The conference

YACVic's 2017 conference, Front + Centre, will explore themes around the changing nature of youth work, the complexities of our practice and how we tell the compelling story of youth work and its positive impacts. Front + Centre will be held between 18 – 20 October 2017 at the Pullman on the Park, Melbourne.

Sector Defining

Front + Centre will bring together youth workers from community, government and for-purpose agencies to shape the future of the youth sector.

We’ll explore the hot topics, tackle the big questions and discuss new research and good practice.

We’re talking three days jam-packed with inspiring presentations, thought-provoking conversations and hands-on workshops from some of the most renowned thinkers and doers in youth work.

Program snapshot

Day 1 – Our Practice: today and beyond

The big picture — youth work now and in the futureEnding family violence and promoting respectful relationshipsYouth justice is everybody's business

Day 2 – Using data and telling stories

Studying young Australians’ lives to help shape the future Telling powerful stories of youth work Sparking change through collaborative arts

Day 3 – Inclusive engagement 

Young people, gender and sexuality  Are you ready for the NDIS?Meaningful youth engagement and participation

Each day will provide interactive workshops on a range of topics, across research, policy and advocacy, youth work 101 and practice masterclasses. You will learn from ground-breaking researchers, thought-leaders and practitioners; share ideas for navigating the ever-changing challenges and complexities of our practice; develop ways to articulate and communicate the value and impact of youth work and, build meaningful connections with passionate peers.

Tickets and registrations

Registrations for Front + Centre have now closed.

Conference app

Get ready for Front + Centre by downloading our mobile app, your pocket pal for all things conference. Check out the great range of inspiring speakers, sessions and workshops plus a bunch of extras. The perks include:

  • Easy networking – connect with other delegates
  • Craft your own personal schedule from the full conference program
  • Pre-conference planning and research
  • Promote your work though your individual profile

If you've already registered, you can log in and craft a profile, connect with other attendees, and build your own schedule from our jam-packed program of sessions and breakout workshops. Don't miss a thing and get on board!

Download for Apple app store

Download from Google Play

Inside tip #1: The app's not just for phones! You can also use it in a web browser once you're registered.

Inside tip #2: Once you’ve verified your account and you’re in the app, go to ‘Edit profile’ and uncheck ‘set profile to private’ so you’re visible to other attendees.

Digital Share Kit

#YACVicFC

We have prepared this Digital Share Kit to help make your life easy. Here you can find all the text and links you will need to ensure your networks know about our exciting sector-wide event. Just simply copy and paste—you’re welcome to tweak if you wish.

Front + Centre 2017 Digital Share Kit (PDF)

Front + Centre Digital Share Kit (Word)

Getting there

Public transport  

The venue is directly opposite Jolimont train station.

The 48 and 75 trams stop outside the venue (stop 11). See Journey Planner Melbourne for more details. 

Parking

There is limited parking at the venue for $30 per day. 

There is 24-hr parking at Wilson Parking, 32 Flinders Street, Melbourne. They offer an early bird special of $24 if you enter before 10am and exit after 2pm.

Accommodation

Do you need a place to stay? We’ve got you covered. Take advantage of the range of great accommodation deals below — just mention 'Youth Affairs Council Victoria' when you book! 

The Pullman Melbourne on the Park (conference venue)
192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne Victoria 3002 
Available 17-21 October
$253 per night (includes breakfast and WiFi)

Knightsbridge Apartments
101 George St, East Melbourne Victoria 3002
Available 17-21 OctoberOne night
$109 – 3+ nights $99 each Distance: 5 minute walk

Quest on Melbourne
48 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne Victoria 3002 
Available 18 & 19 (early reservations encouraged)
One night $240+
Distance: 7 minute walk 

Mantra on Jolimont
133 Jolimont Road, East Melbourne Victoria 3002
Available 17-21 October
One night $189
Distance: 9 minute walk 

Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens
13 Spring Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000 
Available 17-21 October
One night $220
Distance: 11 minute walk 

Hotel Lindrum Melbourne
26 Flinders St, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Available 17-21 October
One night $315
Distance: 12 minute walk 

Punthill Apartments Hotel Manhattan
267 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Victoria 3000 
Available 17-21 October (early reservations encouraged)
One night $213
Distance: 15 minute walk

Conference program

  • Day 1 Wednesday 18 October
  • 8.00 – 8.50am Registration and morning tea
    Ballroom Foyer
  • 8.40 – 9.30am Opening

    Welcome to Country – Wurundjeri Elder

    The Hon. Jenny Mikakos MP, Minister for Families and Children, Minister for Youth Affairs

    Culture Evolves, Indigenous performance collective

    Leo Fieldgrass CEO, Youth Affairs Council Victoria

    MC Nelly Thomas, comedian and health advocate

    Grand Ballroom
  • 9.30 – 10.30am Session 1: The big picture

    What does it mean to be a youth worker in 2017? What might youth work look like in years to come? What do we hope for our sector and how will we achieve our goals? Learn about innovative contemporary practice and future trends.

    Dr Tim Corney, Associate Professor, College of Arts & Education, Victoria University

    Dr. Philippa Collin, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

    Sally Thompson, Deputy Director, Sector Engagement and Capability Development, Future Social Service Institute

    Dr. Howard Sercombe, youth work academic and author of Youth Work Ethics

    Aref Ramazani, positive change storyteller

    Edie Shepherd, Bachelor of youth work student, Victoria University

    Moderator: Carmel Guerra, CEO, Centre for Multicultural Youth

    Grand Ballroom
  • 10.30 – 11.00am Morning tea

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 11.00 – 12.00pm Concurrent workshops

    Research: Addressing young people disengaged from learning and employment, Delacombe.

    Policy and advocacy: Partnerships vs. relationships in youth projects, Stradbroke.

    Practice masterclass: How to support and protect trans and gender questioning young people, Huntingfield.

    Practice 101: Ethical practice for youth workers, Grand Ballroom.
  • 12.00 – 12.45pm Lunch

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 12.45 – 1.35pm Session 2: Ending family violence and promoting respectful relationships

    Victoria is embarking on landmark policy and services responses to end family violence. What role will the youth sector play in these reforms? How might we work best with young people to promote and enable respectful relationships?

    Emily Maguire, CEO, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

    Fiona McCormack, CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria

    Kim Wood, Respectful Relationships Education Coordinator and Social Worker, Northern Centre against Sexual Assault, Austin Health

    Erin Gillen, Senior Policy Advisor, Young People, Our Watch
  • 1.40 – 2.40pm Concurrent workshops

    Research: Sex-ed: What do young people REALLY want?, Delacombe.

    Policy and advocacy: How the National Youth Settlement Framework can inform and enhance working with multicultural youth, Stradbroke.

    Practice masterclass: Know your worth, show your worth: Sharing the value of local government youth services, Huntingfield.

    Practice 101: Practical strategies for engaging young people disengaged from education, Grand Ballroom.
  • 2.40 – 3.10pm Afternoon tea

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 3.10 – 4.10pm Session 3: Youth justice is everybody's business

    All youth workers can help divert young people from the justice system, or better support those who have had contact. What's working well in youth crime diversion and rehabilitation of young offenders? How might we increase youth voice in youth justice? And how can we counter sensationalist media or misinformation about these issues?

    Prof. Mark Halsey, Professor of Criminology, Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University

    Penny Armytage, Special Advisor, KPMG, and co-contributor of Youth Justice Review

    Nerita Waight, lawyer and policy advisor, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

    Luke Edwards, Client Support Officer, Balit Ngulu

    Joshua Birtwistle, lived experience in the youth justice system

    Moderator: Claire Febey, State Manager, Save the Children

    Grand Ballroom
  • 4.10 – 4.15pm Close
  • Day 2 Thursday 19 October
  • 8.00 – 9.00am Conference breakfast

    Pullman Hotel
  • 8.30 – 9.20am Registrations, tea and coffee

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 9.20 – 9.45am Opening

    YACVic Board of Governance Chair, Louisa Ellum and Deputy Chair, Kerrie Loveless

    MC Nelly Thomas

    Grand Ballroom
  • 9.45 – 10.45am Session 4: Studies of the past can shape the future

    Longitudinal studies of young Australians provide unique, dynamic pictures of young people’s lives. What can this research also tell us about the future opportunities and challenges all young people might face? How should this affect our work with young people?

    Professor Johanna Wyn, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne

    Dr Genevieve Knight, Manager of Research Operations, National Centre for Vocational Education

    Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Sociology, Monash University School of Sciences

    Moderator: Dr Tim Corney, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Education, Victoria University

    Grand Ballroom
  • 10.45 – 11.15am Morning tea

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 11.15 – 12.15pm Concurrent Workshops

    Research: Rational detachment: strategies to prevent crisis-driven youth work practice in crisis settings, Delacombe

    Policy and advocacy: Embedding Indigenous perspective into youth work practice, Stradbroke

    Practice masterclass: Working with and valuing lived-experience, Huntingfield

    Practice 101: Drugs and young people: function and meaning, Grand Ballroom
  • 12.15 – 1.00pm Lunch

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 1.00 – 2.00pm Session 5: Telling powerful stories

    Powerful stories help us articulate the value of youth work and make us better advocates. Storytelling skills help connect and engage us with young people, influence decision-makers and make sense of our own lives. Learn fundamental principles of storytelling and campaigning: how to tell stories of youth work that are authentic, compelling and impactful.

    Dalit Kaplan, Founder of Storywell

    Alexandra Fuller, Campaign Communications Director, Oaktree

    Belinda Duarte, CEO, Culture Is Life

    Grand Ballroom
  • 2.05 – 3.05pm Concurrent Workshops

    Research: Youth participation, youth councils and local governments: How is Victoria faring? Delacombe.

    Policy and advocacy: Youth work in schools: Do opposites attract? How youth work inside the school gates can engage students in developing leadership and learning, Stradbroke.

    Practice masterclass: Fundamental principals of telling a powerful story, Huntingfield.

    Practice 101: Young people in the online world, Grand Ballroom.
  • 3.05 – 3.35pm Afternoon tea

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 3.35 – 4.35pm Session 6: Sparking change through collaborative arts

    The Victorian Government has recently boosted investment in creative industries. It’s a good time to learn how creative arts collaborations with young people can make positive social impacts and strengthen communities. Be inspired by innovative, youth-led arts projects that are helping young people tell their own stories and spark change.

    Performance by New Change, young African-Australian women arts collective

    Alison Baker-Lewton and members of New Change

    Fofo, Youth Programmers Officer, Brimbank City Council, and artist

    Martha Metuisela and Faustina Osa, Westside Pasifika and Stir It Up

    Kate Gillick, Executive Producer; and Victoria Canning, ArtsReady trainee and emerging artist

    Moderator - Dennis Pennalligen, Community Cultural Development Officer, Co-Health and Movement Makers


    Performance by Outer Urban Projects

    Grand Ballroom
  • 4.35 – 4.40pm Close

    MC Nelly Thomas

    Grand Ballroom
  • Day 3 Friday 20 October
  • 8.00 – 9.00am Conference breakfast

    Pullman restaurant
  • 8.00 – 9.00am Registrations, tea and coffee

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 9.00 – 9.20am Opening

    MC Nelly Thomas

    Ballroom
  • 9.20 – 10.20am Session 7: Young people, gender and sexuality

    Presented in partnership with Rainbow Network and Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Project

    Victoria leads the way in supporting LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing. But despite advances in achieving equality and cultural acceptance, LGBTIQ+ young people still regularly experience discrimination, marginalisation and bullying, which have profound negative impacts on their wellbeing. Learn how youth work can create safe and celebratory spaces, affirm and support young people across the rainbow of sexual and gender identities.

    Jax Jacki Brown, disability and LGBTIQ+ rights activist

    Aretha Stewart-Brown, Youth Prime Minister, National Indigenous Youth Parliament 2017

    Nevo Zisin, Young LGBTIQ activist, Minus 18

    Elise Nyhuis

    Grand Ballroom
  • 10.20 – 10.50am Morning tea

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 10.50 – 11.50am Concurrent Workshops

    Research: The role of schools and service providers in supporting LGBTIQ+ students/Inclusive housing for LGBTIQ+ young people, Delacombe

    Policy and advocacy: Supporting non-binary and gender diverse youth, Stradbroke

    Practice masterclass: Gender, identity, expression and affirmation/LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport, Huntingfield

    Practice 101: The role of youth workers in supporting families of LGBTIQ+ young people/LGBTIQ+ inclusion in local government services, Grand Ballroom
  • 11.50 – 12.35pm Lunch

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 12.35 – 1.20pm Session 8: Are you ready for the NDIS?

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been described as the most significant Australian social reform since Medicare. It’s arrived in Victoria and it’s going to make a big impact on the youth sector. How will the NDIS change your work? How can all youth workers and services be more welcoming and accessible to young people with disability?

    Alexandra Gunning, Director, National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

    Stacey Christie, National Disability Insurance Scheme Digital and Content Officer, Youth Disability Advocacy Service

    Leah van Poppel, Manager, Youth Disability Advocacy Service
  • 1.25 – 2.25pm Concurrent Workshops

    Research: YACVic Young Thinkers in Conversation, Delacombe

    Policy and advocacy: Creating Change: building social cohesion with young people, Stradbroke

    Practice masterclass: Self care for youth workers, Huntingfield

    Practice 101: NDIS Readiness 101: Understanding the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the youth work sector, Grand Ballroom
  • 2.25 – 2.55pm Afternoon tea

    Ballroom Foyer
  • 2.55 – 3.55pm Session 9: Youth engagement — once more, with meaning!

    What is meaningful youth engagement? How do we successfully work alongside young people and support their active participation in our programs and communities? Learn practical tips from inventive projects that are engaging well with young people.

    Alyssa Lai, Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) Student Executive

    Aayushi Khillan, Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) Student Executive

    VicSRC student executives

    Indi Clarke, Manager, Koorie Youth Council

    Cate Chaiyot, Rural Team Leader, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Gippsland

    Yumna Ahmed, Youth Facilitator, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Gippsland

    Lauren Oliver, Senior Advisor Youth Engagement, Berry Street Childhood Institute

    Idil Ali, Youth Peer Leader, The Drum Youth Services

    Anoushka Wootton, Coordinator of Youth Services, The Drum Youth Services

    Grand Ballroom
  • 3.55 – 4.15pm Wrap up of Front + Centre: Where is the youth sector headed?

    Leo Fieldgrass, CEO, Youth Affairs Council Victoria

    Professor Robyn Broadbent, Program Head Youth, Ongoing and Community Education, Victoria University

    Harris Georgiou, Bachelor of youth work student, Australian Catholic University

    Grand Ballroom
  • 4.30 – 6.30pm Conference social drinks

    Pullman bar

Featured speakers

Nelli Thomas

Nelly Thomas

MC, Comedian and Author

Sally Thompson2

Sally Thompson

Deputy Director, Sector Engagement and Capability Development, Future Social Service Institute

Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire

CEO, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)

Tim Corney

Dr Tim Corney

Associate Professor, College or Arts and Education, Victoria University

Jenny Mikakos

The Hon. Jenny Mikakos

Minister for Youth Affairs

Leo 3

Leo Fieldgrass

CEO, Youth Affairs Council Victoria

Howard Sercombe

Dr. Howard Sercombe

Youth work academic and author of Youth Work Ethics

Edie Shepherd

Edie Shepherd

Bachelor of youth work student, Victoria University

Fiona McCormack

Fiona McCormack

CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria

Kim Wood

Kim Wood

Community Development and Councillor Advocate of Respectful Relationships at the Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault

Aretha Brown

Aretha Stewart-Brown

Youth Prime Minister, National Indigenous Youth Parliament 2017

Philippa Collin

Dr Philippa Collin

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

Robyn Broadbent

Professor Robyn Broadbent

Program Head Youth, Ongoing and Community Education, Victoria University

Erin Gillen

Erin Gillen

Senior Policy Advisor – Young People, Our Watch

Professor Mark Halsey

Prof. Mark Halsey

Professor of Criminology, Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University

Penny Armitage

Penny Armytage

Special Advisor, KPMG, and co-contributor of Youth Justice Review

Nerita Waight

Nerita Waight

Lawyer and Policy Advisor, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Johanna Wyn

Professor Johanna Wyn

Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne

Genevieve Knight

Dr Genevieve Knight

Manager of Research Operations, National Centre for Vocational Education

Zlatko Skrbis

Professor Zlatko Skrbis

Vice-Provost (Graduate Education) and Professor of Sociology, Monash University School of Sciences

Dalit Kaplan

Dalit Kaplan

Founder of Storywell

Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller

Campaign Communications Director, Oaktree

Belinda Duarte

Belinda Duarte

CEO, Culture Is Life

Jax Jacki Brown

Jax Jacki Brown

Disability and LGBTIQ+ rights activist

Nevo Zisin

Nevo Zisin

Young LGBTIQ activist, Minus 18

Cate Chaiyot

Cate Chaiyot

Rural Team Leader, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Gippsland

Indi2

Indi Clarke

Manager, Koorie Youth Council

Anoushka Wootton

Anoushka Wootton

Coordinator of Youth Services, The Drum Youth Services