Educators Festival 2021

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

Saturday March 6th, 2021

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  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 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:

Jennifer Ribarovski – Writing Purposeful observations – Writing observations is a key component of the work of teachers and educators. Effective observations can and should inform the program and intentional teaching strategies to support each child’s learning and development. This intensive one-hour workshop will focus on writing purposeful observations. Using a video of practice, we will work together on documenting an observation, and developing responsive curriculum. Here’s your chance to reignite your professional skills, and practice in a supportive session designed to enhance purposeful and valuable observations of children’s learning and development.

Niki Buchan – Behaviour and Sense of Connection – Many children are behaving differently since Covid19. We will look at some of the behaviours children are displaying at this time when their needs are often not being met, behaviours that are often labelled as challenging. We will explore simple, easy ways we can help ourselves, our colleagues and the children who are struggling. A sense of belonging, of having ties with others is vital for mental and physical wellbeing. Despite the importance of such social connections, sociological research shows that this is waning at alarming rates leading to an increase in isolation and loneliness. The need to belong, to feel loved is a fundamental human need. In this session we will explore what connection is, for ourselves personally and for the children in our care, and how we can support and promote this feeling of connectedness.

Stephen GallenBushfires, child activists and drag queens – exploring how politics, identity, culture and values connect with our practice – In this interactive and experiential workshop/discussion together we will dive deep into some rich and interesting aspects of our practice. We seem to be living in an Australia that is increasingly polarised and divided. There are fierce debates over bush fires and climate change, over religious freedoms and multiculturalism, over the role of activists and drag queens. In all of these debates the role of children comes up time and again – whether it be the suitability of being read to by drag queens, their role in protests, or the dangers and possibilities of gender politics and religion. This is something that as early childhood educators we need to engage with rather than avoid. How can we work with and not in spite of difference and conflicts of values to challenge bias and injustice? How can we create culturally inclusive spaces for in our curriculum in ways that honour and engage with the lived experiences of ourselves, our families and our children? What role do our values play? While these issues are complex and challenging we are going to be exploring grounded, practical and energising ways that we can work with these issues in our daily curriculum, including unpacking some rich practical examples and diving deeply into our professional identities. You’ll come away stimulated, provoked and challenged, but also optimistic, energised and full of possibility!

Angus Gorrie, Isaih Tueta, Todd & Lucy Ada – The Outsiders – This presentation showcases a short documentary filmed at Camp Hill OSHC in 2018. The Doco is a follow on from an Action Research paper conducted in 2017 on the benefits of Loose Parts. The presentation is designed to provide a visual representation of how we conduct our Loose Parts environment at Camp Hill OSHC. We intend for this presentation to be more conversational and hope that the doco provides inspiration to look at your own practices and how you can improve your services daily to provide better play opportunities.

Jennifer McCormack & Narell Neville – Birdwings Forest School Visual Documentation and Creative Reflections
Make your journals, observations, floor books and visual tracking come alive with Birdwings Forest School, as we demonstrate a range of simple and effective creative techniques to present your visual documentation. Your documentation journey will become a work of art, engaging respectfully with children and the community and presenting your shared learning experiences as a rich body of research and a joyful book to treasure forever.

Rebecca Burch  and Angela Wright – Nature Play QLD – Nature play and learning
We will explore and discuss how to embed nature play across your service curriculum. This interactive session will inspire you to use nature’s loose parts that are readily available to enhance children’s learning. We will share ideas and resources to support you to embed a whole service approach to nature play and outdoor learning. We will explore child led play and inquiry based play and how it aligns with nature pedagogy and explore the benefits to children’s development and wellbeing.

Caroline Fewster – Fifty new possibilities for babies and toddlers and their families in early childhood settings. This interactive workshop and pop up display will be an opportunity for educators to consider new possibilities to enable the creation of captivating environments for babies and toddlers and their families.
In this time together we will explore:

• Real connections with families
• Joyful gatherings in the social world
• Spaces and places especially designed for young children Let the music begin!

Alasdair Torrie Let’s reshape our conversations
Drawing from his experiences and knowledge in human resources and taking a coaching approach Alasdair will build your thinking during his session towards more productive conversations to:

• help shift the traditional ‘telling’ approach to a more inclusive ‘asking’ style
• explore active listening
• stretch the thinking of both parties by asking curious questions

By using the neurosciences techniques of coaching you can influence, motivate and provide insight into workplace conversations. We can shift how we converse by asking questions rather than feeling the need to tell the answers. To discover more and judge less we should ask curious questions and shift back the ownership.

Madeline Avci – Making Sense of Sensory Processing – When we think of all the things we hope for our children… all we want them to learn, to experience and to become – we take for granted certain basic requirements. We assume that they will be able to listen to us, to attend for a period of time and to be calm enough or awake enough to participate in learning, leisure and other day to day experiences. Without these basic ingredients, our efforts, no matter how creative and enthusiastic will meet with limited success. The lifelong love affair with learning that we hope for will be at best, a love hate relationship.

Understanding sensory processing and its role in all of our lives, provides a way for us to help children to engage, focus and participate at this very basic level. “Making Sense of Sensory Processing” will consider some of the basic ingredients or building blocks children need in order to be calm, focused and engaged in day to day activities, including:

• What are the seven senses and their impact on healthy child development?
• What is sensory processing, modulation and regulation?
• How can we support our children’s sensory systems throughout the day?
• Strategies to encourage children to be better able to attain, maintain and change alertness levels appropriate to the task or situation.

Robby Peters – Dancing on Sacred Ground – Animal dancing / Torres Strait island basic footwork
These 30 minutes sessions will look at the basic techniques of the Australian traditional dancing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander movements. You will be involved in expressive cultural animal dancing that you will be able to share with your children and other educators and also Torres Strait Islander basic song and dance.

Tara Hill – Phoenix Support for Educators – Educator Wellbeing – the Phoenix Cups approach – The phoenix Cups framework will help you understand how to meet your most important life needs, and the needs of those around you, by discovering which Cups you need to keep full, how they influence behaviours, and how you can use them to build relationships in all aspects of life.

Jennifer Ribarovski  –  Effective Communication – is vital to all things education and care, but it doesn’t necessarily come simply or naturally. Given the importance placed on relationships in education and care, and the understanding that communication is key to both developing and sustaining relationships, this positions communication as integral to the work of teachers and educators. From the co-author of the book “Professional Communication for Early Childhood Educators” this session will cover:

  • the principles of effective communication
  • maintaining and sustaining positive relationships
  • how to tackle difficult conversations.

Whether you work in early childhood or OSHC services, whatever your qualification level, and however experienced you may be, there will be something in this session for you.

Watch this space … further details will be provided as they come to hand.




“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

This project is funded under the Australian Government’s Stronger Communities program

This project is funded under the Australian Government’s Stronger Communities program

Meet Our Presenters

Attendance options 

ECW Educator’s Festival – Just $120 ECW Member rate / $240 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.

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$$


Community Sponsor

Sponsor / Exhibitor / Speaker

Expression of Interest Form


 The Alexandra Hills Suites & Conference Centre is a short 8 min drive from Indigiscapes. With an impressive 4.5 star rating, you’ll find the Alexandra Hills modern and with all the luxury of any inner city accommodation.


Grab a copy with your registration or on the day and SAVE

“Professional Communication for Early Childhood Educators”

Marianne Fenech and  Jennifer Ribarovski


©2024 AECWPB

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?