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Institute of Early Childhood




Institute of Early Childhood response to the NSW Department of Education and Communities (2012)

The Institute Advisory Board and the staff of the IEC, prepared a submission responding to the NSW Department of Education and Communities (2012) Great Teaching, Inspired Learning: Discussion paper. In this document, we focused on early childhood teachers and education in the years prior to school - a significant gap in understanding evident throughout this Discussion paper. 

Great Teaching Inspired Learning: Discussion paper

IEC - wiggles

ARIA Big night for The Wiggles and Boy & Bear

Well-known IEC alumni Anthony Field, Murray Cook and Greg Page are founding members of The Wiggles and met while studying Early Childhood Education. The popular children's music group picked up their 10th best children's album ARIA at last night's awards. and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The Wiggles specifically thanked Macquarie University saying that their early research studies "really gave us the basis for what we do". The Wiggles provide a bi-annual financial prize to an Indigenous student studying the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Services).


IEC - honours iec

Congratulations  to our Honours Students

Six candidates celebrated submitting their Honours thesis on November 10. The production of these works (each about 18 000 words) is the culmination of two years of intensive research training. Everyone completed advanced course work in the third year of their degree and embarked on an individual research project in the fourth year. This year, topics under investigation included children's self efficacy, early childhood teacher identity, selection of child care, water safety, play therapy and interactive white boards. Examiners' noted the exceptional quality of everyone's research. Congratulations to all on a great achievement.

Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship

 Institute of Early Childhood 2011 Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 2011 Scholarship winners.  

  • The Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship - Caleb Wilson
  • The Jo Pender Memorial Award for Cultural Perspective in Aboriginal Early Childhood Curriculum Year 2 Studies - Annette Thorne
  • The Jo Pender Memorial Award for Management in Aboriginal Early Childhood Services Year 5 Studies - Carol Russell
  • Ruth Way Memorial Prize for Honours in Early Childhood - Kelly Simpson
  • Ruth Way Memorial Prize for 400 Level Child Development - Zoe Boland
  • The Kindergarten Union Children's Services Award - Meryl Ching
  • The Kathy Griffith Early Childhood Encouragement Scholarship - Shannon Crane
  • The Wiggles Arts Scholarship - Uriel Whipp
  • The SDN Hilda Antill Leadership Scholarship - Leyla Eide
  • The Macquarie University's Alumni Honours Scholarship - Ruth Cortejos

We congratulate these students and share in their pleasure, as Leyla Eide, recipient of the 2011 Hilda Antill Leaderships award stated":

"I feel incredibly honoured to have been chosen as the 2011 Hilda Antill Leadership Scholarship recipient. This scholarship is extremely important because it comes from such a highly reputable organisation within the field of early childhood education. It sends out a clear message to early childhood students that their talents and hard work is truly valued by one of the largest organisations within the field. Such support is crucial at a time when early childhood professionals are fighting an uphill battle for any true recognition and appreciation for their work. Thank you SDN, for reminding us that what we do, and doing it well, matters.
For me personally, receiving the Hilda Antill Scholarship has provided me with the financial support necessary to visit my family and friends back in Norway. I have not seen them for over two years and I miss them more than words can express. Thank you SDN, for making it possible for me to finally hug my mum again!  I would also like to thank Ginie Udie for instantly making me feel part of the SDN community. I am proud to be associated with an organisation that matches my own philosophy and beliefs so precisely."


Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship

The Institute of Early Childhood and Apcarian family are pleased to announce that the winner of the inaugural Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship is Caleb Wilson.

The Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship was offered for the first time in 2011. This scholarship honours the life of Ani Apcarian. Ani was a student in early childhood education, who very sadly lost her life in a plane crash in 2009. Ani graduated posthumously in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts. Ani was a very keen volunteer in the Armenian community, volunteering at the Armenian school. This scholarship honours Ani's commitment to volunteering and her passion for early childhood education, her chosen career which she did not get to pursue because her life was so tragically cut short.

The purpose of the scholarship is to enable the holder to pursue a full-time program of study leading to a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education), within the Institute for Early Childhood at Macquarie University. Congratulations to Caleb on being the inaugural recipient of this award. 

Cologon and Hayden visiting Timor Leste

IEC staff visit Timore Leste (TL)

Professor Jacqueline Hayden and  Dr Kathy Cologon were recently invited to visit  Timore Leste (TL)  under the auspices of  UNICEF TL and the  Open Society Institute, UK. (OSI).  Meetings were held with EC stakeholders including Ministry staff and representative from NGOs to discuss areas for potential partnership and research projects. As a result staff and PhD students from CFRC and IEC  will be involved in several projects in 2011 and beyond. 

In this photo Kathy Cologon and Jacqueline Hayden enjoy an informal chat with the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Xanana Gusmao.

Inaugral IEC Children and Childhoods Symposium

Inaugral IEC Children and Childhoods Symposium

The inaugural Children and Childhoods Symposium is to be held at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, 24 - 25 September 2010. The Symposium provides opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share current research, examples of early years innovative practice and new directions in thinking about children and childhoods.

The Wiggles honoured by Macquarie University

The Wiggles honoured by Macquarie University

Macquarie Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steven Schwartz, said the honorary doctorate was in recognition of the significant contribution Murray Cook (Red Wiggle), Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle), Jeff Fatt (Purple Wiggle), Sam Moran (Yellow Wiggle) and founding member, Greg Page (former Yellow Wiggle), had made to early childhood education in Australia and internationally.

"The Wiggles have demonstrated a unique ability to relate to their young audience," Professor Schwartz said. "At the heart of their success lies a deep respect for young people coupled with a commitment to combine entertainment with education."

Anthony came up with the idea for The Wiggles while studying early childhood education at Macquarie with Murray and Greg under the guidance of Dr Kathleen Warren. The three began writing children's songs as part of a music project - they enlisted the assistance of Jeff and The Wiggles were born.

"We are very proud here at Macquarie to have played some small part in the band's formation," Professor Schwartz said. "Importantly, we recognise them today not only for being accomplished song writers and performers, but also for their outstanding talents as early childhood educators."

During their 18 years of recording and performing, The Wiggles have achieved awards and sales figures that would be the envy of any artist in any genre. They have made history for winning the most ARIA Awards in any one category and have sold more than 23 million DVDs and seven million CDs worldwide.

In acknowledging their commercial success, Professor Schwartz also applauded the group for their charity and community work. The Wiggles devote considerable time to working with children with additional needs and, in 2008, took this a step further when they were named UNICEF goodwill ambassadors, particularly focusing on numeracy and literacy for children.

Murray Cook acknowledged the important role the University's Institute of Early Childhood has had on shaping the success of The Wiggles. "It's wonderful to be able to use what we've learned about education and apply it in a different way, by communicating to children with music," Cook said.

"On behalf of The Wiggles, it is an honour to receive this award and for Macquarie to acknowledge the important educational element that is the very foundation of what we do."

Contact: Samantha Norris
Phone: (02) 9850 7456
Publish Date: 30 Sep 2009

IEC Creative Arts staff in Venice Biennale Project

IEC Creative Arts staff in Venice Biennale Project

Dr Rosalind Kitson and Dr Peter Whiteman of the Institute of Early Childhood (IEC) have been actively engaged in a joint venture with the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (COFA), under the auspices of the Australia Council for the Arts to prepare educational resources to accompany the Australian contribution to La Biennale di Venezia. This prestigious visual arts exhibition presents contemporary works of artists representing more than 77 countries and is visited by over 295,000 people during the five months of the exhibition.

Australia Council's Australia Venice Biennale 2009

The resources are available as part of the Australia Council's Australia Venice Biennale website ( The Australia Council teaching the learning resources can be found at ( Materials developed by the team from COFA and IEC, have been designed to engage teachers in provoking children's thoughtful responses to the work of the artists as springboards to the design and construction of their own artworks.

Kerry Hodge receives a Churchill Fellowship

CFRC Postdoctoral Fellow awarded a 2009 Churchill Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr Kerry Hodge

Dr Kerry Hodge is among 106 Australians to receive a Churchill Fellowship in 2009. Kerry has been awarded the Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship, which will allow her to visit overseas programs for gifted preschoolers to learn about their approaches to identifying gifted children, curriculum, parent involvement and transition to school. She will also visit demonstration centres for early childhood curricula that show potential for use with gifted preschoolers and have discussions with providers of pre-service and in-service training in gifted education for early childhood teachers. Kerry will travel to the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom for 6 weeks in April-May 2010. Her goal is to help early childhood teachers to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence to provide for gifted children in playgroups, preschools and childcare centres in Australia and to support their families. Kerry will apply the knowledge she gains during her fellowship to her research and teaching at Macquarie University, her writing for academic and general audiences and her work for the STaR Inclusive Early Childhood Association in developing programs for young gifted children and professional development for their teachers.