Call for Abstracts – Guidelines



Abstracts must be submitted online. If you are unable to complete the abstract submission electronically, please contact the Conference Organisers on 03 9863 7608 to discuss other options.

  1. Abstract submissions are now open.
  2. Please submit your abstract/interest in presenting by 19 February 2021.
  3. All submitted forms will be considered by the Conference Organisers and assessed according to the selection criteria.
  4. We may negotiate with you to adapt the original format of your presentation.
  5. Presenters will need to meet their own conference registration fees and travel costs. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are eligible to apply for one travel subsidy according to where they are travelling from. Details will be on the registration form.
  6. Receipt of abstract submissions will be acknowledged by email. Proposers will be notified of acceptance by March 2021.


The following selection criteria will apply:

  1. The presentation must relate directly to conference objectives and fit within one of the key conference themes, listed below.
  2. Preference will be given to presentations that are:
    1. Presented or co-presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and community members.
    2. From Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and in particular, SNAICC members.
    3. Evidence or outcome based (what is working).
    4. Presenting something new (e.g. New research, new practices, progressive ideas, new application of culture).
    5. In collaboration with other agencies or young people.


SNAICC is seeking presentations from interested communities, organisations and individual on the following key themes:

1. COVID-19 impacts on our communities

The last year has shown us just how rapidly the political and social landscape can shift and how we must ensure we can be agile in responding to our community’s needs. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a disproportionately high impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. While this crisis continues to expose the flaws in our government systems, it also provides an opportunity to make improvements that will have a long-lasting impact in the years ahead. In our discussions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations, we have heard stories of innovative practice approaches that are maintaining our children’s connection to family, community, culture and Country.

We are interested in hearing about:

  • Insights on the impacts that COVID-19 are having on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities;
  • The practices and strategies that services are utilising to enable family and cultural connection for our children in alignment with social distancing measures; and
  • Research on the effectiveness and impacts of government policy and program responses to the pandemic.
2. Child safety and wellbeing

Supporting strong, healthy, self-determining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children connected to family and culture requires the transformation of Australia’s child protection systems.

This theme focuses on early intervention approaches that address economic, social and community-level factors that impact the safety and wellbeing of our children. Holistic views of child wellbeing that includes safety, health, culture and connections, mental health and wellbeing, home and environment, learning and skills, empowerment and economic wellbeing. We would like to hear on:

  • Latest research, practices and policies that shows effective permanency for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and applies the five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle(ATSICPP);
  • Innovative practices and outcomes that are public facing, evidence based, collective, transformative, and provide long-term sustainability;
  • Successful programs and services that support our children’s safety and wellbeing that share best practices and integrate community-based initiatives; and
  • Practices that collectively strategise to achieve broader political and system change.
3. Early years

The early years for our children are critical, shaping their futures. The announcement by Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, of a whole-of-government Indigenous early childhood strategy recognises that achieving equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must place our children at the centre. We know that access to quality, culturally safe services, including maternal and child health, family support, and early childhood education and care, are essential for supporting children’s development. This is particularly true for children who experience disadvantage early in life. We are interested in hearing from services that develop culturally safe and responsive policies and practices that increase access and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children early in life and contribute to the safety and wellbeing of our children and include:

  • Genuine co-design in working towards a National Early Childhood Strategy;
  • Respecting, preserving and teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages;
  • Child-centred approaches;
  • Embedding cultural strengths at a national, regional and local level; and
  • First Peoples’ rational ways of child rearing.
4. Rights of children and young people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people remain one of the most vulnerable groups in Australia, experiencing poverty, exclusion, discrimination and removal from their homes and cultures. This reflects serious systemic denial of human rights and intergenerational trauma requiring targeted, strengths-based measures that redress the causes behind these problems.

This theme is focused on presentations that include a rights-based approach for children and young people. Focussing on self-determination and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in issues affecting our communities. Embedded within this is the right to raise our children within our culture and support them to grow up strong in their identity. We are interested in presentations on:

  • Child rights, including the rights of our children to participate in decisions affecting them and staying connected to family and culture, are embedded in legislation, policies and practice across Australia;
  • Strategies that include young people and families in developing services and policies that lead to improved changes in current systems and nurture our children and youth as future leaders; and
  • Programs and services that harness indigenous youth innovation.
5. Genuine partnerships

This theme focuses particularly on collaborations that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations in building partnerships for child and family service delivery. Self-determination in relation to the wellbeing of their children and young people requires genuine partnership in the design and delivery of child protection systems, family support services, and early childhood services.

In building capacity and enabling self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, aiding the design and creation of systems that will best meet the needs of their families and communities. We are particularly interested in presentations that:

  • Promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and are led or supported by community Elders;
  • Provide opportunities to partner and collaborate in providing community-based solutions for our children, young people and families; and
  • Includes research on data sovereignty that supports self-governance structures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Abstract submissions will open on 4 December.


Short formal paper presentations (20 minutes maximum with 10-minute question and answer time).

These will be grouped with related topics in a chaired session, with 2-3 papers per 90-minute timeslot.

Note that presenters of short papers may alternatively be selected to be present as part of a facilitated discussion circle or panel session.

Interactive sessions (up to 90 minutes).

These sessions may include workshops, discussion circles, stories or case studies. They are more informal sessions and should include a participatory activity and interactive facilitation style. Presentations may be of varying lengths from 10 minutes (for example part of a panel) to 90 minutes. Shorter sessions may be grouped with related topics in a chaired session of 90 minutes. A short formal paper may be included but is not required.

Expressions of interest from facilitators, topics for discussion and yarning circles are also sought for those that are interested.

Poster Displays (on display for the full duration of conference).

Presenters will need to be available at their display to answer questions during a specific interactive session that will be scheduled in the conference program. This form of presentation is most suitable where you can present visually, for example – resources or reporting on research outcomes. The details of table and wall space available will be confirmed later.


We are interested in submissions of digital stories and short movies made by, with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. A selection of these will be screened as part of the conference.


Any other cultural or craft presentations that may be practical or hands-on.

Submit Abstract


Abstracts submissions are now open for the 9th SNAICC National Conference. To submit an abstract, please see below.
The abstract submission deadline is 19 February 2021.