Witnesses in our scheduled public hearings have also provided written submissions to support their statements. These are available to download below.

Session 3: What do we know about the state of South Australia’s ECEC sector?

The participants of this panel have not been asked to supply written submissions in advance of the panel.

Gordon Combes is currently the Director of The Briars Specialised Early Education Centre, a purpose-built special options preschool for children with additional needs including complex communication impairment and trauma.

As part of his current role at The Briars, he leads the state-wide outreach Advisory Service that supports sites and support services in working with children with additional needs.

Learn more about Gordon Combes

Jane Lemon has been involved in early childhood education in South Australia for more than 40 years.

She has a been a preschool teacher and Director, and worked in leadership positions in regional and state offices. She has been instrumental in the successful development, expansion and evaluation of state wide programs for families and young children and in supporting program development in Victoria and the ACT.

Learn more about Jane Lemon

When Catherine was in grade one at primary school in Port Augusta, the teacher was asking children to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up – Catherine drew a picture of a very tall, ABBA inspired woman with deadly red heels. The teacher very positively remarked that she would be a wonderful performer, Catherine quietly responded that it was a drawing of herself as a kindy teacher!

Fast forward 40 plus years and she has been working for the last 20 years in southern Adelaide as an early years teacher and leader currently in her 10th year as Director of Taikurrendi Children and Family centre, Christies Beach, a DfE integrated education and care site which provides preschool, occasional care and family support programs for the community. Taikurrendi comes from the Kaurna language meaning, ‘to be mixed together.’ And it is this that inspires her work – the mixing of education, culture and community.

Learn more about Catherine Cavouras

Session 5: A panel to discuss the history and key innovations in South Australia’s preschool system

Professor Sandie Wong is a Professor in Early Childhood at the Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University, and currently holds a three-year Research Fellowship with Goodstart Early Learning. Sandie has worked as an academic, manager, researcher, evaluator, educator, consultant and nurse, within a range of early childhood, academic and health organisations.

Her research is driven by a concern with the role early childhood education has in ameliorating disadvantage and reducing marginalisation both contemporaneously and historically.

Learn more about Professor Sandie Wong

Submission to Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care (PDF, 698.7 KB)

Dr Victoria Whitington is an Adjust Associate Professor at the University of South Australia. Most recently she was Dean of Programs in Education Futures and previously Associate Dean of School of Education.

Her research includes critical perspectives on children's learning and development, children's wellbeing in education settings and early brain development.

She is currently the Presiding Member of the Child Development Council SA.

Learn more about Dr Victoria Whitington

Drawing on the diversity and strength of early childhood education in South Australia  (PDF, 265.5 KB)

Session 4: What do we know about how ECEC can support child development?

Professor Iram Siraj (OBE) has held positions at the Universities of Warwick, UCL and Oxford. Iram has an international reputation and expertise for longitudinal research and policy and has co-directed a number of world-first influential studies.

She has over 250 publications, including three widely-used quality rating scales in the cognitive (ECERS-E 4th Ed. 2010), social-emotional (SSTEW, 2015) and physical (MOVERS, 2017) domains that are currently being used in many countries to enhance professional development of staff.

Learn more about Professor Iram Siraj

Submission to the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care (PDF, 681.8 KB)

Session 2:  What are the key inputs to changing a child’s development outcome?

Dr Hayley Guiney is a research fellow at the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Research Unit. The Research Unit runs the ongoing Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (also known as the Dunedin Study) which is a detailed study of human health, development and behaviour.

Learn more about Dr Hayley Guiney

Dunedin Study evidence (PDF, 541.3 KB)