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Gowrie NSW holds early childhood conference with leading universities

October 19, 2016


Hundreds of educators from around Australia gathered in Sydney on Saturday, 13th August 2016, for an early childhood conference that explored playfulness, curiosity and innovation in the early learning environment.

The In Pursuit of Playfulness, Curiosity and Innovation conference, held by Gowrie NSW, UTS Child care and Campus Life (Macquarie University), explored ways in which educators can nurture curiosity and a desire to learn in young children that will encourage them to become intellectually stimulated, alert and engaged.

 “Playfulness, curiosity and innovation are all attributes that we see as important to instil in children to help prepare them to be active contributors to future society,” Maria Bennett, Children’s Services Manager at Campus Life Macquarie University, said.

 “If we want to be an ‘innovation nation’ then we need to encourage a desire to be innovative from a young age,” Ms Bennett added.

Attendees were exposed to exciting strategies and ideas for stimulating playfulness and innovation in young children and heard from a range of high-calibre speakers.

Rachel Clements, the co-Founder and Director of Psychological Services and Principal Organisational Psychologist at the Centre for Corporate Health Pty Ltd and Resilia Pty Ltd, ran a session on mindfulness.

Sandra Cheeseman, a lecturer at the Department of Educational Studies at Macquarie University, spoke about the ten things children should experience every day in an early childhood setting.

Toni and Robin Christie, founders of Childspace Early Learning Centres and the Childspace Early Childhood Institute in Wellington, New Zealand, explored qualities of curiosity, playfulness and innovation.

Meanwhile, Jackie French, historian and writer and advocate for children with learning difficulties, talked about book magic and the incredible ways to read a book. Kate Highfield an academic from Charles Sturt University spoke about opportunities for rich learning in Mathematics and STEM in early childhood, whilst Jeremy Carter, CEO of Rapport Leadership Australia, offered tips on how to become an effective leader to get your team motivated and engaged.

“We want to create an environment so that as children grow they become advocates for curiosity and so curiosity becomes acknowledged as one of the most important tools for learning,” Ms Bennett said.

The conference concluded with a fun activity from Toni and Robin Christie that left educators excited and motivated to take what they learnt back to their centres.


Media Contact: For more information please contact Gowrie NSW Marketing and Communications Manager Antonia Maiolo on 02 8571 9760 or email

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