News and events

03 September 2019

Enjoy a panel discussion with Early Childhood experts at the 2019 Jean Ferguson Memorial Lecture on Tuesday 3rd September. A PD certificate will be provided to all attendees.

About our speakers:

Leanne Hunter
Director at Mitchelton Pre-Schooling Centre

“Enough, For all, Forever”; “Think global, act local”. We hear these calls often, yet it is easy to become overwhelmed by the urgency for taking on sustainable actions, now. As Teachers and Educators working with young children we are in a privileged position to build understandings. Little ripples of understanding may lead to bigger ripples creating waves of impact. Demonstrating sustainability in early childhood settings requires much more than rocks and logs (Elliott, 2012). To enact and embed sustainable practices, we must nurture positive and respectful relationships with and within the world. What do children understand about the natural environment, sustainability and stewardship? When children sort their rubbish, do they understand why? These and many other questions inform our environmentally responsible decisions when affording micro and macro learning opportunities.

Leanne is Director at Mitchelton Pre-Schooling Centre, a three-unit Brisbane kindergarten. She advocates for play both in her everyday practice and consultancy work. Leanne co-authored Progressing Play: Practicalities, intentions and possibilities in emerging co-constructed curriculum in 2012. She is a recipient of Community Merit Awards for Leadership and Innovation in Early Childhood Teaching Methods.


Dr Lyndal O’Gorman
Senior Lecturer, QUT Faculty of Education, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education

Sustainability and the Arts

Sustainability is a complex topic. Nonetheless it is a topic that needs to be explored in our work with young children. Nature play and recycling are traditional approaches to sustainability in early childhood, but the arts can provide us with new ways of thinking and languages for communicating about sustainability with young children. However, some artworks and images can be quite confronting, for children and for adults. Making art is a fundamentally important part of early childhood education, but this presentation will focus on the responding aspects of arts education. I will explore some of the ethical issues involved in the implementation of a current research study. This study focusses on American artist Chris Jordan’s confronting images about sustainability. Jordan’s images typically depict tens of thousands of objects such as plastic cups, garbage and threatened species. Confounded by large numbers and confronted by potentially traumatic images, how might children access the enormity of the sustainability issues explored in Jordan’s work? Researchers and educators have a responsibility to ensure children are not harmed through our work with them so careful planning and ethical practices are essential. However, there are strong grounds for presenting such powerful images as educative tools and for generating useful conversations with children about mass consumption, pollution and unsustainable practices. I will argue that the ethical challenges and risks in using Chris Jordan’s images are worth taking in order to create new ways of discussing sustainability through the arts.

Lyndal O’Gorman is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology. Prior to this she taught in Education Queensland primary schools in Brisbane and Far North Queensland. Lyndal is also a member of the Queensland Early Childhood Sustainability Network committee. Her qualifications include Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Education and PhD. Lyndal’s current teaching and research endeavours at QUT include the topics of early childhood and primary arts education, education for sustainability, play pedagogies, interdisciplinary learning and teaching, and early childhood leadership. Lyndal is building a track record of research investigating the intersection of the arts and education for sustainability. She was co-leader of the 4th Transnational Dialogues in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability, in Victoria, British Columbia, in September 2017, and is planning ahead for the next gathering in Europe in 2020.

Register here to attend

03 September 2019 - 03 September 2019
6.00pm for a 6.30pm start to 9.00pm
Education Precinct, E Block, Kelvin Grove Campus
Level 5 Function Room
$60 per person, or $40 for current QUT students
QUT Advancement (Alumni)
Chrissie Peppin
07 3138 1833
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