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.

Function

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).

Members

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.

Penny Cook 
Penny Cook is a Project Officer at Early Years Learners, Learning Improvement, South Australia Department of Education. Penny Cook has worked in early childhood education for almost forty years. The journey began in a remote Aboriginal community in South Australia and has taken her to New South Wales, New York and back to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in north western South Australia. Roles include teacher, director, project officer, consultant and early years manager for sites with children from birth-8 years old. Penny is passionate about supporting educators in their fascination with young children’s views of their worlds. She counts herself as privileged to have worked and lived in the APY Lands, where she learnt more than she ever taught! This experience particularly influences her work in early childhood and life.

Adam Duncan
Adam Duncan is a Biripi man, whose ancestors were traditional custodians of areas of the Manning River region of north-eastern New South Wales. He has worked as part of the team developing the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning program to support educators in their exploration of reconciliation in early childhood education and care settings. He is an early childhood educator, storyteller, educational consultant and artist, currently working as the preschool teacher and educational leader at Wiradjuri Preschool and Child Care, at the University of Canberra.

Grace Sarra
Grace Sarra is a Senior Lecturer at QUT, Caboolture Campus. She is of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. Her mother is of Aboriginal (Birrigubba) and South Sea Islander descent and her father is of Torres Strait Islander heritage from the Central Islands (Mauar) in the Torres Strait.

Grace’s areas of interest are

  • Indigenous education
  • values education
  • social justice
  • pedagogy and practice
  • school change and leadership.

She has been teaching in schools and universities for over 18 years.

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.

Laura Bachman
Laura has been a Project Consultant with Early Childhood Australia since 2018 and has been living and working on Larrakia Country since 2010. Laura has 20 years of experience working across the community services sector in a range of roles. Recent roles include NT Senior Programs Manager with Save the Children Australia and NT/SA State Manager with Good Beginnings Australia. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, a graduate certificate in health services management and a master’s degree in family studies. She is the current Co-Chair of the NT Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group and was recently appointed to ECA’s Reconciliation Action Committee. Laura’s key interests include strengths-based and partnership approaches, collective impact, well-being, planning and evaluation and, as a Deep Democracy practitioner, finding wisdom in the ’no’.

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.