Educators Festival 2019

‘Practical hands on learning that's Fun and Meaningful’

Saturday September 7th, 2019

The ECW Educators Festival offers Educators an array of authentic and meaningful hands on learning experiences that are fun, innovative and informative. In a tranquil, stress free environment this event provides you with the space to hang out with fellow ECEC villagers, unwind, relax and just Be. Connect with friends and colleagues and wander through the festival at your own leisure, engage in what interests you and have some fun. Take all the time you need to connect with the Exhibitors, participate in a some PD sessions. The Educators Festival has been designed by Educators for Educators so come along check it out, connect, share and learn together.

The Professional Development sessions are planned hands on micro experiences designed as a provocation of learning, to introduce you to professional learning experiences that will inform your thinking and practice. Designed to support you to grow in knowledge and confidence, your experiences will inspire you to take your learning back to your own unique environments to share with colleagues and help to bring some fun back into your work with children, reduce the stress and anxiety associated with your role and motivate you to Be the Best Educator you can Be..

So whose going to be there:

Caroline Fewster – Will bring her ususal vitality and fun as she shares some practical hands on experiences and strategies to support Educators working with Babies and Toddlers

Nathan Wallis – Nathan will share with you the science behind brain development and the influence of trauma and development on behaviours. The plain speaking neuro scientist will provide you insights to behaviour that will awaken a completely new understanding of how to support children’s development and self regulation. You can catch the festival closing keynote or register for a Masterclass.

Angus Gorrie – “Loose parts implantation is often met a face value and seen as the materials in a space. This is very narrow visioned and in fact limits the amazing benefits of the play itself. Join Angus for this session to unpack more the “WHYs” pertaining to loose parts rather than just the “HOWs”. The deeper dig into the realm of the child will most likely change not only what you see in a loose parts space, but how you interact with it”.

Nature Play QLDHyahno Moser – Will be talking Nature Play, the benefits for children, their health and wellbeing with a focus on advocating community and neighbourhood play to families.

Phoenix Support for Educators – Sandi from Phoenix Support for Educators will present a brief overview of her Cups philosophy for understanding children’s behaviour, before leading a discussion specifically around “filling the fun cup”. This workshop will also explore play through the lens of learning outcomes, principles, schema and engagement in play. An overview of the work of Maslow, Csikszentmihalyi and Laevers will be presented around flow and involvement and how their research and theories influence our Early Years pedagogies. Educators will rethink planning, routines and curriculum design to facilitate an atmosphere of fun, joy and learning by considering ways to provide uninterrupted, sustained periods of play.

However, you can’t fill from an empty cup! Educator’s will also discuss how they meet their own need for fun, joy and learning to ensure this spills over into their work in education and care.

Birdwings – will help you to invite participation, support behaviour and find the joy in group times. Join Jennifer and Narell for some circle time songs and dances.

Pedagogical Practice Professionals – Lets talk pre-reading and pre-writing and the underpinning skills Educators can focus on to support the development of these skills.

Nature Play QLDAnya Imhoff – Reconnect to your inner child and take part in a carousel of Bush Kindy experiences! Discover and practise how you can construct waterproof shelters, spark children’s creativity and imagination, try your hand at some useful knots and use simple tools safely for a child initiated purpose, to enhance your nature program.

Hello Africa ShowSunday Ali – Is a lively interactive introduction to the music and culture of Africa

Wildlings Forest School – Nicki Farrell and Vicci Oliver will help you to risk assess and sweep your potential Bush Kindy Site

Lindy Doller – Back from speaking at the world forum Lindy will share with you some simple practical resources you can make with children that will delight and build both fine and gross motor skills

Janet Kan – Is an author and specialist ECT working with babies and children with diverse needs and will share insights and strategies to support you to deliver responsive programs for children

Unyucky The Power of Table Talk – One of the greatest lifelong gifts you can give a child is the ability to enjoy the company of other people over meals. Children who regularly eat with their families and other trusted adults are known to have better outcomes at school, better resistance to negative peer pressure, and better acceptance of a wide and healthy variety of foods.

However, meals with children aren’t always easy, especially in large groups. In a service setting, children’s meal times may be when educators are caught up in documentation or taking their own breaks. Even if tables are shared, the talk between children and educators may be devoted to food service rather than developmental serve and return.

Creative Rocks and Pebbles – Alan will be back again with his hand painted resources, numbers, letters, names and phrases that Educators can weave into your program

NAPCAN – This National Child Protection Week has embraced the theme that – ‘To raise thriving kids, parents need support to navigate life’s choppy waters’ – which is based on the latest research about how we talk about parenting. The presentation will explain the child development approach to communication and remind us that stories, words and metaphors are powerful tools.

We Belong Family Day Care Service has an exceeding rating and was the Family Day Care Australia National Excellence Award winner for Service of the Year. Our focus is on building relationships with Educators, Families, Children and Community. We register Educators across Logan, Redlands, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Brisbane. We would love to talk to Educators about becoming a Family Day Care Educator and will have displays on the day of examples of programs and environments unique to Family Day Care.

Green Sprouts – will offer a round robin of sustainable experiences with a vision to foster an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education.Supporting Educators to confidently and successfully embed sustainability into daily practice through immediate action resulting in ‘real outcomes’ i.e. ‘to reduce our carbon footprint’

Children of the Wilderness – Inspires educators to get their hands dirty using natural resources easily found in local areas . Enjoy creating beautiful pieces with natural materials to take home or use as play props. Learn about the benefits of messy, unstructured, natural play for children’s social, emotional, mental health and development.

First Door – Are you caught in the bustle of providing and managing activities to churn out bulk documentation, so you can tick off children’s ‘learning’?

This mini workshop explores how to bust the shallow documentation grind. We discuss ways to capture and build from each child’s ideas, learning dispositions, interests and abilities through a play-based curriculum.

Understand the value in stepping back as educators to intentionally observe, document and plan for each child’s authentic progress in the important stuff – identity, connection, well being, learning and communication.

Family Day Care QLD – Grab some FDC QLD Specials on the day: Self-Paced Professional Learning targeted at educator’s working in a Family Day Care setting usually $33.00 purchase at the Festival $20.00 per session.

Our ‘Get it Together kit’ unpacks the EYLF in the context of a Family day Care Setting. Kit is usually $90.00 for the Festival $50.00

The Education Gap – TEG is an online resource platform. With its purpose being to provide early childhood centres and educators a space to learn and refresh skills, showcase themselves, build networks and grow knowledge. TEG is developed by ECEC professionals specifically for the ECEC Sector.

Watch this space as more presenters and trades are finalised.


Nathan Wallis Closing Keynote – 2pm – 3pm

Evidence Based Best Practice – What would that really look like in your setting?

The last twenty years has seen an explosion of brain development research with new technologies allowing us to understand the inner workings of the human brain like never before. Much of this information looks at the formative nature and huge significance of the early years’ experience. The role of the early childhood teacher has moved in the research from the back of the queue to the very front! Neuroscientific research findings give us a clear idea about the why and how of early childhood teaching and care. In an easy to understand manner, Nathan will discuss what evidence based best practice would look like in the early childhood setting if this research was put fully into practice.

Networking Drinks and Nibbles – 3pm – 5pm

Following the closing Keynote by Nathan Wallis we invite you to join our Collective for a networking opportunity over wine and nibbles, as we all wind down and share the excitement from a fabulous day of connecting and sharing across our profession.


* Optional Extras 

* Team / Relationship building Evening     Sat Sept 7th – 5pm – 9pm

Whole teams can come together to participate in an evening of fun designed to connect and strengthen teams over a range of creative learning experiences. Fun, informative and interactive team building experiences packed with trivia, games and prizes
Evening includes- Dinner, drinks, desert, overnight accommodation and breakfast.


* 2hr Masterclass with Nathan Wallis

We have an AM and PM masterclass. You will have the time and space needed to go deeper, explore and unpack Brain Development for babies and children. How the brain works and how neuroscience can better inform your day to day interactions with babies and children. Understand Attachment and Trauma and gain sound and practical knowledge you need to assist you to build stronger relationships with children, respond thoughtfully and support the development of emotional competence.


The Developing Brain

The Last twenty years has seen an explosion of brain development research. Advances in medical science mean we have learnt more about brain development and functioning during this period than all of our collective knowledge up to this point. Much of the public discussion during this time has related to new knowledge in the area of infant’s brains. However, just as many amazing new discoveries relating to brain development and functioning have also been made relating to the year’s from childhood right through to late adolescence. These findings often contradict many of the long- held practices that helping professionals, teachers and parents have viewed as best practice. The result is that there is now a large gap between how people ‘think’ the developing brain functions and what neuroscience research has actually shown to be the case. An understanding of this knowledge will help to guide our practice to better meet the developmental and educational needs of the children and adolescents we work with.

Nathan Wallis

Closing Keynote and Masterclass

Meet Our Presenters

Attendance options 

ECW Educator’s Festival – Just $100 ECW Member rate / $200 Non Member rate

A huge range of workshops and market stalls filled with loose parts, natural sustainably sourced materials and resources. All in a relaxed outdoor setting filled with food stalls and music designed to offer you a day out packed with fun and learning in a social and professional context.

ECW Educator’s Festival includes 1 hr keynote address by Nathan Wallis – Neuroscience Educator 

Optional Extras

*2hr  Master class with Nathan Wallis – Just $50 ECW Member rate / $100 Non member rate.

*Team Building – Just $100 ECW Member rate / $200 Non Member rate (Includes Team building event, Dinner, Drinks, Desert, Accommodation and Breakfast)

Group Bookings 

Register 5 or more Educators into any ECW Festival event and save 20% off either the ECW Member or Non Member rate. To save on the ECW Member rate all Educators must be an ECW Member. Simply Download the Group Booking registration form complete and send completed form to

NB: ECW Member fees are 50% off the non member fee – Join and save$$


“This was so relaxed and informal”

“I felt it reflected who we are as Educators”

“The vendor stalls were amazing, not the usual boring resources”

“It was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and presenters”

“Loved the freedom, choice, atmosphere and opportunity to connect with others”

“This event was a fantastic outward expression of the very important work that ECW do. I witnessed early childhood educators and coordinators, immersed in leaning, nature and self-care.

The overall atmosphere, enhanced by the natural and beautiful setting, seem to result in a very relaxed, by still highly engaged learning experience. There were smiles all around, a slowing down of time, which seemed to facilitate connections and reflections. Amazing work ECW Team and I look forward to being involved in 2019″

Hyahno Moser- Program Manager for Nature Play QLD

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