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Early Years Conference 2024

Taking a Deep Dive into Cross Cultural Learning 
and Safety

Join the City of Whittlesea in collaboration with the City of Darebin for the 11th Early Years Conference—an event designed for early years professionals.

Embark on a day of exploration as we delve into themes centered around embedding Child Safety into early years settings. Our focus is to ensure that children, young people, families, and professionals experience cultural safety.

This conference offers a unique space to strengthen your connections and understanding of culture, with a special emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, as well as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities. 

Bookings are essential. Take advantage of our early bird price by booking before Monday 1 April.


Date: Thursday 6 June

Time: 8:30am-4.30pm

Location: Plenty Ranges Art and Convention Centre, 35 Ferres Blvd, South Morang

Price: Early bird $75, full rate: $95

Ticket price includes full day of speakers and workshops, food on the day and digital recording of the main parts of the day. 

Book now

Keynote Speakers

Carol Harris takes great pride in being a descendant of the oldest living culture in the world, with ancestral ties to the Yuin, Yorta Yorta, Wotchabolic, Gunai, and Dja Dja Wurrung people. With over 15 years of professional experience in mainstream education, she currently serves as an Aboriginal cultural mentor. In this role, Carol ensures that Aboriginal perspectives are not only appreciated but also experienced and integrated into educational and workplace processes.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Education, Diploma in Management, Certificate II in Business, Diploma in Project Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Career Development Practice.

One of Carol's key responsibilities is supporting and mentoring workforce development in cultural capability. She actively contributes to the development of cultural competencies within the non-Aboriginal workforce by promoting Aboriginal ways of learning. This involves connecting Western learning theories with Aboriginal approaches, collaborating with others to design relevant and innovative learning experiences for the community.

Carol's leadership in cultural change is evident in her consultancy work, where she designs and develops cultural curricula. This includes creating online staff cultural tools, introducing cultural activities, fostering community collaboration, designing course content and resources, and providing cultural awareness and safety training.

Empowerment is Carol's favorite topic to teach. She believes that empowerment enables individuals to gain a sense of self-ownership, self-growth, and self-transition, fostering resilience.

Outside her professional commitments, Carol engages in volunteer work in community radio. She also cherishes spending quality time with her grandchild and three granddogs. These personal pursuits reflect her commitment to both professional and community well-being.


Lee is a modern-day medicine woman anchored in the strong beliefs of her Culture, Spirit and Country, this is at the front line in all that she is dedicated to.

She works intentionally towards stewardship of Country and lifelong learning, creating a legacy that seeds the path forward.

She works within the Victorian Aboriginal community and the wider community, facilitating and inspiring, healing across generations.

The rhythm of her work is to facilitate love and change.

Information coming soon

Information coming soon


  • Collaboration in early years, Carol Harrison, Aboriginal Learnings and Teachings, CEO
  • Dadirri Ancient Aboriginal Mindfulness Tradition, Lee Couch, Wellness Practitioner and Educator
  • Exploring access and barriers to increase cultural dignity, Brotherhood of St Laurence
  • Inclusion and anti-bias; embedded in the curriculum every day, Louise Dorrat, Early Childhood Consultant
  • The relationship between cultural safety/responsiveness and reconciliation, Reconciliation Australia
  • The loss of identity for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, HIPPY
  • Moving and soothing, Australian Childhood Foundation
  • A foundation for respectful relationships - what does it mean and where do we start, Rachael Bye, City of Darebin.

Conference Highlights

  • Closing ceremony by Djirrii Djirri Dance
  • Support by EAP counsellors
  • Tree of diversity for people to share their lands
  • Many information and community stalls including Yarn Strong Sistas, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc, HIPPY, Dept of Education and more.

Visitor Information

Wheelchair access

There are accessible toilets, ramps and lifts throughout our venue.

Vision impairment

Braille is provided on all room door signage. PRACC is guide dog friendly and welcomes any registered assistance dogs into all areas of the building.

Assisted hearing

Most meeting rooms within PRACC are equipped with hearing assisted devices. To ensure this is available, please talk with the event organiser. 

The Conference is located at Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre (PRACC), 35 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang.

By Public Transport

PRACC is a flat 500m walk from South Morang train station on the Mernda line and buses 556, 383 and 577 service the area.

We recommend you plan your journey at Public Transport Victoria’s website

Via Car and parking

Parking is available at PRACC. Additional parking is available adjacent to South Morgan train station.

Accessible parking is also available.