujer  Tuesday 26 October 2021 4.00 pm–5.00 pm AEDT

This webinar series is complimentary to all Victorian educators.

Hosted by

Catharine Hydon

Catharine Hydon is the Director and Principal Consultant at Hydon Consulting. Over the last 10 years she has worked at a range of organisations and governments to understand and articulate quality and inspire change. With a Masters in early childhood education, Catharine has extensive experience in the early childhood sector beginning as a teacher in a kindergarten program in the northern suburbs of Melbourne to lead roles in a range of services and projects for children and their families. Catharine draws on her experience and ongoing practice research to consider how theory connects and informs practice. Specialising in early childhood practice and pedagogy, quality improvement, policy and governance, the delivery of integrated services to engage vulnerable children and their families. Catharine’s involvement in the early childhood sector is an important part of her commitment to the outcomes for children. She is a long-time member of Early Childhood Australia (ECA) currently serving as the Co-chair of the Reconciliation Advisory Group and is a regular contributor in ECA publications. Catharine has been a member of the ECA Code of Ethics working group for the last two reviews and is a co-author on the recently published Ethics in Action Implementation guide. Catharine is a Board Member of the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) and has recently been appointed as a second tier reviewer for ACECQA. Catharine is a dynamic speaker and collaborative facilitator and is skilled at engaging professionals in reflective dialogue and creative conversations.


Professor Sue Irvine

Professor Susan Irvine is an early childhood professional with diverse work experience across early childhood education and care (ECEC) contexts. She has held leadership roles in child and family policy, ECEC service provision and higher education. Currently she is Head of the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology. Recent research focuses on the ECEC workforce, effective leadership in long day care and family day care, quality improvement in long day care and the in-progress Australian Learning Frameworks Updates project.



Associate Professor Fay Hadley

Fay Hadley holds the position of Director: Initial Teacher Education at the School of Education, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She is currently a Co-Chief Investigator in a tripartite partnership with QUT and ECU to revise the two national Australian Learning Frameworks (EYLF/MTOP). Fay’s work in early childhood education spans over three decades and she began her career as an early childhood teacher and Director in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings in NSW and the ACT. Her primary research examines leadership in early childhood education, including mentoring, professional learning and career pathways for early childhood teachers.



Panel Members

Leanne Mits, Pope Road Kindergarten, Blackburn

Leanne Mits is a kindergarten teacher with 30-plus years’ experience. Over the course of her career, she has taught in rural Victoria and Melbourne in a variety of settings including long day care, playgroups, kindergartens and TAFE. Leanne currently works full time at Pope Road Kindergarten—a community stand-alone kindergarten in Blackburn (Victoria)—as nominated supervisor, educational leader, and teacher for children aged 3–5 years. Leanne’s practice reflects learning and teaching through respectful relationships, participation, rights, and equity. In 2019, she was named Early Childhood Teacher of the Year in recognition of her unwavering commitment to early childhood learning.

Michelle Gujer, Gowrie Broadmeadows

Michelle has spent over 30-years in managing early childhood services, training and health sector experience. Her career signifies her commitment in fostering the development of educators through supportive leadership, mentoring and shared decision making to lead change that enriches team development.  Michelle believes a strong commitment to building community partnerships, engagement, and relationships that acknowledging families as children’s first educators are fundamental to enrich a community approach to support teaching and learning and ensure best possible outcomes for everyone.


Webinar 1 with Professor Sue Irvine and Associate Professor Fay Hadley 

Webinar 2 with Leanne Mits and Michelle Gujer