5th SNAICC National Conference Keynote Speakers confirmed

28 November 2012 | SNAICC NEWS

SNAICC’s Fifth National Conference will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre from 4 to 6 June 2013.

The SNAICC National Conference is the largest conference of its type in the southern hemisphere and provides the opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, policy makers, researchers, government representatives, other non-government organisations and industry representatives to gather and make renewed commitments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The conference program is taking shape and we are excited to let you know that the high level of abstract submissions we received will ensure another strong program at next year’s conference in Cairns.

We are very pleased to be able to announce our keynote speakers will include:

Marta Maurás Perez (Chile) - a member and Vice President of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and Special Rapporteur for Australia. She is a sociologist and independent consultant in social policy, human rights and international relations. Marta’s attendance at our conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the United Nations Committee’s recommendations concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and highlight the importance of the right to culture, how change around the world is achieved form strength of culture and what this means for people living in communities in Australia.

Cindy Blackstock (Canada) - this popular keynote speaker from our last conference will again be in attendance at our 2013 SNAICC Conference. Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS) and Associate Professor, University of Alberta. A member of the Gitksan Nation, Cindy has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years and has published widely on the welfare and rights of First Nations children.

Associate Professor Cynthia Kiro (New Zealand) - of Maori descent and the Head of the School of Public Health at Massey University, New Zealand. Cynthia returned to Massey University following her term as the fourth and first female and only Maori to have held the position of Children’s Commissioner in New Zealand between 2003-2009. With the pending appointment of Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner, Professor Kiro will be share her expertise as the New Zealand Children’s Commissioner and advise on how we can gain positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia.

Professor Judy Atkinson - a Jiman and Bundjalung woman, Board Member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, Patron of the We Al-li Trust and former Head of the Southern Cross University's Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. She was made an Emeritus Professor by Southern Cross University this year in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the area of Indigenous trauma, healing and recovery. As Head of Gnibi, Professor Atkinson developed unique courses designed to serve Indigenous peoples working at the grassroots level in their communities.

Kathy Guthadjaka (Gotha) - a Gatjirrk Warramiri woman living at Gawa (north-east Arnhem Land). She worked as a teacher for over 40 years at Shepherdson College, and recently with her families established an independent school at Gawa. A strong advocate of bilingual education programs, Gotha is determined, and is succeeding in providing the best education possible for the children at Gäwa.

For more details on our speakers visit the Program section on the SNAICC website.

Conference Registrations

The full conference program and conference registrations will be available in late February 2013, with an Early Bird offer open to everyone. This year there will also be a limited discount offer available to SNAICC members, to be eligible we encourage you to make sure you renew your membership or consider becoming SNAICC member before this release.

Subscribe to the SNAICC e-Bulletin for more conference program updates in the coming months.


For those interested in supporting the SNAICC Conference and promoting your own services or organisation, there are a number of sponsorship packages and promotional opportunities still available.

For more information visit the sponsorship page.