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Speakers

Meet the speakers from the 2024 ECA Reconciliation Symposium ‘Advancing Reconciliation in early childhood education and care‘.

Facilitators

Catharine Hydon

Catharine Hydon

Catharine Hydon is the Director and Principal Consultant at Hydon Consulting. She has a master’s degree in early childhood education and extensive experience in the sector. She began her career as an early childhood teacher and went on to lead a range of services and projects for children and their families. Her focus is on early childhood practice, pedagogy, leadership coaching and mentorship, quality improvement, policy and governance, and delivery of integrated services to vulnerable children and families.
Catharine’s involvement in the education sector is an important part of her commitment to quality outcomes for children. She is a long-time member of ECA and regularly contributes to ECA publications, webinars and online learning opportunities. In 2022 she completed a Diploma of Governance strengthening her commitment to effective policy and governance. Catharine is also a Board Member of the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority and a second-tier reviewer for ACECQA.

Joanne Goodwin

Joanne (Jo) Goodwin is a descendant of the Wonnarua peoples and was born in Singleton, NSW. Joanne has extensive experience in the early childhood profession and has worked nationally with a range of not-for-profit organisations and governments to lead innovative programs for children, their families and communities. Jo is currently serving as the Co-Chair of Early Childhood Australia’s Reconciliation Advisory Group and is a regular contributor in ECA publications.

Speakers

Catherine Liddle

Catherine Liddle is an Arrernte/Luritja woman from Central Australia. She is CEO of SNAICC—National Voice for our Children. Catherine has been a leading advocate in upholding the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a national, regional and local level. Catherine has held senior management positions in First Nations organisations including First Nations Media and Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships, as well as within the Northern Territory Education Department, the ABC and NITV/SBS. A journalist by trade, Catherine’s motivation has always been to drive change that leads to positive outcomes and options for First Nations people.

Daniel Green

Daniel Greene

Daniel is an Alyawarre man originally from the Northern Territory. He has taught in the ACT public school system from Kindergarten to Year 10 for 20 years, working on many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific projects and initiatives. Daniel was recognised for his service to the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community when he received the ACT and surrounding regions NAIDOC Person of the Year Award in 2017. He continues to serve the local and national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through his work at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Aunty Denise Proud

Aunty Denise Proud

Aunty Denise Proud, a proud Aboriginal woman was born in Wakka Wakka Country, Cherbourg, Queensland, and has been involved in early childhood education since the 1960s. Having worked as a cultural advisor in Queensland Corrections, Aunty Denise has extensive experience across the broad spectrum of community services. As a consultant, Aunty Denise delivers cultural and educational workshops across a range of sectors to better support organisations in engaging and collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2023, she was honoured with the Early Childhood Australia Barbara Creaser award.

Eleni Serras

Eleni Serras

Eleni has a bachelor degree (honours) in indigenous anthropology. She has experience working across government, community and judicial policy, alongside working in the not-for-profit prisoners aid sector in the ACT. She is non-Indigenous, which informs her research interests in contemporary settler colonial relations in Australia.

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson is a proud Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman and was Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria until July 2023. For over 40 years, Aunty Geraldine has been instrumental in driving government and policy reform in Aboriginal education. From starting in the field as an Aboriginal teacher’s aide in 1976, Aunty Geraldine progressed to become the President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI), a role she has held since 1999. Aunty Geraldine has recently been appointed as Co-Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Council (NATSIEC).

Karen Mundine

Karen Mundine

Karen Mundine is from the Bundjalung Nation of Northern New South Wales. She is the CEO of Reconciliation Australia and has over 25 years’ experience leading community engagement, public advocacy, communications and social marketing campaigns. An architect of the landmark Australian Reconciliation Barometer, Karen works with governments, the business sector and civil society to advocate for change. Over the course of her career, she has been instrumental in some of Australia’s watershed national events including the Apology to the Stolen Generations, Centenary of Federation commemorations, Corroboree 2000 and the 1997 and 2021 Australian Reconciliation Conventions.

Melanie Hogan

Melanie Hogan

Melanie Hogan is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked extensively in both the private and public sector with clients such as Carla Zampatti, the Australian Federal Government, the Australian Human Rights Commission, The George Institute for Global Health and First Aid Australia.
As an independent filmmaker, she has also written, produced, edited and directed her own documentary films which have premiered at the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Film Festivals before launching in cinemas around Australia and on global television. Melanie is currently co-writing and co-producing her first feature film, development funded by Screen Australia.

Melinda Miller

Dr Melinda Miller is a registered teacher, education researcher and consultant. Over a 20-year career, Melinda has worked with early childhood services, schools, in higher education, and with government. Melinda’s doctoral research focused on racism and whiteness in early childhood education service delivery. She delivers professional learning on unconscious bias, whiteness, and cultural responsiveness in educational programs. Melinda is a member of the Early Childhood Australia (Queensland) Reconciliation Committee, the Queensland Reconciliation Industry Network Group (RING), and was recently appointed as a member of the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) First Nations Expert Reference Group.

Selina Walker

Ngunnawal woman Selina Walker has been supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT for over 15 years.
The granddaughter of Aunty Agnes Shea, a recipient of the Order of Australia and a former ACT Chief Minister’s Senior Citizen of the Year, Selina continues her grandmother’s legacy of influencing and driving change.
Since 2018, Selina has been Co-Chair of the ACT Reconciliation Council. She is a founding member of Yerrabi Yurwang Child and Family Aboriginal Corporation, and a member of the ACT Victims of Crime and Justice Committee.
A kinship carer, Selina was named ACT Barnardos Mother of the Year 2017.

Shannan Dodson

Shannan Dodson

Shannan Dodson is a Yawuru woman whose family is from Broome in Western Australia. Shannan is the CEO of The Healing Foundation; a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that provides a platform to amplify the voices and lived experience of Stolen Generations survivors and their families. Shannan was previously the Deputy CEO of NASCA and Co-Chair for the National NAIDOC Committee. She has also worked on the constitutional recognition for Indigenous peoples and Australian Marriage Equality campaigns. Shannan is passionate about First Nations’ rights and understanding intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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