Network Conference

2019 Network Conference

Ignite your passion and celebrate your purpose!

The Network 2019 Conference was held on Friday 22nd of November at Rydges Sydney Central, Surry Hills.

This one-day Conference, featuring inspiring speakers such as keynote speaker Anthony Semann (“What matters in the everyday: Beyond compliance and monitoring”), and a panel of experts on all things OOSH, was followed by an evening Cocktail Function to celebrate 45 years of Network of Community Activities supporting the OOSH sector.

View/Download the 2019 Conference flyer


Past Conferences

2017 Network Conference

Enriching Childhood
Friday 26th May – Sunday 28th May 2017
International College of Management Sydney
151 Darley Road Manly


Dr Lyn O’Grady – Dr Lyn O’Grady is a Community Psychologist with a particular interest in the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and families. Lyn has worked with parents in parenting programs, individually at the community level and in schools for over 20 years. She is currently the National Project Manager for Strategic Projects at the Australian Psychological Society, including the KidsMatter project.

Morgan Lander – Morgan has a passion for protecting the vulnerable. He has facilitated peer learning in a range of risk management areas, inc. roles with NSW CCYP and the Office of the Children’s Guardian. His delivery style and content knowledge are his key strengths.

Maggie Dent – Commonly known as Australia’s “queen of common sense”, Maggie Dent is an author of ten books, an educator, and parenting and resilience specialist with a particular interest in the early years and adolescence.

2015 Network Conference

Enriching Childhood
Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th May
International College of Management Sydney, Manly


Wendy Russell
Wendy is a Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork/Professional Studies
in Children’s Play at University of Gloucestershire, UK and a consultant on children’s play and playwork.

Stuart Lester
After many years working on adventure playgrounds and community play projects in the NW of England, Stuart is now Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork/Professional Studies in Children’s Play at the University of Gloucestershire, UK.

2013 Network Conference

Enriching Childhood
Friday 17th – Sunday 19th May
International College of Management Sydney, Manly


Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Author & Child Psychologist

Sue Roffey
Author & international authority on children’s behaviour

Megan Mitchell
National Children’s Commissioner

David Bennett
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry &
Director, Youth Health & Wellbeing, NSW Kids & Families

Claire Warden (U.K.)
World leader in connecting children to their environment

Marc Armitage (U.K.)
Author, consultant & researcher on children’s play

2011 Network Conference

“Through The Eyes of Children”
Friday May 20 – Sunday May 22, 2011
International College of Management, Manly

Our keynote speaker was Robin Grille

Robin took us on a journey that began with the surprising and often shocking history and evolution of parenting. With the aid of recent revolutionary discoveries about early childhood development and the human brain, the history of childhood offers vital clues about the roots of human violence and social disharmony.

This inspirational lecture, based on Robin’s book: ‘Parenting for a Peaceful World’ provided a fascinating look at parenting customs that have shaped societies and major world events. Robin draws upon revolutionary new research to argue that safeguarding children’s emotional development is the key to creating a more peaceful and harmonious world.

2009 Network Conference

Reclaiming Childhood in the 21st Century
Networks Biannual Conference – May 15-17 2009
International College of Hospitality and Management, Manly

Keynote Speaker 2009

Our keynote speaker in 2009 was Dr Sharna Olfman.

Sharna is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities and Human Sciences at Point Park College, Pittsburgh, where she specializes in Child Development.

She is also Founding Director of the annual Childhood and Society Symposium held at the university. Sharna is the author or editor of six books, including All Work and No Play(2003), Childhood Lost (2005), No Child Left Different, (2006), and Bipolar Children(2007).

2007 Network Conference

Network held the bi-annual State Conference from Friday May 18 – Sunday May 20, 2007 at the International College of Management, Manly.

The theme was: “Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s Community” which encouraged debate on some key questions:

  • How do childhood experiences impact on the development of communities in the future?
  • What is the role of the OOSH service in community development?
  • How do OOSH services encourage children to participate in and learn about community?
  • What can OOSH practitioners do to ensure that their role in children’s development?

Keynote Speaker

Our Keynote Speaker in 2007 was Theresa Casey. Theresa is an independent writer and play consultant, and mother of two small children, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has special interests in play, inclusion and environments for play.

She began her play career in an adventure playground supporting children with disabilities and/or additional support needs in a family and community context. Since then, her experience comes both from the UK and overseas, notably Thailand where she spent three years with the Foundation for Child Development (FCD) developing play projects for children in disadvantaged circumstances. While with FCD a playground designed and developed with staff and children in a Bangkok slum community was joint winner of the IPA International Playground Design Competition.

2005 Conference

The 2005 conference was held at the International College of Tourism and Hotel Management in Manly on Friday 13th – Sunday 15th May 2005

The theme was Middle Childhood – Passions, Frustrations, Inspirations!

Our keynote speaker was Andrew Fuller – A clinical psychologist and family therapist who works to create resilience in families, communities and schools.