EYC2022 Announce MCs

    Key stakeholders in this conference are Mission Australia, The Benevolent Society, Act For Kids, Education Queensland, Queensland Health, Wuchopperen Health, the Department of Children, Justice, Youth and Multicultural Affairs, and The Cairns Institute. Representative committee members are excited to see this conference going ahead, despite being thwarted by the 2020-2021 challenges of the pandemic and postponements.

    For the first time in 13 years, there will be two co-convenors who will share the emcee role. They are Dr Karen Struthers from Screaming Birds Consultancy and Cairns local Ms Rowena Bullio. Both having had long connections and experience in the early years sector and are most suited to present this year’s conference themed “It takes a village to raise a parent”. 

    Dr Karen Struthers (pictured above) is driven by the desire to ensure that all people enjoy a decent quality of life; that starts with all children having access to early years education and care; a safe place to call home; quality health care and achieving reconciliation. With roles in social work, advocacy, policy, education, research —and more than a decade as a Member of Parliament and Minister for Community Services, Housing and Women—Karen has had a big impact on many social reforms. Most notably, she is recognised as a long-standing leader and reformer in the prevention of domestic and family violence.
    She led a national alliance Every Child (funded by The Benevolent Society) to promote systems leadership across sectors to improve the wellbeing of children and young people and her currrent work includes being a founding member of a new Sunshine Coast collaborative impact project enabling young people to be more active agents of change in their wellbeing; Board Member of the Menzies Health Institute (Qld) and Adjunct Fellow at Griffith University and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

    Rowena Bullio is passionate about people; reflecting on her thirty plus years of voluntary work in Cairns and surrounding region with children, youth and families. She has served as Director on the boards of Aborigines & Torres Strait Islanders Youth Welfare Company Ltd, Yuddika Child Care Agency, Warringu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation and Boopa Werem Kindergarten and Preschool. Rowena’s employment ranges from taskforce member in the development of Indigenous Primary Health Care for Health Workers in Queensland; Cairns Regional Council’s Indigenous Liaison & Policy Officer; Department of Child Safety Indigenous Project Officer, Act for Kids, NPA Family and Community Services Program Manager. She is studying a Bachelor of Social Science degree at James Cook University and is working towards a double major in Asia-Pacific Governance and Development and Anthropology. Additional interests are in International Relations, Foreign Policy and Medical Anthropology.

    With 4 keynotes and over 30 sessional speakers, the conference will be one of the first conferences held at the newly refurbished Cairns Convention Centre in May 5-6. Delegates are invited Australia-wide and being in Cairns, will provide easier access for regional practitioners in the early years field to attend. 
    Registration is open at www.earlyyearsconference.com.au and earlybird rates end February 22.

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