Meet the team

© Queensland University of Technology (QUT)


Diversity, inclusion, and equity in early education and parenting support.

Date 23 Feb, 22
Time 9:00am (GMT), 7:00pm (AEST), 8:00pm (AEDT)
Location Online
Date: 23.02.2022 Time: 9:00am (GMT)
Date: 23.02.2022 Time: 7:00pm (AEST)
Date: 23.02.2022 Time: 8:00pm (AEDT)


Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Centre for Child and Family Studies, and the University of Portsmouth (UOP), School of Education and Sociology are working collaboratively to deliver a programme of events for the UK / Australia  Season addressing the theme of ‘Who are we now and where are we going’.

Following a successful forum in November which addressed the topic “Climbing out of COVID with children and families”. You are invited to join this public online forum “Diversity, inclusion, and equity in early education and parenting support”.

A panel of six speakers from the Australian and UK context will come together online to briefly speak to the following provocations before a moderated discussion.

  • What are our current big issues around diversity, inclusion and equity in relation to early education and/or parenting support?
  • What priority research /actions / approaches do we need to address these?
  • What kinds of workforce capabilities do we need to address these issues?

Rich conversations, thinking, new knowledge and learning will be developed as participants engage with professionals from multiple disciplines, through sharing knowledge of the different country contexts.

Start times for this event is scheduled as:

09:00 am in the UK
07:00 pm in Brisbane
08:00 pm in Sydney





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    Dr Rosemary Cahill, Senior Principal Research Fellow in the Parenting and Families Team at Telethon Kids Institute. 

    Dr Cahill is leading an evaluation of the Early Years Initiative – a long-term partnership between the WA State Government and the Minderoo Foundation. Prior to joining the Institute, Rosemary was the Director of Early Childhood Education, Literacy and Numeracy at WA’s Department of Education for over a decade. Her career started with teaching and quickly progressed to applied research, policy development and leadership of system-level initiatives within the schooling sector. She now works at the intersection of research, policy and translation.

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    Professor Karen Thorpe: University of Queensland; Chair, Australian Early Education and Care Reference Group

    Professor Karen Thorpe is Group Leader in Child Development, Education and Care at the University of Queensland Institute for Social Science Research. Her research examines the effects of children’s early life experiences on social, learning and health trajectories across the lifespan. Her particular interest is early childcare and education environments including parenting, parent work, quality of care and education, and the early years workforce. She was Foundation Psychologist on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children at the University of Bristol, UK; led the evaluation of the Preparing School Trial for Queensland Government; led the Queensland team of the E4Kids study of quality in Australian Early Education and Care and; in partnership with Queensland Government, Goodstart Early Learning and the Creche and Kindergarten Association, led a study of the Australian ECEC workforce (ARC Linkage). In 2013 and again in 2019 she was named by the Australian Financial Review as among Australia’s 100 Women of Influence for the impacts of her research on educational and family policy. Karen chairs the Australian Early Years Reference Council, whose remit is to build a strong evidence base for translation into policy and practice in early childhood education and care.

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    Alison Evans: Head of Early Learning and Education; G8 Education.

    Ali Evans is Head of Early Learning and Education with G8 Education. Ali is an experienced early childhood professional working in large organisations in Queensland, Australia, predominantly in prior to school contexts. Her experience includes leading strategy and implementation in relation to early childhood leadership, quality pedagogy and practice, curriculum, reconciliation, inclusion, professional learning and social justice. Ali has collaborated with multiple universities, organisations and the profession in research projects and driving innovation.

    In 2022, Ali will commence a national position with G8 Education as Head of Early Learning and Education. In a voluntary capacity, Ali is the President of Early Childhood Australia, (Queensland branch) a peak advocacy body focussing on championing the rights of young children.


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    Professor Sherria Hoskins is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Sherria’s research interests are around social cognitive approaches to understanding learning behaviour (e.g. resilience, readiness for change, decision making) and achievement in learners of all ages. Sherria is specifically interested in what impacts learners’ self-theories (e.g. Implicit Theories of Intelligence, self-efficacy) and the effect of these on learning outcomes. Sherria leads Growing Learners, a group of education research psychologists, who work directly with schools and parents to support them to improve childrens’ aspirations, expectations and attainment using evidence-based practice.

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    Sukh Hamilton is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Sociology (University of Portsmouth) on a range of undergraduate/ postgraduate provision. Sukh’s professional background is within the field of Special Educational Needs, SEBD (Social Emotional Behavioural Difficulties) in particular. She has worked as a teacher, a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and an Independent Inclusion Consultant. Sukh has academic interests as well as expertise within the areas of: gender, women of colour, child’s voice and bereavement. She is a Co-Convenor for ‘The Women’s Workshop Sociological Collective’ and is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK.