Family day care australia international conference

18 - 21 July 2012, brisbane convention centre

Children the heart of the Dream

Conference Facilitators

Cathy Mauk & Jan Straford


Jan Stratford is all about people. Regardless of the group and whether she is working in the area of leadership, team development, organisational capability or performance, Jan engages and energises at the individual leve. She is highly regarded for her genuine and participative style of facilitation. She tunes into the unique needs of each of her client groups and takes them on a journey. Jan delivers outcomes. She began her career as a teacher and her passion for teaching is evident in her work with groups. Jan has worked as a facilitator providing services to both the public and private sectors for the past eight years. With Cathy Mauk, she facilitated the Family Day Care Association Queensland annual conference in 2009.

Cathy Mauk seeks to extend perspectives, engender passion and focus personal power through her engagement with individuals and groups. She has worked as an independent management consultant, facilitator and executive coach for the past 18 years, providing services to over 25 separate public and private sector agencies and in the not-for-profit sector. She prides herself on having had a ‘composite career’ which has also included experience as a lawyer, a senior manager, a university lecturer and tutor, a health professional, and a writer. As a facilitator, Cathy is well regarded for her synthesis skills and conceptual thinking. She is highly enthusiastic about family day care and has provided a range of services to Family Day Care Australia since 1998. With Jan Stratford she facilitated the Family Day Care Association Queensland annual conference in 2009. She also facilitated the FDCA national conference in Alice Springs in 2006.


Invited Speakers

Geraldine Cox AM

Founder: Sunrise Children’s Village (Cambodia)
Finalist for the South Australian of the Year Award for 2009.
Geraldine started her career with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in 1970. Her first posting was to Phnom Penh, where she experienced life in a country at war when the Vietnam War spilled over into Cambodia. Subsequent postings were Manila, Bangkok, Tehran and Washington DC.

After resigning from the government in 1987 she worked for 8 years with The Chase Manhattan Bank in Sydney before deciding to live in Cambodia in 1996. Geraldine’s original experiences in Cambodia never left her and on a return visit in 1993 she became involved in helping an orphaned Cambodian child. From that small beginning Geraldine co- founded what is now the Sunrise Children’s Villages. King Norodom Sihanouk bestowed her with full Cambodian Citizenship by Royal Decree in 1999 and she spends half the year with the children and the remainder travelling to raise funds.

Pan Macmillan published Geraldine’s autobiography, Home Is Where The Heart Is in 2000 and Hollywood bought the rights to make a feature film based on her book. Geraldine was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000. The documentary, My Khmer Heart, won the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary of the Year Award in 2000 and has since been bought and screened by HBO and Discovery Cable Channels. Her story has been featured on Australian Television over the last few years on Australian Story, The Sunday Program, This Is Your Life, Four Corners, Today Tonight, The 7.30 Report, 60 Minutes, Talking Heads and the 7pm Program.

Geraldine has been appointed to serve on the International Advisory Board of Oasis Africa.
In November 2006 Geraldine was awarded the Circle of Courage Award from the Australian Charity, Youth Off The Streets. Also in November 2006 The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named Geraldine a Paul Harris Fellow in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world. In June 2007, Australia Network, the ABC’s cable television channel screened in 41 countries, invited Geraldine to be one of their Achievers, where she promotes the channel and its programs.
In 2010 Geraldine was a Finalist for the South Australian of the Year Award.


Anthony Q. Richardson, M.M.,

Anthony is an Orff music specialist in the Memphis City Schools, USA. He is a composer, music educator, founder and artistic director of TransQuinn Productions, Inc. He has developed and produced several unique educational programs. “Alpha Beat Plus!”is a program that teaches early reading and basic math skills through music and movement. In addition, Richardson produced two motivational CD’s: “I Believe in Me,” songs built on promoting self confidence through self-esteem and “Come Inside the Room (Make a Round Circle) also on DVD,” a stimulating tool for children pre-school through third grade which promotes learning while interacting with their peers through music and movement. His song "I Can Be" is featured in the fourth grade music textbook of the Share the Music series (2000) by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. In 1997, he directed the Angel of Praise Children’s Choir at the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. Also in 1999, he was the Children’s Choir Director for the international recording artist and vocalist-Celine Dion.
Anthony strongly believes motivation, positive reinforcement, and enthusiasm are the keys to promoting excellence in building a child’s confidence for learning. The methodology used in his training is unique, practical and energetic. Richardson’s approach to teaching young children has been put into practice and is successfully used in home care, elementary schools and early childhood programs throughout the USA. His creative methods have proven to be very successful among teachers, parents, and early childhood recipients for the past twenty years.
Richardson received his Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Music degree at the University of Memphis, USA. He has completed Orff Certification Levels I-III and Master Class in Orff Schulwerk as well. He is a current local, state, national, and international motivational keynote speaker for early childhood conferences. Through his innovative teaching techniques, Richardson’s aim is to inspire and rejuvenate educators. Overall, his goal is to motivate all who work with children to expect the best as they give their best.
For more regarding Richardson’s educational programs, visit


Amanda Gore

A communications and performance expert, Amanda Gore uses the science of the heart, and the principles of emotional intelligence and neuroscience, to help business people achieve the results they need by getting people engaged in, enthusiastic about and aligned with corporate goals and vision.
For too long business has been paralysed by its over analysis of data. Amanda will help you reconnect to the energy and emotional layers that really drive performance, innovation, relationships, engagement and creativity in your business and life. Within a few short minutes, Amanda breaks down the barriers that separate people, and from that moment forward it’s a fun, invigorating, action packed ride towards self discovery and ultimately, real and lasting change. Through extremely energising presentations, enhanced by decades of scientific discovery and personal experience, Amanda will both entertain, facilitate changes behaviour and move people to action. Her programs will have people laughing and connecting by breaking down barriers, or sending attendees off on an emotional and inspired high.
Amanda believes success in business is always about feelings - the way we feel about something or someone determines how we behave - and whether we do business with them or not. Our perceptions determine our feelings, which directly affect our behaviour. Until we change our perceptions, we won’t change our behaviour. Amanda’s presentations changes perceptions. And feelings.
Author of five books and several DVD and audio training programs, she has a bachelor's degree in physiotherapy, a major in psychology, and expertise in neuroscience, ergonomics, group dynamics, stress management, neurolinguistics, and emotional intelligence.


Dr Anne Kennedy

Dr Anne Kennedy worked in early childhood teacher education at Monash University Victoria as well as in universities in Sweden, USA and Singapore. Anne currently works as a consultant, professional development educator, writer and researcher in early childhood education. She has published many articles in early childhood professional journals as well as in text books both in Australia and internationally.
Her main professional interests are in ethics, early childhood curriculum provision and early literacy. Anne was a member of the writing team in the Charles Sturt University led consortium that developed Belonging, Being and Becoming, The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. She is involved in several projects related to the national and Victorian Early Learning Frameworks including the development of training modules, resource materials and practice guides.
Anne is the chairperson of Community Child Care Victoria which is the peak body for the not for profit child care sector in the State.


Catharine Hydon

Dip Teaching (Early Childhood); MEd (Early Child Education)
Catharine has extensive experience in the early childhood sector in Australia and overseas. Beginning as a teacher in a sessional kindergarten program Catharine has gone on to manage a range of services for children and their families.
Following her work in children service’s Catharine moved to a support and training role with early childhood professionals at the FKA Multicultural Resource Center, then to the Brotherhood of St Laurence where she led several early-years projects supporting children and families experiencing disadvantage. Catharine is now working as an independent early childhood consultant supporting quality practice and innovation in early childhood service provision.
Catharine’s involvement in the early childhood field is an important part of her commitment to the sector. She is a long time member of the Victorian Branch of Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and has just completed a six year term as a Director on the National Board of ECA. Catharine is currently convening a national working party to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan for ECA.
Catharine has a Masters in Early Childhood Education specialising in early childhood policy and governance, the delivery of integrated services and the exploration of innovative programs to engage vulnerable children and their families.
More recently Catharine has been working with early childhood educators across the country as part of the ECA Professional Learning Project exploring the EYLF and in Victoria has been hosting a number of forums on the National Quality Standard. Drawing on the connection she makes with educators and her work with diverse children and their families Catharine hopes to inspire those wishing to explore innovative, quality and early childhood services based on children’s rights and strong connections with the families and the community.


Margaret Sims

Professor of Early Childhood, University of New England
Margaret Sims is Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England. She has developed and taught in early childhood, family support, community work and integrated service delivery courses for many years, using her experience as a community worker with children and families to inform her teaching. She has worked in family support, early intervention, inclusion support and child care.
Her research interests centre around quality community-based services for children and families. Her recent publications include a new edition of a text book: Program Planning for Infants and Toddlers (with Teresa Hutchins), and new texts: Social Inclusion and The Early Years Learning Framework: a way of working and Building Integrated Connections for Children, their Families and Communities (with Karl Brettig).


Pamela Cahir

Chief Executive Officer, Early Childhood Australia
Pam Cahir has been, for twenty years, the Chief Executive Officer of Early Childhood Australia, a national organisation which advocates on behalf of young children. Her interests are in supporting parents and other professionals who are responsible for the growth and development of young children to do that work well. She is a strong advocate quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children from birth to eight years of age. Previously Pam was research officer with the Australian Council of State School Organisations, the national government schools parent organisation and later senior Vice President of that organisation.
She initiated the National Children’s Services Forum (NCSF) which brings together the national children’s services peak organisations to discuss issues, reach policy agreement and engage with Ministers and departmental officials. She was also responsible for the development of Early Childhood Australia’s flagship magazine Every Child.
Pam conceived and lead Building Bridges: Literacy development in young Indigenous children project which sought to find a way to bridge the gap between what Indigenous parents and their communities see as important about what their young children know and are able to do, and the teaching and learning process in early learning services. The methodology used in this project has been recognised worldwide as respectful of and empowering for people from different cultural backgrounds.
She is committed to maximizing the capacity of the World Wide Web to support those who work directly with young children and reduce their professional isolation. The outcomes of this have been the development of the, ECA Webwatch a respected early childhood eNewsletter and the work currently being done by ECA in regard to the potential of social networks to support those working with young children.


Penny Gordon

Director and Principal Consultant of Penny Gordon and Associates
Penny Gordon has a 30 year career as a psychologist during which time she has worked extensively across clinical and organisational fields of psychology. Penny is a highly regarded trainer and facilitator and as well as regularly presenting professional development programs has also taught extensively in post graduate university courses. For the past 15 years Penny has been the Director and Principal Consultant of Penny Gordon and Associates, working with organisations, teams and individuals to enhance professional effectiveness.
Penny has had the opportunity to consult to the Family Day Care sector within Queensland for the last 15 years supporting the sector in areas of direct service delivery, planning and organisational development. Most recently throughout 2011 and 2012 Penny has been engaged to develop and deliver a range of workshops to early childhood leaders and practitioners across Queensland. These workshops have focused on assisting early childhood professionals to integrate and implement the paradigms associated with the National Quality Framework and in so doing transform pedagogical principles into high quality professional practice.


Anne Stonehouse

Anne Stonehouse has worked as a consultant, editor, author, academic, conference speaker and presenter of professional learning in Australia and overseas for around 40 years. She was an Associate Professor at Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University) and Monash University.  She has worked for the past ten years as a consultant.

She has published widely. Some of her books include

  • Making Links – a Collaborative Approach to Planning and Practice (2004, with Janet Gonzalez Mena)
  • Dimensions – Excellence in Many Ways (2004, National Family Day Care Council)
  • Prime Times – a Handbook of Excellence in Infant and Toddler Care, co-authored with Jim Greenman (2nd edition, 2007).
  • From Lullabies to Literature: Stories in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers, co-authored with Jennifer Birckmayer and Anne Kennedy (2008)
  • How Does It Feel? Child Care from a Parent’s Perspective, 2010, 2nd edition)
  • Ourselves in their Shoes (3rd edition, 2011).


She has undertaken several significant consultancies. One of these was with the Office of Childcare in the New South Wales Department of Community Services from 1999 to 2002 to produce The Practice of Relationships, the NSW curriculum framework for children’s services.

She was a member of the Charles Sturt consortium that developed the Early Years Learning Framework and is an adjunct member of the Faculty of Education at Charles Sturt University. 

She is currently involved in a number of writing and professional learning projects and consultancies in Victoria and at the national level that relate to the national Early Years Learning Framework and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

In recognition of her contribution to children and children’s services, Anne was appointed a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1999. 

Important Dates

Provisional program posted March
Presenters registration due 5 April
Early-bird registration due 18 May

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