9:15 AM - 10:20 AM

Join us as we open #THRIVE2022! Across three big days the conference will address how to best support children and young people in home and school settings, who are living in government care and with a trauma experience, to ensure better childhoods and life outcomes.

Our opening session is hosted by Lived Experience Ambassador Emily Hikaiti, with the conference opening address provided by Adopt Change CEO Renée Carter. Speakers include the Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP, Minister for Social Services in the Australian Government; SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle; and an Acknowledgement of Country provided by Professor Paul Chandler, Adopt Change board member. Our international guest and global paediatrician Dr Jane Aronson will be speaking with Founder Deborra-lee Furness on how carers can best support kids to #THRIVE.

Emily Hikaiti Professor Paul Chandler Renee Carter Amanda Rishworth MP Catherine Liddle Jane Aronson (New York, USA) Deborra-lee Furness
10:20 AM - 10:35 AM
10:35 AM - 11:15 AM

Lived Experience Ambassador Jonah Bobongie hosts plenary session two of #THRIVE2022 as we discuss integrating the voices of children and young people in the decision making process. Jonah shares some of his incredible story, and we hear from NSW Advocate for Children and Young People Zoe Robinson, who is joined by Lived Experience Advocate Emily Hikaiti, to discuss key findings in the recent Voices of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care Report. We will also hear from Matthew Bach MP, Victorian Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Child Protection and Youth Justice, and Youth Affairs.

Jonah Bobongie Zoë Robinson Emily Hikaiti Matthew Bach MP
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Action plans for Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021-2031 

Tim Crosier

In this Breakout session we welcome Professor of Child and Family Social Work at the University of Sydney and Director of the Research Centre for Children Dr Amy Conley Wright, Senior Research Fellow Dr Susan Collings and Dr Sarah Ciftci who will discuss resources for nurturing family relationships and the Fostering Lifelong Connection study supported by the Australian Research Council.

Dr Susan Collings Amy Wright Dr Sarah Ciftci

Providing therapeutic supports to families to build parenting capacity and manage challenging behaviours

Angela Bontea
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
1:45 PM - 2:25 PM

Hosted by Angela Bishop, plenary session three highlights the importance of improving the timeliness of permanency in the lives of children and young people. NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services the Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones provides an address, and Michael Tidball, Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice speaks on updates within the department, while Dierdre Cheers, CEO of Barnardos presents on the recent Barnardos and University of Oxford research ‘Outcomes of Open Adoption from Care’.

Angela Bishop Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC Deirdre Cheers Michael Tidball (NSW)
2:25 PM - 3:00 PM
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Join host Helen McCabe for plenary session four – working together for better outcomes. In this session we will hear from Kate Worden MLA, Minister for Territory Families in the Northern Territory. Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner for Queensland Family and Child Commission Luke Twyford shares some of his personal story whilst discussing the importance of families, government and courts working together to listen to the voices of children and young people; and Chris Skinner, Manager Practice Advancement & Implementation – Mockingbird Family Stride Team at Life Without Barriers discusses the success of the Mockingbird Family model.

Helen McCabe Kate Worden MLA (NT) Luke Twyford Chris Skinner
4:00 PM
9:15 AM - 10:10 AM

Join host Phoebe Garland for plenary session five where we focus on nationally supporting carers. An important outcome in the National Commitment Plan for Children & Young People to #THRIVE, as presented to government following the conference last year, carers are the bedrock of the out-of-home care system and critical to achieving permanency outcomes for children. In this session we will hear from Dr Stacy Blythe on the infant care research by My Forever Family NSW and Western Sydney University; and Dr Elsie Alcordo, Acting Director, Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO), provides an overview of the VAGO report into Kinship Care in Victoria.

Phoebe Garland Stacy Blythe Dr Elsie Alcordo
10:10 AM - 11:10 AM
Hosted by Michelle Stacpoole, the first of the national roundtables will invite conference delegates to contribute their input on the discussion around permanency for children in out-of-home care.
Michelle Stacpoole
11:10 AM - 11:45 AM
11:45 AM - 12:20 PM

Daniella Park hosts plenary session six where we focus on the importance of bringing the village together to support families and carers. In this session we will hear from West Australian Minister for Child Protection, the Hon Simone McGurk about the whole-of-government approach in that state, and the Hon. Roger Jaensch MP, Tasmanian Minister for Education, Children and Youth provides an update. Intercountry adoptee Zufi Emerson speaks on the importance of remaining connected to her heritage, and we hear a little about how the My Forever Family NSW supports carers and families in that state.

Zufi Emerson Daniella Park The Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA (WA) The Hon. Roger Jaensch MP (TAS)
12:20 PM - 1:10 PM

OOHC Systemic Challenges and associated risks to children: Placement versus Permanency

Penny Hood

In this Breakout session we welcome Rose Daniel - NDIS Manager at CASPA.

Rose will discuss feedback from caseworkers, foster carers, and community members on the challenges and barriers preventing adequate NDIS supports being implemented in the care environment and what CASPA has done to help participants and families overcome these issues and secure disability services that provide the quality care their children deserve.

Rose Daniel

Introduction about My Forever Family NSW purpose and how we support carers and training

Kylie Anderson
1:10 PM - 1:55 PM
1:55 PM - 2:45 PM

Ellia Green, Adopt Change Ambassador and athlete, hosts plenary session seven where we discuss the critical topic of providing support to young people as they leave care. In this session Dr Victoria Flanagan discusses Foyer Centra, a youth transition program; the Hon. Rachel Stephen-Smith, ACT Minister for families and Community Services provides an update on progress in that state, and human rights advocate and lawyer Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts shares some of her lived experience insight.

Ellia Green Victoria Flanagan Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts Rachel Stephen-Smith (ACT)
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Indigenous Child Removal: Fixing a Broken System

Renee Carter Dr Tracy Westerman AM
4:00 PM
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Join host Joe Hidebrand as we launch the third day of the conference, focusing on the importance of creating trauma-informed and inclusive environments in schools for children in care. In this first session we will hear an update from the NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning, the Hon. Sarah Mitchell; Adopt Change CEO Renée Carter sits down with Bruce D. Perry MD, PhD, author of the best-selling book What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing; and Lived Experience Advocate Feonyx Holden shares her story.

Joe Hildebrand Renee Carter Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD The Hon. Sarah Mitchell (NSW) Feonyx Holden
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Renee Carter Gabor Maté Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD
11:15 AM - 11:45 AM
11:45 AM - 12:25 PM

Join host Louise Ransome for our second education plenary as we focus on inclusive and trauma-informed education services made available for all children in care. We will hear from Nic Danta and Chloe Duncan from the Department of Education on Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools; Victorian Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice Matthew Bach shares his personal story, and we hear about the new Empower Change program by Adopt Change, helping young people in care prepare for independence.

Louise Ransome Nicholas Danta Chloe Duncan Matthew Bach MP Kaisey Hayes
12:25 PM - 1:20 PM
1:20 PM - 2:05 PM

Hook into Books- Supporting Children and Young People to build bright futures through education and learning “Everyday Everyway”.

Dale Murray, Michelle Murray Clea North

Understanding behaviours in the classroom through a therapeutic lens.

Linda has drawn from her personal and professional experiences as an adoptive parent and educator to delve more deeply into the brain science of early trauma in her therapeutic practice – creating an accessible model for educators and families to support children and young people with an experience of trauma to access education.

Linda Cooke
2:05 PM - 2:20 PM
2:20 PM - 3:10 PM
Hosted by Michelle Stacpoole, the second national roundtable will invite delegates to contribute their input on the discussion around creating trauma-informed educational environments for children in out-of-home care and/or with a trauma background.
Michelle Stacpoole
3:10 PM - 4:00 PM

Join us for the final session of #THRIVE2022 where we focus on the future of education through a trauma-informed approach. Thomas and Joseph Bennett discuss Foster the Future, an Australian charity helping kids in care get back on track in school, and we hear from Jane Vadiveloo from Children’s Ground, a system-change organisation that privileges First Nations systems of knowledge and practice.

Helen Baker Thomas Bennett Joseph Bennett Jane Vadiveloo
4:00 PM

Please note, whilst the speakers and program is correct at time of publishing, it is subject to change.