The Reconciliation Advisory Group was appointed by the ECA Board of Directors to continue and support the philosophy and implementation of ECA’s Reconciliation Action Plan.


The function of ECA’s Reconciliation Advisory Group is to:

  • Support the implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Monitor and report on progress against ECA’s Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Provide advice to the ECA Board and leadership team on priorities and opportunities for effective action on reconciliation
  • Identify any risks or challenges to ECA’s work in this area
  • Inform the next evolution of the Reconciliation Action Plan (beyond 2014).


Wendy Gorman (co-chair)
Wendy Gorman is a Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs, Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA). Wendy has gained experience and wisdom from working across a variety of school settings in her 30 years of as an early childhood teacher and leader. Wendy coordinates the Early Childhood consultant team for AISWA. Her current role involves supporting all Independent Schools across WA with children aged from 3 to 8 with pedagogy, compliance, curriculum, assessment and leadership.

Wendy’s passion is Nature Pedagogy and working with educators to increase their engagement in outdoor spaces and to deepen their knowledge of the potential for learning outside. Wendy has a strong belief that a high-quality early education program is a right for all children and that this will support them to become healthy, engaged, active and informed citizens of the future.

Joanne Goodwin (co-chair)
Joanne Goodwin is a descendant of the Wonnarua and Kamilaroi peoples in New South Wales. She is committed to progressing reconciliation and to exploring the practice of cultural competence in the early childhood sector. Joanne has an extensive background in early childhood and social inclusion, having worked in a variety of programs and communities nationally. Currently, she is rolling out Newpin (New Parent and Infant Network) sites across Queensland, under the Queensland Government’s Social Benefit Bonds Pilot Program.

Professor Grace Sarra
Professor Grace Sarra is of Aboriginal heritage from Bindal and Birri clan groups of the Birrigubba nation and Torres Strait Islander heritage of Mauar, Stephen and Murray Islands and has experience in teaching and leadership roles in schools and universities for over 30 years. 

Her publications are primarily in the fields of teacher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and in social justice in the areas of improving mathematics and core learning of the curriculum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and low SES schools and in working with incarcerated Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people in detention.  Her research work is across projects that incorporate the belief that changing a curriculum program will not improve the learning unless accompanied by a whole-of-school program to challenge attendance and behaviour, encourage pride and self-belief, instil high expectations, and build local leadership and community involvement. 


She has been involved in numerous long-term research collaborations in systems, regions, schools and TAFES. Professor Sarra’s role as an Indigenous educator and researcher is to provide leadership and knowledge around the area of whole school change and leadership with principals and teachers and to ensure that these programs include cultural empowerment ideas that are applicable to all schools. Professor Sarra’s distinctive contribution as an Indigenous researcher has been in utilising Indigenous knowledges and frameworks with theoretical frameworks to contest prevailing assumptions and stereotypes that contribute to the lack of success of Indigenous students in schools. 

Simon Fewings
My name is Simon Fewings and I am from Kaurna country and have worked in the areas of Aboriginal education & training, wellbeing and employment for 20 years. Starting off as a teacher in the TAFE system I grew a deep value of and passion for teaching and learning. After experiencing success managing a Koori Training Centre, I had the opportunity to work with school leaders through the Australian Principals Associations. More recently I built Dulkka Yuppata Koorie Training Centre at Sunraysia TAFE, leading to significant growth in enrolments and learning delivery. I have also been a committed volunteer and advocate for the Mildura Koorie community for over 20 years; particularly in areas of Early Childhood Education, Primary and Secondary Schooling, VET, and Higher Education.

Emma Beckett
Emma has spent all her life in rural NSW. Emma’s mother’s family are from Brisbane QLD. As an early childhood teacher by trade, Emma has worked in Aboriginal Early Education and Care since her graduation over 20 years ago, with the majority of this time as the Children’s Services Manager for Awabakal Aboriginal Co-operative in Newcastle.  Emma has been involved in the development and planning of the local Aboriginal Child and Family Centre since it was just an idea and now manages the Nikinpa service on behalf of Muloobinba Aboriginal corporation and the community.

Emma has been a part of the SNAICC council for a number of years and prior to this was a board member for the NSW peak AECSL (Aboriginal Early Childhood Support and Learning). Emma was one of the first two Aboriginal Australians to participate in a World Forum Project called Global Leaders for Early Childhood, an advocacy development program which aims to help participants build their advocacy and understanding of Early Childhood in a global perspective.

Annette Barwick
Annette has worked in a variety of early years settings and positions that has culminated in over 30 years’ experience within the early childhood sector. Annette’s commitment to children, families and professionals working with children and families goes beyond her employment as the General Manager, Business Development and Research with Lady Gowrie Tasmania where she leads and supports the teams of the Inclusion Support Agency, Tasmania, In-Home Care Support Agency, Tasmania, Gowrie Training & Consultancy inclusive of the Early Years and School Age Care Workforce Plan, People & Culture and Organisation Operations. She is a long-term Executive Member of the Early Childhood Australia, Tasmania Branch and was instrumental in leading the Branch’s ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan. Annette represents the sector on the Tasmanian Department of Education, Education and Care Stakeholder Reference Group and the AEDC Reference Committee, Tasmania. Annette was also a member of the Strong Partnerships Working Group which focused on the development and implementation of the Strong Partnership Framework between the Tasmanian Department of Education and the Education and Care Sector. Annette also represents ECA on the Children’s Education and Care Industry Reference Group in advocating for quality qualifications. She began her journey back in 1989, commencing as a Family Day Care Educator and holds a range of qualifications in Early Childhood, Training & Assessment, Business and Human Resources. Her lifelong commitment to learning continues today through the undertaking and completion of post graduate units, Gratitude in Education and Understanding Educational Inquiry through UTAS.

Nicole Talarico
Nicole Talarico is the founding director of Talarico Consulting and Medical Action Bag. Nicole has most recently written a book about Asserting a Culture of Child Safety to guide education and care services to create and maintain physical, emotional, spiritual and culturally safe environments. Nicole is a Reconciliation Ambassador for the Association of Graduates of Early Childhood Studies, a committee member of Early Childhood Australia Victorian Branch and a member of Social Justice in Early Childhood.

Nicole is personal and knowledgeable, assisting 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. Nicole’s mentoring strategies have been outlined in a range of early childhood sector publications, with her insight being shared at conferences both nationwide and overseas. With a long-term commitment to supporting sector growth, Nicole has a strong focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Susan Werner
Susan Werner lives and works on Wurundjeri land in Naarm (Melbourne). She has been working in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector for over 40 years, with experience in both Long Day Care and Kindergarten management and service provision. For the past 24 years Susan has been a teacher/lecturer at Swinburne University, working in the role of Manager of the Department of Early Childhood and Education for the past five.

Susan holds a Master of Indigenous Education and works in multiple roles supporting reconciliation: at Swinburne University, in local government and for Early Childhood Australia. Since 2015 Susan has co-convened a Special Interest Group on reconciliation as part of ECA Victoria. This professional network is the expression of her dual passions; early childhood education and First Nation’s perspectives, and the desire to connect and support like-minded educators to be allies and activists for reconciliation.

Emma Woods
Kaya! Emma Woods is an Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Be You Consultant located in Perth. Emma has engaged in education and care for over 12yr. She has an ambition and passion to ensure that all Australians be and become the best that they can be! She advocates for families, educators and children to be provided with culturally sensitive, inclusive and mentally healthy education and support. Emma is a positive and engaging leader with experience in School-Aged Care, Long Day Care, Preschool, Kindergarten and Occasional care settings where she has undertaken many varying roles. While in the role as a Be You Consultant with ECA Emma is driven to ensure Our Reconciliation journeys as individuals and an organisation are embedded in every aspect possible.

Catherine Clucas
Catherine has been part of the ECA Northern Territory Inclusion Support Program team since September 2020. Catherine has worked in the early childhood sector for over 20 years, working across a variety of service types including Preschool, Long Day Care, Outside of School Hours Care, Vacation Care and Family Day Care settings. For the past six years, Catherine has been working in Central Australia, living and working within remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Since mid-2020 she has lived in Alice Springs and still supports services from Kalkarindji down to the bottom border of the NT. As well as her qualifications in early childhood education, Catherine is trained in the Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Program. She is a certified Circle of Security Parenting Program and Classroom Masterclass Facilitator and has basic training and an ongoing interest in the Marte Meo Method. Catherine is a current member of the NT Reconciliation Action Plan working group. She has a particular passion in advocating for the rights of children isolated by remote location.