Presenters & Workshops


Hugh van Cuylenburg

Hugh has been working in education for over 12 years. Starting out as a primary school teacher, he then moved into a position with Cricket Victoria as a development facilitator working with disengaged adolescents. The highlight of his teaching career, however, was the year he spent in the far north of India volunteering and living at an underprivileged school in the Himalayas. It was here that he discovered resilience in its purest form.

Inspired by this experience (and subsequent trips to Bangaldesh and Sri Lanka) Hugh returned to Melbourne and commenced working on his own programs for schools. ‘The Resilience Project’ was born. Off the back of his post grad. studies into mental resilience, Hugh’s presentations emphasise the value of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. Of note, Hugh has developed and facilitated programs for over 220 schools Australia wide. In 2015, the National Rugby League asked Hugh to design and implement a program for every single club in the competition to ensure the entire NRL community were emotionally engaged on the challenges of mental health. Hugh has also worked closely with Collingwood, Gold Coast Suns, Geelong, Essendon and Hawthorn in the AFL. He has also served as CEO of Step Back Think.

Kathy Walker

Kathy Walker is one of Australia’s leading parenting and education experts, public speakers and authors. In 2014 she was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM). She has received many other awards and Fellowships throughout her career and has also been nominated for Australian of the Year on two occasions. She is the Founding Director of Early Life Foundations one of Australia’s leading parenting and education consultancies in areas of research and consultation in education and parenting. Her expertise in these areas spans over 30 years.

Kathy is a lead author with Penguin Publishing and the Australian Council of Educational Research; her texts for parents include: Ready Set Go which focuses upon school readiness and preparation, Parenting, What’s the Hurry, and her latest book Future Proofing Your Children is due for release through Penguin publishing in early 2015. Kathy’s texts for educators include Play Matters and Engagement Matters. Early Childhood Matters is due for release in February 2015.

Kathy is one of the country’s leading curriculum, teaching and learning experts in personalised learning. She is the designer of the first major personalised learning pedagogy (Walker Learning – Preschool to Year 8) that is being implemented across Australia and internationally.

Louise Doratt

Louise has extensive experience in managing early year's services- from Family Day Care to Inclusion Support. She assisted in the set up of the first Victorian Bush Kinder and has taught the Bachelor of Education at a number of Universities including the Institute of Koorie Education (IKE) at Deakin. She is contracted by organisations such as Federal and State Governments, Children’s Ground, ELAA, Child Australia and Gowrie to deliver training across Australia. Louise's background in theatre provides sessions that are at once engaging and entertaining. (MEd, BTeach, Dip SSc)

Meredith Lane

Meredith is a certified Practising Speech Pathologist who graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) in 2014.

She currently works in a rurally based community health pediatric clinic focusing on capacity building early childhood professionals with speech pathology knowledge in order to improve children’s speech, language and literacy outcomes, as well as project based community capacity for Adult Complex Communication Difficulty – providing support and raising awareness.

Meredith is also involved in the “Every Toddler Talking” research project which is examining the benefits of establishing collaborative working groups between Speech Pathologists and Early Childhood Educators. She is also certified for It Takes Two to Talk ™ The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children with Language Delays, and Learning Language and Loving It™- The Hanen Program® for Early Childhood Educators.

Sally McNamara

"Sally grew up in the Myrtleford area and completed her occupational therapy degree at Charles Sturt University in Albury. She started her career in paediatrics by taking two positions in the Gold Coast/South Brisbane area; one with the Family & Early Childhood Services Team at Disability Services Queensland, and the other as part of the Developmental Assessment Team at Community Child Heath (part of the Gold Coast Hospital).

Sally returned to the North East in 2007 and worked in early intervention and educational settings seeing children with various developmental delays and disabilities. In 2010 she started her own private practice part-time and also worked in a school specifically for children with autism in Albury. Simultaneously, she accepted a job with Ovens and King Community Health as a Health Promotion Officer. This role allowed her to run infant massage programs, give talks at new mother’s meetings, run a local Mother Goose group, promote physical and mental health in children and families, and complete research on a program that she developed for children with anxiety- called the 'Calmer Kids Mind and Body Program'.

She worked at Belvoir Special School in Wodonga- where she was the OT and Allied Health Team Leader for 3 years. In 2014 Sally published a resource called 'The Motor Skill Flip-Book Program'- which is now available on 4 major therapy/education websites and through two educational stores.

Tash Treveton

Natashja Treveton feels strongly about children's rights to a REAL childhood, of imaginative play in open ended environments. She is particularly passionate about children connecting with nature and her focus tends to drift to those areas.

Tash began as an untrained casual 14 years ago and through study and experience became a Service Director as well as an Educational Leader of Woodrising Community Preschool & CCC in Newcastle, NSW. This became one of the first centres to gain an ‘Exceeding the National Standards’ levels in the current rating system in the area.

In 2007 Tash and her business partner, Nicole Sheehan, spent countless hours discussing the need for inspiring professional development in their local area and as a result, founded their educational training and consultancy business, Inspired EC. Their passion and enthusiasm in their beliefs has allowed the company as well as the services they offer to develop and expand and has been successful in ‘inspiring’ thousands of educators Australia wide.

Tash is passionate and enthusiastic about anything related to children’s well being and supporting adults to develop this. She has a particular interest in creating naturalistic playgrounds for children and communities and likes nothing more than getting in there and digging creek beds or creating fairy gardens!


Workshop 1

Hugh van Cuylenburg

Emphasises the importance of growing resilience in children and developing the skills of Mindfulness, Empathy, Emotional Literacy and Gratitude as educators and passing them on to the children that they work with.

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Workshop 2

Tash Treverton

STEM, STEAM, STREAM... Authentic ways to explore Maths, Science, Technology and Beyond. Tash will look at why exploring these topics is so important in the Early Years. Together we will identify important requirements for environments to support this exploration and the role of the Educator while this is happening.

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Workshop 3

Sally McNamara

What is sensory processing? Sally will explore the 7 senses and the impact of sensory processing on learning and participation, and discuss sensory processing difficulties. She will provide ideas and strategies for the child care, kinder and classroom environments and explain the role of the OT in sensory processing.

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Workshop 4

Meredith Lane

Meredith will be discussing how to build relationships between educators and Speech pathologists in order to progress learning and development , with practical tips on how to support children’s language and communication development through enhanced interactions with their carers and peers

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