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History : Social Justice in Early Childhood

“The Social Justice Group has an interesting history. It arose out of a number of groups that were operating before 1995 focusing on Anti Bias issues. 1995 was the ‘International Year of Tolerance’ and a number of people within these groups were invited to get together to organise a conference addressing related early childhood issues within the ‘International Year of Tolerance’. The conference was a huge success, though more importantly, those of us who were part of the conference organising committee (Betty Hopson, Leonie Arthur, Kerryn Jones, Sandra Cheeseman, Louise Brennan, Chris Legg, Anthea Hotten) found that we really enjoyed working together. We were like minded people that had particular views around social justice issues and so we felt inspired through the organisation of the conference. At the completion of the conference we had a wrap up session where we wanted to evaluate the conference…and that’s how the group began”

History 2021

17th Annual Conference - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 2021

Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 17.

When: Saturday 31 July 2021
Time: 9am – 4.30pm
Where: Online
Tickets: $35 (plus small booking fee)

Register here

Download: SJIEC 2021 Conference Program - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 17

History 2020

16th Annual Conference - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 2020

Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 16.

When: Saturday 25 July 2020
Time: 9am – 4.30pm
Where: Online
Tickets: $20 (plus small booking fee)

Our 16th annual conference was a great success! A day full of amazing presenters and panels, we were pleased to be able to reach a much wider audience through online delivery for the first time.

Download: SJIEC 2020 Conference Program - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 16

History 2019

15th Annual Conference - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 2019

Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 15. Details and conference program below:

When: Saturday 27 July 2019
Time: 8.30am – 4.30pm
Where: Redfern Community Centre, Redfern, Sydney
Tickets: $65 – to purchase click here
Food: Morning tea and lunch provided

Download: SJIEC 2019 Annual Conference Program - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater

History 2018

14th Annual Conference - Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater 2018

On Saturday 28 July at Redfern Community Centre, Sydney we enjoyed an incredible day of inspiring speakers. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and efforts to either organising the day and/or presenting. A selection of presentations from the day:

SJIEC Conference Panel: Social justice, pedagogy and social media: Teachers talking social justice:
Alistair Gibbs – “When you’re sharing all of your selves, that’s when anti-bias works best”. Alistair on the power of vulnerability in embedding anti-bias practise in our work with children and families.
Stephen Gallen – Stephen respectfully (and with beauty) shared his revelations about children’s perspective and agency that deep reflection provides.
Kathy Gelding – Kathy passionately shared the beginnings of her exciting PhD research along with the important work she does with tertiary students surrounding contemporary Aboriginal art and perspectives.

Live Broadcast of The Early Education Show with Lisa Bryant, Liam McNicholas and Leanne Gibbs.

Trish Highfield – Annual Nick Murphie Memorial Keynote: children in immigration detention: Calculated cruelty – State sanctioned suffering. Trish’s fearless, shocking and heartbreaking sharing about children in detention shook us to our collective core. We are moved to listen, to reflect and to respond individually and together in anyway we possible can.
Trish Highfield

A/Prof Felicity McArdle: Keynote Address: Somethin’ about art and culture. Associate Professor Felicity McArdle asked us ‘What does art actually do and how does it work?’ We were reminded that artists have the power to shift the ways we see the world and how powerful and lasting art can be as a means of communication.
Something about arts and social justice

Download: 2018 SJIEC Annual Conference Program

13th Annual Conference - Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater 2017

The 13th Annual Conference was held on Saturday 29th July, 2017 at the Redfern Community Centre, Sydney. We had a sell-out crowd and it was a fantastic day.

The program from the day can be downloaded below.

History 2015

MEDIA RELEASE - Annual Conference Part 2 Melbourne, 2015

During Children’s Week, along side Community Child Care Co-operative NSW and the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative, we stood united with the Royal Children’s Hospital in advocating for child asylum seekers both on and offshore. A copy of the media release can be found and downloaded below.

Following on from this, at our annual conference today (Saturday 21 November) in Melbourne, the attendees of the conference will be finishing up the day with a group action of letter writing to our Government asking again for immediate action.

Download: 2015 SJIEC Annual Conference Melbourne MEDIA RELEASE

History 2015

Media Release Children's Week 2015 - Children in detention

Social Justice In Early Childhood (SJIEC), Community Child Care Cooperative NSW (CCCCNSW) and Ethnic Community Services Co-operative (ECSC) stand united with the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, in advocating for child asylum seekers in detention both on and off shore. We are standing up for their rights as they face abuse and neglect. We demand that our Government release all children from detention.

Please download full media release below.

Download: Media Release Children's Week 2015 - Call for immediate release of children in Australia's on- and off-shore detention facilities

History 2015

SJIEC Annual Conference MELBOURNE!

SJIEC is excited to announce we are bringing the 12th Annual Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater conference to Melbourne in November, 2015. The Sydney version of this conference, themed Gender and the Arts, received excellent positive feedback and several Melbourne attendees suggested the conference should travel interstate! So please find below the Conference Program for download, which reflects some of the presentations in Sydney and some new content for our Melbourne colleagues.

When: Saturday 21 November 2015
Time: 8.30am – 4.00pm
Where: Australian Education Union, 112 Trenerry Cres, Abbotsford, Melbourne
Cost: $50 per person, payable on the day in cash

To register, please download the Registration Form below and email it to

Download: SJIEC 2015 Annual Conference Part 2: Gender and the Arts, Melbourne
Download: Registration Form SJIEC 2015 Annual Conference Melbourne

History 2015

12th Annual Conference 2015 - Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater - Gender & the Arts

Wow. What a day it was.
People are still talking about it.
Facebook feed is buzzing with activity.
Letters to politicians are being written.
Big things are being planned for Melbourne…

Download: 2015 Conf Program FINAL

History 2014

SJIEC Hunter Region Mini-conference: Political activism and social justice in ECEC

On Monday 5 May 2014, the University of Newcastle hosted a mini-­conference co-organised by SJIEC, Hunter Early Childhood Australia and the University of Newcastle, and led by Dr Zsuzsa Millei from the School of Education. The mini-conference explored ways in which we all can engage in political activism and how children’s rights to quality care and education could be translated into everyday practices in settings.

The conference was open to early childhood practitioners, service providers, academics, students, parents and those who influence decision making in relation to early childhood provisions. There were 50 people from the Hunter region in attendance.

Please see below the Conference Program, Summary Notes compiled from all the presentations and discussion, and the presentations of several speakers. The key organiser, Zsuzsa Millei, has also allowed us to publish an opinion piece that relates to the theme of the event.

Download: SJIEC Hunter Mini-Conference Program 5 May 2014
Download: SJIEC Hunter Mini-Conference Summary Notes 5 May 2014
Download: Opinion piece by Zsuzsa Millei: "Preschool funding - economic and moral necessity"
Download: Presentation by Dr Marianne Fenech (Macquarie University): "Systems advocacy"
Download: Presentation by Kathryn Bown (Charles Sturt University): "Policy vision in ECEC"