This summit event was held in November 2017. 

Cultural institutions and venues can be rich and inspiring environments for children and families – they can unlock the imagination, engender a sense of wonder and fun, build confidence and connect young learners with a world of ideas and experiences.  Get it right and the rewards are great, for both families and cultural organisations.  - Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery, Melbourne Museum

Download Full Summit Program (PDF, 41KB)

Download Full Summit Program (DOCX, 18KB)

MC: Maxine McKew - Author and Hon Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.
Keynote speakers: Dr Tim Moore – Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and Dr Robert Brown – Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

In this increasingly overstimulated world, where the competition for leisure time has never been greater, how do you best create a meaningful, attractive offering for children and their families? How do you shape a family-friendly environment that children will want to return to and grow with?

Whether you’re looking to diversify your programming, update your skills or build your audiences, this summit offered the latest research, best practice and compelling case studies on creating family friendly creative experiences and organisations.

This event looked at the central role of family relationships in the early years of development and how to create programs and events that best meet the needs of this audience. The full day event focused on the themes of:

  • How do young people learn?
  • Who are the families that engage with cultural organisations?
  • Why do families engage with creativity – what encourages child/family participation?
  • Practitioners on the ground – what do they know? What do they need?

Maxine McKew

Image of Maxine McKew

Maxine McKew (Event MC) is an author and Hon Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her most recent book is Class Act -  a study of the key challenges in Australian schooling. Maxine’s background traverses both journalism and politics. For many years she was a familiar face to ABC TV viewers as anchor of the 7.30 Report and Lateline. In government she served as Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood, Regional Development and Local Government.

Maxine is a director of Per Capita, a think tank dedicated to fighting inequality in Australia, and the John Cain Foundation. She is also a member of the Library Board of Victoria.

Dr Tim Moore

Image of Tim Moore

Dr Tim Moore (keynote speaker) is a leading developmental psychologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. He is a respected expert on the development of policy and training in the early childhood intervention field and his work has had a significant impact on practice both nationally and internationally.

Dr Moore delivered seminars on early child development to  the team behind Melbourne Museum’s new Children’s Gallery.  This helped to inform the development and design of this highly engaging, award-winning museum experience for pre-school children.

A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, Dr Moore is the lead writer of many of the Centre for Community Child Health's reports, conference papers and policy briefs; and develops training and resource packages for early childhood and family support services. Read Dr Moore's keynote presentation (PPT, 6.3 MB)

Dr Robert Brown

Rob Brown

Dr Robert Brown has committed his career to developing and researching engaging arts and cultural experiences for children and adults for over 20 years. Dr Brown lectures at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), The University of Melbourne with a focus on arts-based pedagogy and play, child, youth and family engagement, professional learning and cultural citizenship.

Dr Brown’s PhD explored the relational encounters between children and artists. He has led large-scale research projects focused on child and family engagement in public arts programs including Mapping Engagement at ArtPlay, the Australia Council for the Arts funded ACCESS Project and the development of a Family Engagement Resource for the City of Melbourne based on research undertaken in public programs presented in libraries, arts facilities, parks and festivals.

Dr Brown is currently leading a research partnership with Museum Victoria, Interpreting and Enabling Family Engagement, and a project with the National Gallery of Victoria focused on Artful inquiry. Read Dr Brown's keynote presentation (DOCX, 13.8 MB)


Melbourne Museums Children’s Gallery Development (PPTX, 2.5 MB)
Naomi Fogel, Senior Exhibition Designer and Alex Price, Outreach Program Manager

It’s the Relationship with Library Staff That Keeps Them Coming Back (DOCX, 1.1 MB)
Catherine Maher, Storytime Host at Port Phillip Library Services

Stakeholder Engagement in Regional Victoria (PPTX, 11.8 MB)
Catherine Read, Visual Arts Educator and Feyza Yazar, Cultural Development & Public Programs Officer, Shepparton Art Museum

Respect for Our Audience: Whose Life Is It Anyway? (PPTX, 3.3 MB)
Sue Giles, Artistic Director, Polyglot Theater

National Gallery of Victoria – Multimedia Projects Created for Children and Families (PPTX, 17.0 MB)
Kate Ryan, The Truby and Florence Williams Curator of Children’s Program

Supporting Framework for Libraries - Reading and Literacy for All (PPTX, 5.3 MB)
Debra Rosenfeldt, Manager, Public Libraries, State Library of Victoria

Supporting Research for museums - Let's Go To The Museum (PPTX, 11.6 MB) Macquarie University National Research Collaboration
Annalice Creighton, Programs Coordinator at Australian National Maritime Museum
Lily Katakouzinos, Head of Programs, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
Kate Phillips, Senior Curator, Science Exhibitions at Museums Victoria.

The Growing Audiences: Engaging Children and Families Summit was a collaborative event presented by the creative industries portfolio Agencies Education and Learning Network

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