Childhood Summit
28-30 March, 2019
Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane

Play is essential for children. As adults we can support play by providing or enabling access to environments where children move freely, create and imagine.

The physical play environment was a key theme at the Inaugural Childhood Summit held over three days in 2019 in late March. Hosted by Nature Play Queensland, the dominant theme was … nature play! Innovation, research and practice was shared from varying perspectives including child health, environment, community, infrastructure and education.The summit featured a loose parts pop-up playground, workshops and walkshops with keynote and panel addresses from students, educators, practitioners and researchers.
Research highlights:

  • Dotted around the conference space were handwritten postcards shared by children who participated in the Growing up in Queensland project. More than 7000 children aged between four and 18 participated. You can read the report here.
  • The Neighborhood Play Project: Led by Nature Play Queensland with support from the Queensland Government, this project aims to reactivate neighbourhoods to encourage children to meet and play. To access more information on this project, click here.
  • Kids in Communities Study (KiCS) is a large research project that aims to identify how aspects of communities can impact childhood development. You can find the study here.

Playgroup Queensland was delighted to sponsor a keynote address by Robyn Monro-Miller, President of the International Play Association. Robyn’s bio can be found here.

The summit closed with a thought-provoking talk delivered by Professor Karen Malone who challenged the idea that “nature” should be conceived as something separate from the human-built world. Professor Malone is an international expert on urban ecologies, environmental education and early childhood studies. She has a specific focus on children’s encounters of urban environments.

For a full list of speakers and more information regarding the summit please go to: