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7-9 Gang Gang St
Katoomba NSW 2780
T. 02 4782 1470
Dr Sandra Cheeseman
CEO C&K Creche and Kindergarten Association
Dr Sandra Cheeseman is Chief Operating Officer at the Creche and Kindergarten Association, Queensland (C&K). Over her 40 or so year career in the early childhood sector, Sandra’s professional and academic roles have included early childhood teacher, director, senior lecturer in early childhood at Macquarie University, Sydney and more recently she has returned to where the action is to lead a large not-for -profit early childhood provider.
Sandra has been a key collaborator on a variety of projects and consultancies for Government and other education agencies. Her subject expertise spans early years curriculum, assessment, infant and toddler pedagogies, program quality and leadership.
In her spare time Sandra has co-authored the book ‘Leadership -Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education’ – now in its third edition. She has also co-edited two books ‘Pedagogies for Leading Practice’ and ‘Conceptualising and Re-Conceptualising Children’s Rights in Infant-Toddler Early Childhood Education and Care’.
Sandra has served on several executive boards including the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), The Infants Home, Ashfield, Community Child Care Cooperative NSW and Lady Gowrie Sydney. She was Vice President of Early Childhood Australia NSW Branch and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Raising Children Network. In 2021 Sandra was appointed to the Australian Government Ministerial Expert Advisory Group for a Preschool Outcomes Measure.
Bringing more of YOU to Leadership
Navigating the diversity of leadership theory, TEDs Talks, endless podcasts and a plethora of legislation and regulation, the path to leadership in early childhood is like a perfect storm. In taking a helicopter view of leadership in the early childhood sector we might just have more knowledge and skill than most. In this session Sandra will look at lessons learned and joyous realisations about her own leadership and apply that to growing women’s leadership across our sector. In essence we may not need to know more, we may need to bring more of who we already are.
Marlee Silva is a twenty-six-year-old Aboriginal woman from the Gamilaroi and Dunghutti tribes of NSW. Starting her career in the non-profit sector, Marlee’s path was shifted toward a more public profile when she was employed as the Co-CEO of Aboriginal education charity AIME Mentoring. A role which saw her shadow the work of AIME’s CEO for twelve months and in turn, act as the representative of the organisation’s story and direction, in the media and through keynote speaking.
It also gave her the opportunity to study at the Summer Institute of General Management at Stanford University in the U.S., making her the first Aboriginal woman to do so.
Since then, Marlee has continued to emerge as a skilled public speaker and presenter. After publishing her first book ‘My Tidda, My Sister: Stories of strength and resilience from Australia’s first women’ in 2020, Marlee continued to expand her media reach with successful appearances on NITV’s January 26th Sunrise Ceremony, ABC’s Q+A as well as appearing on Today Extra during their ‘Today’s Take’ segment.
Marlee is determined to utilise her storytelling skills to inspire people and create change, and uses her platform to advocate for the causes she is most passionate about, which has previously seen her named as a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Young People’s Human Rights Medal’ in 2019. Often writing and creating social media content with a particular focus on First Nations people and community, women in sport and various other social issues, Marlee has also built a strong online presence with a community of 16 thousand followers on her personal Instagram account.
She also has a passion for sports, rapidly becoming one of the countries leading voices on women’s sport, particularly Rugby League. Marlee recently travelled over to the UK for the Rugby League World Cup, where she interviewed participants, giving an insight into the reach and impact of the sport.
Marlee also volunteers for various charities and sits on the board of both ID. Know Yourself, an Aboriginal founded charity which provides support to Indigenous children living in out of home care, and youth suicide prevention non-profit, Cultural Choice Association, through which she has also developed and delivered mental health and wellbeing program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students.
Earlier this year, Marlee joined the Wide World of Sports team for Channel Nine as a commentator and reporter for the NRLW.
In this session we will Sing, Play, and Move our way through a musical learning journey. We will explore a variety of activities that you can use to encourage children to experience music creatively and actively and flourish in their learning, development, and personal growth.
Presented by Sarah Powell & Sue Lane
At the 2023 Forum Chris delighted the Administrators stream with his presentation. Back by popular demand in 2024, Chris will share this enlightening presentation to the Educators stream.
Chris brings the stage to life in a perfect combination of education and entertainment, which we like to call “EDU’TAINMENT’. You can expect laughs, games, psychology, and philosophy, as well as a proven formula for wellbeing. Introducing educators to the Phoenix Cups framework, Chris helps educators determine their own needs, the needs of others, what we can do to have them met, and how to challenge our unhelpful thinking. This is a presentation not to be missed.
An emerging leader and pharmacist by background, she sits on multiple not-for-profit boards, working towards building disability confident boardrooms. Sara’s roles have been in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, with experience in project management, stakeholder engagement and relationship management. She has worked in the development of evidence-based policy and programs and is currently adding to her education by undertaking a Master of Public Health. As a person with lived experience of disability, she has a genuine understanding of the issues that impact children and people with disability. Sara believes taking an intersectional approach to addressing societal challenges will result in improved outcomes and quality of life for all individuals.
The lack of visible representation of people with disabilities in the 90s impacted how Sara identified with her disability. In this keynote, Sara will discuss her journey of embracing her quirks, and explore the significance of representation of people with disabilities in every setting, particularly in rural and remote communities. With a goal to expand thinking, share lived knowledge and experience, Sara hopes to provide the audience with strategies to create authentically inclusive present and futures.
Hon Fiona Nash Regional Education Commissioner
Having grown up in Sydney, Fiona has spent several decades living and working in regional Australia. For many years she was involved in a farming enterprise in the central west of NSW, which her sons Will and Henry are now running. She spent twelve years in the federal parliament as a Senator for NSW and also held ministerial positions including Rural Health, and in Cabinet the positions of Regional Development, Regional Communications and Local Government and Territories.
She also held the position of Deputy Leader of the Nationals. From 2018 – 2021 Fiona was the Strategic Adviser, Regional Engagement and Government Relations for Charles Sturt University. Fiona was appointed by the Australian Government as the Regional Education Commissioner in December 2021.