Keynote Speakers

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2024 Keynote Speakers

Professor Lennie Barblett

Keynote Topic: What’s new? The EYLF V2.0 and children’s learning, development and wellbeing outcomes

Professor Lennie Barblett AM has research interests in quality early childhood curriculum and practices, play based learning, effective environments and children’s wellbeing. She has been invited to contribute to the work of numerous state and national committees and working parties focusing on universal access of quality early childhood learning. She is a co-writer of the ECA Code of Ethics and has recently worked across Australia with the writing team on the updates of the Early Years Learning and My Time Our Place frameworks. 

Professor Deb Brennan AM

Keynote Topic: What might lie ahead? A Path Towards Universal Early Education and Care

Deborah Brennan AM is Associate Commissioner on the Productivity Commission inquiry into early childhood education and care and Professor Emerita at the University of New South Wales. She is an expert on comparative social policy, family policy and gender and politics. Deborah has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Politics of Australian Child Care (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and co-editor with Louise Chappell of “No Fit Place for Women”. Women in New South Wales Politics, 1856–2006 (UNSW Press, 2006). She has published numerous scholarly articles and reports on early childhood education and care and parental leave.  In 2017 she co-authored Lifting our Game. Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. 

The Australian government has asked the Productivity Commission to ‘chart a course towards universal, affordable Early Childhood Education and Care and appointed Deb Brennan as an Associate Commissioner on the inquiry.

In this presentation, Deb will outline how the Commission has approached its task and will discuss some of the draft findings and recommendations.  There is a great deal happening in ECEC at the moment, and this is a chance to hear about one important piece of the policy puzzle.

Danielle Ashwin

Keynote Topic: Relationships, Connection and Appreciation

As the Happiness Co Program and Wellbeing Manager, she embodies resilience and hope, drawing from her own transformative journey. Grounded in authenticity and fueled by purpose, Danielle empowers individuals towards happiness and fulfillment, equipping them with practical tools and knowledge to thrive.

This topic helps to identify how to have relationships with co-workers that promote practical and comfortable work environments. The keynote focuses on workplace appreciation languages and the essential communication methods to recognise and evaluate appreciation. It assists your team in understanding the meaningful relationships that surround them; including home and in social circles. These have a direct correlation to the productivity and engagement of teams.


  • Understand values conflicts
  • Kindness in the workplace
  • Building contribution base teams
  • Establishing rapport for success
  • Internal relationships for growth
  • Address multi-generational issue

2024 Interactive Facilitators

Robbie Figg

Robbie Figg is the General Manager at Happiness Co has worked in teambuilding and culture for over 7 years, his three E’s approach of Engagement, Environment and Education has seen Happiness Co work with a variety of organisations in Australia and the world. Making mental health enjoyable is no easy task, but it is Robbie’s objective every time he steps in front of a group.

His 2019 concept, the Employee Happiness Program, is the recipient of the Wellness Initiative of the Year for 2 years running and he is passionate about ensuring individuals leave our workshop interactions feeling empowered and enthusiastic about their workplace happiness.

Sasha Beirne

With a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Childcare Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and certificates in Mental Health First Aid and Somatic Breath Coaching, Sasha possesses a robust academic foundation. Her profound commitment to enhancing the welfare of Children, Families, and Educators underscores her purpose. Having supported the sector both internationally and nationally in her career, she has adeptly nurtured teams in diverse leadership capacities. Her trajectory led her to contribute to the sector through training and assessment before assuming her current role as a consultant. Whether engaged with leadership teams, educators, students, or peers, Sasha consistently places priority on their holistic wellbeing. 

For the past 15 years, Sasha has dedicated herself to enhancing awareness about the significance and influence of fostering connections, cultivating professional resilience, embedding trauma informed practice and becoming advocates every day for the children of Australia and beyond. In her spare time, she runs a small business called Midweek Mindfulness. Focusing on Mental Health and mindfulness through product creation and facilitating transformational somatic breathwork journeys.  

Lennie Barblett

Lennie Barblett is a distinguished figure in Early Childhood Education, with extensive involvement in professional associations and notable achievements. With a PhD from Edith Cowan University and a Bachelor of Education with Upper Second Class Honours, she brings a wealth of expertise to her research interests, which include play and pedagogy, quality curriculum, teaching standards, integrated service delivery, social and emotional development, and early childhood policy.

Lennie’s contributions extend beyond academia; she has served on various review panels and national working groups, including the WA Schools Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Early Childhood Code of Ethics national working group. In 2021, she was honored with the Engagement Australia Excellence Award for Outstanding Research Impact. Lennie’s dedication to advancing early childhood education is evident in her multifaceted contributions and qualifications.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Do you have a question about the ECLD Immersion Experience 2024? Want to get involved? We would like to hear from you!