November 8, 2019

Voices from out Keynote speakers

Eileen Munro – Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics

        Listen to Eileen’s reflections – Click here

Wendy Bunston – Latrobe University and WB training and consultancy

‘Make space to consider what the experience might be of the infant – they deserve that! ’

Listen to Wendy’s reflections – Click here

Voices from the Youth Engagement Panel

Master Chef – What makes for a great youth engagement dish?  Voices from the Youth Engagement Panel

Master Chef Host – Sam Champion – YACVic  

‘Start the ball rolling, reflect, learn, iterate as you go – but don’t do nothing!’

‘In the role I have with YACVic supporting the youth sector around youth participation, people ask about best practice. My initial response is always “there is no best practice”. If we were striving for best practice we would be talking to every young person. It’s not literally possible to do that and its always going to be moving the bar back from that. What we are talking about is what’s right for our environment, what’s right for our context and that’s always got to be the key.’ – Sam Champion

Listen to Sam’s reflections – click here 1   and click here 2

Lauren Oliver – Berry Street 

‘I have found we also come up with excuses for not doing youth engagement all the time. But they are all excuses and we are people who do youth engagement daily in all of our work. We like to think most of the time, in most of our work we do it well but there is still room for mucking it up. Actually the absences of young people on the stage is more of a muck up than an intentional moment. It is a learning moment.  One of the things that does concern me is that in the sector there is a lot of judgement about whether you are doing this right or not and that holds people back. So we need to stop judging whether people are doing it right or not and just start doing it. That’s my point – done’. – Lauren Oliver, Berry Street

Voices from our presenters

Casey Howden – Kid First: ‘My call to action to practitioners is to think about what it would be like to be a client of your service’

Listen to Casey’s reflections – Click here. 

Heidi Tucker – Anchor Inc: ‘Context is everything. System change is messy.’

Listen to Heidi’s reflections – Click here. 

Dylan Langley – Brighter Futures Ambassador group: ‘There is no straight line to the solution. If I was to give advice I’d say be open to conversations with other people and get to know what they want and then you’ll find their dreams’.

Listen to Dylan’s reflections – Click here.

Renee O’Donnell – Monash University: ‘Early intervention using home visitation model works…evaluating the change is really important.’

Listen to Renee’s reflection – Click here.

Indi Clarke – Koori Youth Council: ‘We need to understand the systemic shift we need to create and the underground shift we need to genuinely support children and young people to thrive in their communities with their cultures, families and elders around them.’

Listen to Indi’s reflections – Click here. 

Closing Reflections from Cathy Humphries

‘It just seems to me if we ever what to make changes we have got to start from a position of humility and being humble.’

Just a couple of mini reflections to finish off. It’s really hard to do justice to a day like this.

A couple of things I would say.  I thought our keynote speakers and papers talk in different ways about being humble, a sense of humility and leaving ego at the door. It just seems to me if we ever what to make changes we have got to start from a position of humility and being humble. That has been a key theme that came through for me in many of the sessions today. I felt very humble when I listened to Dylan Langley today – a young youth ambassador sitting there without notes. He spoke without notes and I thought to myself ‘how did he manage to do that?  I can’t do that’. So there is always humbling experiences and things to be open to. I thought that was an important part of today.

I thought our key note speakers, Eileen Munro and Wendy Bunston had this wonderful ability to connect science and theory to practice and action. I think that is such a wonderful skill and something for all practitioners and researchers and teachers to think. It is a  wonderful model.

I also thought there was a key theme around adaptability to place and connection. In one of the sessions the presenters were talking about practice lead evidence, what is the evidence that fits for our context and for our place? I thought this is a lovely development in the sector. It has been a journey that we are now focusing on exploring what counts as evidence. It has been a theme across other Symposiums and it was writ large today in different ways that brought us along to a different space.

The issues related to inclusion, diversity – Aboriginal services were right here, people with disabilities were right here. We were talking about age, infants to young adults. I thought there wasn’t a fuss made about inclusion and diversity. It was like it was mainstreamed and this is how we do this work in our sector.  Intersectionality is part of our work and part of our practice.

I guess my final thought, my takeaway image, was the baby in Wendy Bunston’s presentation. It took me quite a long time to see the baby emerge from the landscape in the image Wendy provided. I thought that was a really key message. You have to wait, you have to listen, you have to wait for things to emerge. It means in a very fast moving sector we are always working with crises but that slowing down and letting things emerge is such an important learning experience. Just sitting looking at the baby for me is such a key image and a key metaphor for how we carry that forward.

Voices from our wonderful participants 

  • The Symposium was inspiring.
  • Brilliant and appropriately overwhelming!
  • The symposium has inspired me to be involved with OPEN.
  • Impressive speakers, great mixture of practice learning, implementation guidance and evidence of hands on experience.
  • Reflective practice is GOLD!
  • Reminder to remain hopeful and optimistic about the potential for sector reform however slow and painful it maybe.
  • Go alone and go fast. Go together and go further.
  • Brighter futures – so willing to share learnings and not present as perfect.
  • Fabulous – particularly the youth participation, child and infant lead work and the Ngaga-Dji – call to action and implementation (Indi Clarke was brilliant!).
  • I loved them all.
  • Bringing culture into our work, learning more about it myself to do this work.
  • Eileen Munro was extraordinary and changed the way I think about ‘evidence based’ work.
  • Eileen Munro was brilliant, providing new ideas which deconstructed research hierarchies.
  • I loved listening to Wendy Bunston. Really showed the importance of the child’s voice being listened to from the very beginning.
  • Wendy provided a combination of practice, expertise and evidence.
  • Caring Life is an amazing innovative tool which will transform children’s experience in care by providing coherent narratives of their lives.

Join the OPEN community - It's Free