2020 Community for Children Conference

The 2020 Communities for Children professional development conference will provide innovative tools, principles and examples for those working with and for children. This conference will be hosted by Elizabeth Daly (OAM) and a group of Launceston’s children.

Each keynote speaker and engaging workshop will address the theme of this year’s conference (Transitions):

  • Developmental transitions
  • System transitions
  • Transitions to engagement

The Communities for Children Initiative is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.


Conference dates


When: May 18-19, 2020

Where: Launceston Conference Centre, 50 Glen Dhu St, South Launceston 7249

Time: 9am to 4pm each day

This event is all ages and open to the public. For more information, you can call us on 1800 243 232.


Download conference poster

Keynote speakers

  • Dr. Laura Jana

    Dr Laura Jana - Keynote SpeakerLaura A. Jana, MD is a U.S.-based pediatrician, health communicator, early educator, social entrepreneur, and award-winning parenting and children’s book author. Having spent her career promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing the most pressing needs of children, families and communities both domestically and internationally, she most recently served as Director of Innovation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health, and currently holds a faculty appointment at Penn State University’s Prevention Research Center. As the acclaimed author of more than 30 books, her latest, The Toddler Brain: Nurture the Skills Today That Will Shape Your Child’s Tomorrow and Jumping into Kindergarten, focus on the critical set of skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century and their early and foundational development during the first five years.

    She has a bachelor’s degree in Cellular Molecular Biology, her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, and completion of her pediatric residency at the University of California -San Francisco and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Early in her pediatric career, Dr. Jana collaborated with internationally famed pediatrician, Dr. Benjamin Spock, and subsequently went on to co-found one of the first online health and parenting websites, the Dr. Spock Company, in the late 1990’s. In addition to being a practicing pediatrician, she started her own consulting company, and spent 9 years as the owner-operator of a 200-student educational child care center. Well recognized for her work as a trusted consultant for parents, the news media, academic and government organizations, non-profits and major corporations alike, Dr. Jana is also a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, was the recipient of a 40 Under 40 Business Award, and serves as a strategic consultant for Primrose Schools, a US-based system of 400+ educational child care centers. She is an advisor to multiple child- and health-related companies and organizations, as well as educational and health technology companies. As a member of Ready Nation’s International Brain Science Speakers Bureau, she most recently served as the early childhood blogger for US News & World Report and a strategic consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Strengthening Vulnerable Children & Families) and MIT Media Lab (Emerging Worlds Initiative).

  • Marina Dickson

    Marina is the Executive Manager of the Australian Childhood Foundation’s Professional Education Services, overseeing much of the Foundation’s training activity. She is also responsible for the development and facilitation of a number of training initiatives including the SMART (Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma) program, a state-wide training program for school welfare personnel in South Australia.

    Marina is a social worker and educator with previous clinical experience working with vulnerable and abused children in a range of settings including schools, early childhood settings and residential care. She has trained extensively across the welfare and education sectors with a focus on the neurobiology of trauma, trauma-based interventions and loss and grief.

  • Peter Hutton

    Director of the Future Schools Alliance, Peter Hutton has been a school leader in four state and independent schools for the last 25 years. His strength is transformational insight and providing the detail of HOW to implement change in schools. Additional areas of expertise include change management, student entrepreneurship, alternative tertiary pathways and supporting dyslexic students. Peter is also a keen student of how the world may change in the future.

    Peter was appointed Principal of Templestowe College (TC) in 2009. It was a “broken” school with just 286 local students and 23 Year 7’s 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 over 270,000 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.

    At 50, Peter’s varied experiences include having been an Insolvency Accountant with PWC, an Officer in the Australian Army Reserve and running his own Property Development and Tree Lopping Businesses. As a person with dyslexia, Peter sees the world differently, and has spent his life challenging assumptions and conventions.

    Peter presents regularly at national and international conferences and has co-presented with Sir Ken Robinson, Professor Yong Zhao, Charles Leadbeater, Pasi Sahlberg and Professor Richard Elmore from Harvard University.

    Drawing on the latest research and proven methodologies, Peter founded the FSA in 2018 and is committed to working with other school leaders to significantly improve the lives of young people by transforming the education system to equip students for times of exponential change. The FSA has quickly grown to include 28 schools representing 18,000 students and over 1000 staff.

Workshop sessions

Conference Workshops to be announced February 2020!

Conference registration form