Conference program

All sessions have been recorded and are available to be rewatched by clicking on the individual presentation links below.
Click here to download a printable version of the conference schedule.

2021 Communities for Children conference

The 2021 Communities for Children virtual conference will be held on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 March 2021. This is the sixth conference convened by Anglicare Tasmania and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. The event will be held completely online and feature the voices of local children.

We welcome all educators, academics, practitioners, clinicians, health care workers, community workers as well as interested parents, guardians and carers.

Conference details

The Communities for Children Conference is a two-day professional development and capacity building opportunity which will include leading International and National keynote speakers and State presenters providing interactive learning workshops.

The 2021 conference theme is ‘Transitions’ and aims to examine critical points in child development, opportunities for improving engagement and the changes needed in community service systems to work together for child, family and community wellbeing.

This conference is a part of Anglicare’s facilitation of the Communities for Children initiative in Launceston and the Tamar Valley. We support local communities to create positive futures for all children growing up in the region.

Date and Time
Tue, 2 Mar 2021, 9.30am – 3.00pm
Wed, 3 Mar 2021, 9.30am – 2.00pm
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Keynote speakers

  • Peter Hutton (AUS)

    Peter HuttonDirector of the Future Schools Alliance, Peter Hutton has been a school leader in four state and independent schools for the last 25 years.

    Peter was appointed Principal of Templestowe College (TC) in 2009. It was a “broken” school with just 286 local students and 23 Year 7s and was twice threatened with closure.

    TC students now have the option of three starting times, there are no year levels, bells, detentions or uniforms. Each student has a five-year individualised learning plan where they develop their academic program from over 170 electives, students sit on staff selection panels, provide feedback to teachers every 5 weeks, run more than 80 of their own businesses and TC employs over 100 students to help run the school.

    TC has been has featured on ’60 minutes’, ‘The Project’, ‘The Drum’ and Peter’s TedX presentation has been viewed more than 300,000 times. Today TC has now transformed into a thriving school of over 1,150 students and has recently been recognised by Finland’s HundrED organisation as one of the most innovative schools in the world.

  • Dr Laura Jana (USA)

    Dr. Laura

    Pediatrician, educator, health communicator and award-winning author, Dr. Laura Jana is a a big picture thinking paediatrician advocating for investment into early childhood development with a focus on the future skills needed in a changing world.

    The Toddler Brain: Nurture the Skills Today that Will Shape Your Child’s Tomorrow
    In her latest book, Dr. Laura Jana introduces the concept of QI Skills and lays out a strategic plan for early childhood development and cultivating the 21st-century skills needed to succeed during the foundational first five years of life.

  • Darren Mort (AUS)

    Darren Mort is a barrister, actor, film producer and founder of To Be Loved, a charity that gives children a voice navigating parental separation and divorce as a result of family breakdown.

    Practising as a Family Law barrister, Darren has served on the Family Law Bar Association and the Family Violence Taskforce Committee reporting to the Royal Commission on Family Violence. He is a Mentor for Melbourne University Law Students and also a member for the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts. 

  • Will Smith (AUS)


    Will Smith is an Australian Youth Leadership Expert, coach and speaker. He is also the CEO and founder of JCP Empowering Youth.

    Known for his decade long youth work; developing, implementing and connecting innovative youth programs in Australia and around the world, Will is a nationally awarded role model that has been recognised for his leadership contribution to the Australian community.

  • Marina Dickson (AUS)

    Marina Dickson is a social worker and educator from the Australian Childhood Foundation. She focuses on the neurobiology of trauma and trauma-based interventions across the welfare and education sectors and has previous clinical experience working with vulnerable and abused children in a range of school settings.

Conference workshops

Each 45 minute workshop will be delivered by a range of leading State facilitators, educators and researchers to provide examples, principles and tools to support the areas of developmental engagement and systems transitions.

Our presenters will cover topics such as:

  • family violence and parenting
  • identity, education and storytelling
  • safety, community development, health and trauma.


All of our presenters will be interacting with the audience. We encourage conference attendees to not just watch but participate in the moment in real time by asking questions and joining break out rooms.

Our presenters:

2021 Communities for Children Conference Trailer

This conference is a part of Anglicare’s facilitation of the Communities for Children initiative in Launceston and the Tamar Valley. We support local communities to create positive futures for all children growing up in the region.