Panel discussion: Diversity, inclusion and equity in EC education and parenting support

About this event

As part of the UK/Australia Season*, the QUT Centre for Child and Famly Studies and the University of Portsmouth (UoP), School of Education and Sociology (EDSOC) will bring together online a multi-disciplinary panel of researchers, advocates, policy makers, and service providers to respond to the panel topic:

Diversity, inclusion and equity in early education and parenting support, with a focus on “Where are we now and where are we going.”

The panel will join online and will briefly speak to the following points, followed by question, answer and discussion time:

Three speakers from the UK, and three from Australia have been invited to contribute to the panel before a moderated discussion. The provocations for each speaker are:

  • 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?

Event Time: 8pm Sydney (AEDT), 7pm Brisbane (AEST), 9am London (GMT)

Speakers from Australia include:

Life Course Centre Research Fellow, Dr Rosemary Cahill: Senior Principal Research Fellow in the Parenting and Families Team at Telethon Kids Institute

Life Course Centre Chief Investigator, Professor Karen Thorpe: The University of Queensland; Chair, Australian Early Education and Care Reference Group

Alison 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.

Speakers fom the UK include:

Professor Sherria Hoskins: Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Civic Engagement lead at the University of Portsmouth

Ms Sarah Christopher: Portsmouth Education Partnership and Schools Inclusion Manager

Dr Sukh Hamilton: Academic and expert in the experiences of British Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women, Special Educational Needs and Childhood bereavement.

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.

Sarah Christopher is the Education Partnership and School Inclusion Manager for Portsmouth City Council (UK). Sarah has over 25 years’ experience working in education, primarily in East London and more recently in Portsmouth, UK. Her experience includes senior leadership, curriculum and pastoral management roles in secondary schools and local authority advisory work in London and Portsmouth. Sarah currently manages the Portsmouth Education Partnership, which brings together all Portsmouth schools and partners to improve attainment and opportunities for all children and young people across the city. Sarah is committed to inclusive education and works with schools to promote inclusion. She has a particular passion for work around promoting equality and emotional wellbeing. Sarah works in co-production with children and young people, parents/ carers, schools and colleges, proactively seeking to ensure young people’s voices are heard and responded to.

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.

Privacy notice: Please note that this event is being run as part of the British Council UK / Australia Season*, and is being evaluated by both QUT (you will receive a post-event survey link), as well as the Audience Agency in the UK. We will not share any identifying personal information with any external parties unless we explicitly seek your permission to do so, or we are required to do so by law. However, aggregate audience characteristic data across our events, as well as anonymised post-event feedback survey data will be provided to the British Council and its evaluation partners. 

*The UK / Australia Season is a joint initiative by the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), designed to strengthen and build cultural connections.

 Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Early Education and Parenting Support image

Date & Time

Wed, 23 February, 2022

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm (AEDT)






QUT Centre for Child and Family Studies

University of Portsmouth School of Education and Sociology