“The Social Justice Group has an interesting history. It arose out of a number of groups that were operating before 1995 focusing on Anti Bias issues. 1995 was the ‘International Year of Tolerance’ and a number of people within these groups were invited to get together to organise a conference addressing related early childhood issues within the ‘International Year of Tolerance’. The conference was a huge success, though more importantly, those of us who were part of the conference organising committee (Betty Hopson, Leonie Arthur, Kerryn Jones, Sandra Cheeseman, Louise Brennan, Chris Legg, Anthea Hotten) found that we really enjoyed working together. We were like minded people that had particular views around social justice issues and so we felt inspired through the organisation of the conference. At the completion of the conference we had a wrap up session where we wanted to evaluate the conference…and that’s how the group began”

History 2014

SJIEC Hunter Region Mini-conference: Political activism and social justice in ECEC

On Monday 5 May 2014, the University of Newcastle hosted a mini-­conference co-organised by SJIEC, Hunter Early Childhood Australia and the University of Newcastle, and led by Dr Zsuzsa Millei from the School of Education. The mini-conference explored ways in which we all can engage in political activism and how children’s rights to quality care and education could be translated into everyday practices in settings.

The conference was open to early childhood practitioners, service providers, academics, students, parents and those who influence decision making in relation to early childhood provisions. There were 50 people from the Hunter region in attendance.

Please see below the Conference Program, Summary Notes compiled from all the presentations and discussion, and the presentations of several speakers. The key organiser, Zsuzsa Millei, has also allowed us to publish an opinion piece that relates to the theme of the event.

Download: SJIEC Hunter Mini-Conference Program 5 May 2014
Download: SJIEC Hunter Mini-Conference Summary Notes 5 May 2014
Download: Opinion piece by Zsuzsa Millei: "Preschool funding - economic and moral necessity"
Download: Presentation by Dr Marianne Fenech (Macquarie University): "Systems advocacy"
Download: Presentation by Kathryn Bown (Charles Sturt University): "Policy vision in ECEC"

History 2014

11th Annual Conference - Saturday 14 June 2014

Thank you to the inspiring and thought-provoking keynote speakers who generously contributed to the SJIEC conference this year: Prof Kerry Robinson (University of Western Sydney), A/Prof Felicity McArdle (Charles Sturt University), Prof Jayne Osgood (London Metropolitan University), Dr Linda Knight (Queensland University of Technology), Tamara Cumming (Charles Sturt University) and Dr Red Ruby Scarlet (SJIEC). And we also thank everyone who attended and participated and made the day what it was. Hope we see you all again next year!

Download: 2014 Conference Program 10.06.14
Download: Prof Jayne Osgood Keynote address SJ conf 14.06.14
Download: Jayne Osgood Keynote Paper
Download: Linda Knight & Tamara Cumming Salon Keynote paper

History 2013

10th Annual Conference - Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater

Proceedings from the conference available below. Thank you to all the speakers for an inspiring day and thank you to the conference attendees who participated and engaged with the ideas. We really enjoyed our 10 year celebration of SJIEC conferences, and thanks to Sue for the fabulous vegan green and purple birthday cakes!

Download: 10th Annual Conference Program
Download: Tribute to Betty Hopson
Download: A Historical Cup Of Tea October 2001
Download: Parents as activists - Dr Marianne Fenech
Download: Angeline Neville & Madeleine Masters - Teachers' Panel
Download: Angeline Neville - Teachers' Panel
Download: Dianne Hiles Children Out of Detention (ChilOut)
Download: Tonia Godhard - the NQS and social justice
Download: ZSuzsa Millei - Keynote - Imagined communities and possible lives

History 2012

National Big Steps Family Fun Day

November 17 2012 is National Big Steps Day!

It’s a day for families, the sector and the wider community to celebrate and support the fantastic work of early childhood educators. Free family fun days are being held in every capital city. Find your local event and register your attendance at The Big Steps website

For NSW people, here are the details:
When: Saturday 17 November 2012
Time: 10.30am – 1.30pm
Where: Hyde Park North, Sydney (near the Archibald Fountain)
What: A pram parade, children’s entertainment, music and fun activities. Wear your Big Steps t-shirt or something red, and bring a picnic!

For the NSW program, see below.

Download: Big Steps Family Fun Day Program for NSW (Hyde Park, Sydney), Sat 17 Nov 2012

History 2012

SJIEC 9th Annual Conference 2012

The 2012 Annual Conference was held on Saturday 2 June at the Redfern Community Centre, Sydney (the Conference Program available below). We had a great day being inspired by the teachers’ panel, three keynote speakers and a closing panel on the application of theory.

Download: SJIEC 9th Annual Conference Program 2012

History 2011

2011 Conference Proceedings

Taking Action!

The 8th Annual Conference was a great success and we would like to thank the presenters and all those who attended for their enthusiasm and involvement. The On the Couch session produced some important discussion, and ultimately, a long ‘to do’ list for everyone to take action on pertinent issues. Please see below for the notes taken during the couch session – this document contains suggestions for action for all conference attendees and SJ members.

Download: SJ Conf 2011 - Notes and action required

History 2011

SJIEC Reponse to the exposure draft of the National Standards and Law

SJIEC submitted a response to the exposure draft of the National Standards and Law in April 2011. A PDF of the response can be downloaded below.

Download: SJIEC Response to exposure draft of the National Regulations and Law, April 2011

History 2011

2011 Annual Conference - Throwing the baby out with the bathwater 8

We are pleased to release the program for the 8th Annual Conference. The details are below:

When: Saturday 4 June 2011
Where: Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo St, Redfern
Time: 8.30am – 4.00pm
Cost: $35 per person, payable in cash on the day
Register: Complete the registration form attached below and email to:


Link to Google maps of venue location: Click here
We hope to see you there!

Download: SJIEC Conference 2011 Final updated May
Download: 2011 Annual Conference Registration Form

History 2010

SJIEC 2010 Annual Conference

The 7th annual conference was held on Saturday 5 June 2010 at Redfern Community Centre, Sydney. We had one of our biggest conferences ever, including both the number of presenters and the number of attendees.

Participants were treated to a huge range of topics covered in workshops and keynote addresses. A smorgasboard of warm soup was dished up for lunch during which the pre-launch of Talkin’ up and speakin’ out was held (see below for more details).

Overall, we had exceptional positive feedback from attendees and we thank all those who attended and made the day a true success. Thank you also to all the presenters who contributed their time and energy into preparing their provocative and inspiring presentations.

Download: 2010 SJIEC Conference Program

History 2010

Pre-Book-Launch: Talkin' up and speakin' out: Aboriginal and multicultural voices in early childhood

The SJIEC 2010 Annual Conference was proud to host the pre-launch of Talkin’ up and speakin’ out: Aboriginal and multicultural voices in early childhood, edited by Dr Miriam Giugni and Kerry Mundine, published by Pademelon Press.

Many of the book’s authors were in attendance at the conference as both organisers, presenters and attendees. Associate Professor Kerry Robinson and Dr Criss Jones Diaz from the University of Western Sydney spoke in high regard for the editors and contributors. The order form can be downloaded below.

Download: Order form for Talkin' Up and Speakin' Out, edited by Dr Miriam Giugni and Kerry Mundine