Presenters & Workshops

Dr. Jodi Richardson

Jodi is a mental health, wellbeing and happiness science speaker dedicated to empowering families and teachers to nurture happy, relaxed, resilient kids. Knowing that happiness and flourishing mental health comes not from what we have but from what we do, Jodi redefines happiness and shares the science-backed skills young people need to increase their wellbeing and navigate the ups and downs that are a part of life. Habits for a balanced lifestyle and thinking strategies that enable young people to create a rich, full and meaningful life are integral to Jodi’s work.

Jodi has developed her expertise over two decades of professional work in teaching, wellbeing, research, clinical practice and elite sport, including working for beyondblue on the National Schools-Based Initiative for the prevention of depression.

A mother of two primary-school-aged children, she is the founder and director of Happier on Purpose, the mental health and wellbeing expert for Parenting Ideas and together with Michael Grose, is the co-creator of Parenting Anxious Kids, an online course designed for families and teachers of anxious children.

Jodi’s dedication to the mental health and wellbeing of children is palpable during her presentations. Her natural warmth, openness and honesty, combined with her ability to share happiness and wellbeing science with ease, empowers and inspires families and teachers to take action.

Philip Butler

Philip is an Associate at Semann & Slattery. He is an expert at applying practical leadership and educational theories into a diverse range of educational and human service settings and practices. Over the past two decades Philip has held a vast array of positions in the educational settings ranging from educational leader, academic lecturer, director, Authorised Supervisor and teacher.

Philip’s practical skills and regulatory understandings have also been sought out by sector leaders and members in assisting with the design, construction, licensing and staffing of educational settings. Philip enjoys applying his skills as a mentor, as well as holding an ongoing role with Macquarie University's Institute of Early Childhood as a student advisor. In his role at Semann & Slattery, Philip is focused on transforming Australian educational settings by delivering effective programs and services which combine pedagogical theories, educational leadership and effective change and team management principles to clients who seek long term value.

Sally McNamara

Sally began her career as a paediatric occupational therapist in the South Brisbane/Gold Coast areas. Here she worked in the fields of child development and disability: establishing her passion for sensory processing, motor development and interactive play skills. Sally returned to North East Victoria in 2008 (where she was raised) and continued her work with children and their families in a range of educational and community settings.

In 2010 Sally started her own private practice and built on her skills and interests as a therapist. She worked closely with many young children and adolescents on the autism spectrum: completing further training in diagnosis, assessment and therapeutic supports. Sally undertook qualifications to provide kids yoga classes and infant massage programs, and also facilitated a local Mother Goose group through her work in Health Promotion. She has authored two books- ‘The Motor Skill Flip-Book Program’ and ‘The Sensory Support Flip-Book Guide’- which have sold successfully both nationally and internationally. She continues to work part-time as a therapist in the Alpine shire and surrounding areas in addition to providing regular training to families and professionals on a range of topics.

Jarrod Paine

Jarrod Paine is a passionate and innovative education outdoors teacher and is the founder of the BushPlay Project. He began the Kiewa Wild Things Bush Playgroup over 3 years ago and is leading the way in creating more and more groups and engaging the young and old in the joys of nature play.

Jarrod brings enthusiasm, knowledge and solid pedagogy to engaging children outside as part of their learning. Jarrod has authored a setup guide to assist families and guardians to create their own bush playgroups. He also offers mentoring and pop up sessions to assist further group creation. On top of this Jarrod also works with early childhood services to develop bush programs and is working on authoring his first children’s book.

Dr. Red Ruby Scarlet

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is the Creative Director of MultiVerse.

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is an activist, early childhood teacher-researcher, consultant, artist and academic. Red has been working in early childhood for over 25 years and is devoted to creative, imaginative, inclusive practices that promote dignity and integrity in early childhood. Red has developed curriculum and learning frameworks nationally and internationally. She has won numerous awards for her teaching and advocacy.

Red has published widely foregrounding the stories of the numerous ‘teacher-research’ projects she has lead and contributed to across the world. She is committed to raising the voices of early childhood teachers and educators through telling and writing their own stories. Her books include The Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood (3rd Edition), Fair’s Fair: How to Tackle Bias in Education & Care Services (with Lisa Bryant), The Aboriginal Early Childhood Practice Guide (with Jessica Staines) and Becoming With Art in Early Childhood.

She has always been part of diverse educational communities. She is a highly sought leader and mentor in the early childhood profession.

Red is currently the Creative Director of MultiVerse – an organisation devoted to consultancy, creating professional development and resourcing for early childhood that is committed to inclusive and innovative pedagogical approaches to curriculum. Red is the Founding Chair of the Social Justice In Early Childhood Foundation.


Workshop 1

Philip Butler

Crafting the Conversation

Having to have hard conversations is a part of our daily roles, conversations where you know emotions are going leak in, people are going to be pushed out of their comfort zone, and long held beliefs are going to be challenged. The key is not to avoid these conversations, but rather lean into them. Discover strategies and practices which can support more positive and collaborative communications between teams, achieve higher levels of reflective and transformative group thinking, and feel confident when connecting with families and the community on a professional level.

See the Program

Workshop 2

Sally McNamara

Avoiding a crowded program: how to integrate important developmental skills and strategies into your routine

Educators have one of the hardest jobs on the planet. While they work in rewarding jobs filled with many moments of accomplishment, their roles can also involve a lot of responsibility and stress. Supporting vital aspects of child development can be very challenging when there are so many other demands during the day. “Avoiding a crowded program: how to integrate important developmental skills and strategies into your routine” aims to help educators understand the importance of certain developmental areas- such as motor development and sensory processing- and how to include them into their daily routine by over-lapping activities and using incidental learning opportunities.

See the Program

Workshop 3

Jarrod Paine

Integrating BushPlay into your Learning Program

In this interactive workshop, Jarrod will take us on a thinking journey of BushPlay, inspire us with images of fun and joy, introduce us to terms like Trophy Landmark and bush goggles, and ask us to consider how we can incorporate this style of learning into our programs. Ideally suited for workplaces to attend as small groups of 2 or more but also helpful for any individual interested in conceptualising their own BushPlay Program in a Child Care Centre, Kindergarten, Playgroup or School.

The session will fuel participants understanding of how children benefit from BushPlay, including consideration of learning outcomes, styles and structures of BushPlay, and introduce participants to the different aspects of risk management we need to consider in setting up our own BushPlay Programs.

See the Program

Our Sponsors

Website by WWWART Design Services