About the event
Join this interactive symposium to explore new ways of thinking about community connection for children and their families.
This interactive symposium brings together the voices of children, families, policymakers, service providers, volunteers and researchers to explore new ways of thinking about community connectedness and how to champion it for children and their families.
Social (dis)connection is a critical social policy issue, with one in three Australians reporting that they feel extended periods of loneliness. We know from a broad body of research that children are healthier, happier, and learn better when surrounded by community and feel a sense of place, identity and belonging. When we think about supporting children and families who experience complex challenges, we often focus on formal programs and targeted interventions. Connection and relationships are relegated to the private realm, nice to have, but difficult to measure or support. However, growing evidence supports connection and relationships as instrumental to making a difference in the lives of children and families experiencing adversity.
It has never been more critical to re-energise the notion that it takes a village to raise healthy children. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters have demonstrated the importance of social connection and the strength of communities when rallying together in the face of disasters through acts of kindness and service to support one another. How do we bounce forward from these experiences and further galvanise communities to be proactive and community-minded in times of non-crises? How can we build their perceptiveness to the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised among them, with the confidence to respond and support their needs?
Community connectedness is the glue that can reintegrate a disparate service system while supporting sustained, meaningful change long after programs end. Researchers at TeEACH are interested in understanding the strengths, resilience, and resources present within every community. We are working to acknowledge, leverage and mobilise these strengths to support the building of connected communities. Our goal is to build resilient communities for all children, where they can feel valued and heard and take action, know when and where to ask for help, and know that support will be available for them.
Timing and agenda of event
opening of the event.
- A/Prof Rebekah Grace
Keynote: Isaiah Dawe
CEO / Founder of ID.Know Yourself & Board Director of TAFE NSW
- Mr Isaiah Dawe
- A/Prof Ann Dadich
4 x simultaneous workshops
Mirrung (A place of belonging) - The Mirrung Ashcroft wellbeing hub initiative. - Christine Woodrow & Angelica Ojinnaka
Intergenerational Care - Learn about our upcoming co-design research with Uniting Westmead on intergenerational care. Sit with children, create a collage, explore connection and community through intergenerational activities. - Cris Townley
Acknowledgement - Share a sense of connectedness through the experiences of children and their educators from six early learning centres, where Acknowledgement practices have opened a gateway to a journey of self-discover , understanding and respect for the Traditional Custodians of this land. Grow this connectedness by contributing to a collective Acknowledgement and Respect Tree. - Cathy Kaplun
Upholding the right to Cultural Connection for Children in Care - Many Children who enter the foster care system experience a loss of connection to the culture, belief systems and languages of their families of origin. This workshop will give focus to current policies and practices, and the views of professional stakeholders across Australia on the gaps in support and need for service transformation. - Megan Mitchell
Showcase: Volunteer Family Connect Project
The Volunteer Family Connect (VFC) is a community-based early intervention program providing one-on-one support to parents and carers in their home.
This large multi-site research project demonstrated the important role that volunteers can play in building connected communities. Families and their community volunteers developed stronger social connections and increased wellbeing when they came together through the Volunteer Family Connect program.
- A/Prof Rebekah Grace,
World Cafe: Stimulus Question
The World Cafe
- A/Prof Rebekah Grace,
Keynote: Commissioner Anne Hollonds
- Commissioner Anne Hollonds
Research Week Showcase Only
- Research Week Showcase Only
Joining Online Only
- Full Day Schedule
In Person @ Westmead
- Full Day Schedule
Transforming early Education And Child Health (TeEACH), Western Sydney University
Level 4, Innovation Quarter (iQ) - Westmead ,
160 Hawkesbury Road Westmead, NSW 2145
Common questions and answers about the event
- Parking Availability
There is a Secure car park "P2" across Darcy Road from our building. For 5+ hours it is capped at $20.20
We recommend taking public transport with the Westmead Train station being only a 5-7 minute walk away.
- COVID Information
Do not attend this event if you are unwell and/or have been instructed to self-isolate.
Please follow simple hygiene measures to help protect your health. Wash hands regularly, observe physical distancing measures, do not share food, drinks or cutlery and cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
Western Sydney University, in line with the NSW Government no longer mandate the use of face masks but where you are not able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others, it is strongly recommended to wear a face mask.
- Can I purchase tickets at the door?
No, due to limited space tickets must be purchased at least (1) business day prior to the event.
- Sponsoring the event
If your company / organisation is interested in sponsoring the event please contact TeEACH at firstname.lastname@example.org