Workshop Presenters 

The FDCA 2018 National Conference will provide delegates with the opportunity to attend a diverse range of workshop sessions that will be hosted by academics, policy leaders, sector representatives and sector experts, and will be suitable for educators and services alike.

Please see the conference workshop presenters below. 

Friday 7 September

Dale Austin: Kentish Lifelong Learning and Care Inc, Heritage and Cultural Advisor

Dale has been working with Kentish Lifelong Learning & Care Inc from 2013 as a Heritage and Cultural Advisor.  Dale has used his back ground & cultural knowledge to help children in the Out of Home Care sector to either reconnect or continue to stay connected with their culture. His other role is to educate and support educators regarding cultural & heritage. Dale helps facilitate and run a successful Family Day Care heritage and culture program and Yilli play session.

 Perry Campbell: ACEQA, Deputy National Education Leader and Senior Manager Educational Leadership 

 Perry Campbell  

Perry’s career in the education and care sector spans nearly 30 years. Perry has worked a range of roles within the education and care sector, including service delivery, training and with the NSW regulatory authority. Perry joined ACECQA in early 2012 and is ACECQA’s Deputy National Education Leader and Senior Manager Educational Leadership.

 Vicki Cook: ACEQA, Camden Family Day Care, Administration Officer  
 vicki Cook Vicki commenced with Camden Family Day Care in 1999 providing administration support to the daily operations of the service.  She embraces opportunities to grow professionally and sharing her experiences and knowledge through a variety of support programmes within the industry.

Vicki actively contributed to the FDCA Australia Perspectives on Quality in Australian Family Day Care project.

Andrea Darley: Family Day Care Australia, Service Liaison Officer 

Andrea joined FDCA in 2012, currently a service liaison officer and is a frequent speaker at FDCA’s National Engagement Program forums.  Andrea has a unique 27 years professional experience in family day care and in home care across multiple roles including educator, child development officer, administrator and manager.

Dr Angela Fenton: Charles Sturt University, Senior Lecturer and Associate Head – School Education 
 Dr Angela Fenton Dr Angela Fenton is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Head of School with the School of Education at Charles Sturt University. In her Doctoral thesis, Angela explored child protection education using a Strengths Approach. Angela's current research focuses on the use of strengths approaches to in educational practice.

Caroline Fewster: Early Childhood Education Consultant and adjunct Professor at Bond University 
 Caroline Fewster Caroline Fewster is an early childhood academic, author and presenter and has recently set up the Children’s Services’ degree program at Bond University.  As an early Childhood Education Consultant, Caroline works extensively with many family day care services and early childhood services throughout Australia, developing customised professional development programs for early childhood educators.

Olwen Forker: BackChat Speech Pathology, Paediatric Speech Pathologist 
 Olwen Olwen is a Paediatric Speech Pathologist with a clinical interest in working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including children exposure to In-utero toxin substance abuse. In her clinical private practice she specialises in the area of literacy and learning. Together, a high-quality early education & intervention service is offered to some of Australia’s most ‘At Risk’ and ‘Vulnerable’ children.

Peta McNellie: Family Day Care Association Queensland, Executive Manager 
 Peta Peta has worked in a variety of roles and settings throughout her 27-year career in early childhood education and care. However, in 2001 found her calling in family day care, quite by accident.  Stepping into the home-based education and care environment was a revelation that demonstrated the amazing opportunities for children, families and educators alike. Peta’s driving passion is underpinned by outcomes for children. She is now the Executive Manager of Family Day Care Association Queensland

Merinda Meares: Choices Family Day Care, Educational Leader 
 Mears Merinda Meares is an Educational Leader at Choices Family Day Care. The team at Choices is committed to ensuring that every child can “Learn, Thrive and Grow”. In 2016, Choices started collaborating with Olwen Forker, in the initial establishment and roll out of the BackChat Speech Pathology early education and training programme that continues to this day.

Luisa Morfe: Kentish Family Day Care Lifelong Learning Inc, Managing Director 
 Luisa Morfe

Luisa has over 15 years experience working in the early childhood sector. She is currently the Managing Director of family day care within Kentish. Luisa has completed her Bachelors Degree in Children Services and Early Childhood Learning and is passionate about teaching cultural and heritage programs in the early childhood sector. Currently, Luisa runs a successful heritage and cultural program with her family day care educators. 

Mike Roberts: Vardanega Roberts Solicitors, Partner
 Mike Mike Roberts is one of the two founding partners of Vardanega Roberts who are Family Day Care Australia's legal services partner. Vardanega Roberts Solicitors have been providing advice to the family day care sector for over 13 years. Mike has undertaken a range of personal injury claims including catastrophic personal injury claims as well as currently defending personal injury public liability and product liability claims.

Nicky Spalding: Early Childhood Education and Care Facilitator and Consultant 
 Nicky Nicky has worked across all Early Childhood sectors in a career spanning many years. For the past 17 years, Nicky has developed and delivered accredited and non-accredited training. She has worked closely with the family day care sector, supporting quality service provision and educator practices in rural, regional and city areas.


Saturday 8 September

Megan Blaxland: University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre, Research Fellow
 Meagan Dr Megan Blaxland is a Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre. Her research focuses on Australian family policy analysis, with a particular interest in how early childhood education and care policy is experienced by families. Her research includes: Perspectives on Quality in Australian Family Day Care; Comparative Perspectives on Family Day Care; and Family Day Care at the Crossroads.


Dr Michelle Brady: University of Queensland Senior Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social Science

 Michelle Dr Michelle Brady is currently a UQ Senior Research Fellow in sociology in the School of Social Science. She is currently the lead Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery project entitled Addressing Childcare Flexibility and was a Chief Investigator on the Nanny pilot evaluation and In Home Childcare review

Catharine Hydon: Hydon Consulting, Director

With a Masters in Early Childhood 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. She is a long-time consultant to the Starting Out Safely Program and is a regular contributor in sector publications.

Deidre Knight: DECD Central Metro Family Day Care Scheme, Educator 

Deidre’s background is in Education for Sustainability (EFS) in the primary school sector and completed an honours thesis in this field.  She employs EFS principles in her family day care practice.

Deidre was a recipient of the FDCA Excellence Fund grant in 2016 where she received funds to conduct EFS workshops with and for educators, children and coordinators within the Central Metro Family Day Care Scheme.

Lisa Palethorpe: Goodstart Early Learning, Early Learning Capability National Manager

Lisa Palethorpe is the at Early Learning Capability National Manager at Goodstart  Early Learning. For the past 25 years she has worked in leadership roles including being a teacher and director both in kindergarten, long day care, manager in family day care and held senior leadership roles within a broad range of not-for-profit organisations. Lisa is currently completing her PhD focused on educational leadership in early childhood education and care through Griffith University.

Jennifer Ribarovski: JR Education Consulting Services, Managing Director 

Jennifer Ribarovski is Managing Director of JR Education Consulting Services. She has over 30 years’ experience in the sector and has worked in a broad range of different roles, but is most proud of being a ‘squishy grandma’; a title recently bestowed on her by a four-year-old child in a centre.