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::: Inspired EC – Newcastle conference

If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know we girls love a great excuse for a ‘Thelma and Louise’ style road trip adventure. This weekend we had the time of our lives as we headed off on a road trip up the east coast of Australia from Melbourne, Victoria to Newcastle in New South Wales to attend the inaugural Inspired EC conference run by the lovely Nicole and Tash.

Day one saw us travel 800 k’s up to Moruya on the beautiful east coast of New South Wales with a further 455 k’s tacked on the next day before arriving at our destination.

We were there to present two workshops at the Conference for which the theme was  ‘Unwrapping – Encouraging Risk in the Cotton Wool Generation’. For our workshop we chose to look at emotional risk and part of the way we chose to do this was by not telling our participants what we were going to be doing on the day. Our mission was to see just how many people were prepared to take the risk and dive headfirst into a workshop with us while knowing nothing about what they were in for!

This conference was a wonderful chance to meet up with some of our ECE and blogging friends such as Tash, Nicole and Niki Buchan from Inspired EC and Claire Warden from Mindstretchers in Scotland UK …

as well as our dear friends Jennifer Kable from Let the Children Play and Greg ‘Bear’ Harvey from ‘Males In Early Childhood Education‘ ..

and Marie Armstrong Smith and Wayne Armstrong from Early Years Care … Just to name a few.

It wasn’t until a friend pointed out that not only were our participants taking a risk with us, we too were taking a risk. After all, what if the risk was too great for people who had plenty of other workshop topics with titles to choose from … what if nobody chose to come along to our workshop with no title??

We were thrilled and humbled to hear from Tash that both our workshops had rapidly booked out … WOW! Sixty participants choosing a workshop without a title … Talk about a bunch of risk takers!

When we started off the workshops we asked our participants if they thought they were indeed taking a risk, coming along without knowing what the workshop was going to be about. Some of the people who were unfamiliar with us said YES! Some chose to come only because their work colleague was coming too … safety in number … we get that! Some said they liked the idea of NOT knowing because it was exciting … we get that too! Interestingly the people who were familiar with our Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages said NO they didn’t think they were taking a risk. These people told us they felt like they already knew us, even though we had only ever met a couple of them in person, and by feeling they knew us, they trusted us and by trusting us they felt safe to come along.

Our aim was to have our participants take a risk in joining us and then to step outside their comfort zone for a few hours. Only Gabby Clappison had any basket making experience so we knew our plan had worked. In fact we could tell that by the looks on peoples faces when we told them what they would be doing that they were outside their comfort zone . Fortunately everyone rose to the challenge and had a great time. We sent many participants off proudly carrying the baskets they had made! We had a great time at the Inspired EC conference and are delighted to have been invited back next year when the conference will be even bigger and better.

It was with much excitment that Tash and Nicole announced a few days ago that in 2013 Niki Buchan from Inspired EC

Marc Armitage from Marc Armitage at Play

and Tom Hobson, from the Teacher Tom blog …

will be their three keynote speakers! Now this is one conference Australians will NOT want to miss out on. For more details on the conference please email the girls at

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7 Responses to “Inspired EC – Newcastle conference”

  1. Bear says:

    Ooh, how chuffed I am to get a mention (& even a photo) on your blog. It was so great to finally meet up with you both, as well as Jennifer and Niki. Like you, I can hardly wait until next year. I just wish I could afford the study trip.
    🙂 🙂

    ::: Now that study trip would be one hell of a road trip hey Bear!!! 🙂 🙂

  2. Erin says:

    Wow, looks amazing! With my new job I will hopefully have a bit more cash to use for conferences – looks like I need to put this one in my diary 🙂

    ::: It’s going to be ripper Erin AND it won’t be too far away from you either. We would LOVE to see you there! 🙂 🙂

  3. What an inspiring bunch of people to be around

    ::: We had THE BEST time “OtCK“! 🙂 🙂

  4. finleysmaid says:

    Ok ladies…now look this just isn’t fair. How have you managed to get all these fab people together in one place . I am so jealous and my budget won’t stretch to a plane ticket from london to australia! Mind you those minstretchers people get around too they are in our area in a couple of weeks…hoping to get to see them as we have been big supporters of theirs for some time.
    So when are you both doing your UK tour? can i book tickets now please!

    ::: Well Finleysmaid it took us a long tome to get our act together and all meet up in the same place at the same time but GEE it was worth the wait! As for the UK tour … Yeah, sadly I wouldn’t be holding my breath! 🙂 🙂

  5. Oh how fab! It’s a shame the conference is the other side of the world to the UK!

    ::: That is an awful shame Juliet … We’re so glad we get to connect with you in other ways though!:) 🙂

  6. Bianca says:

    OMG…I’m gonna have to get my groupie gear on again LOL! 2013 is sure to be amazing!

    ::: It will be nice to see you again Bianca. 🙂 🙂

  7. Erin says:

    WOW! had better start putting my pennies away so i can attend this one!!

    ::: We would love to see you there Erin! 🙂 🙂