Small Steps, Giant Leaps

The 3rd annual Now & Next Family Conference 2019 Small Steps, Giant Leaps was held on the 26th of October 2019, brought to you as a collaboration between Plumtree, Now & Next, Reframing Autism and Reframing Disability (now known as Kindred).

The conference provided a unique opportunity for families and carers raising a child with a disability, developmental delay, or neurodivergence to learn, share and innovate together. It offered access to stimulating and dynamic speakers, informative Q&A sessions, and connected families sharing similar journeys of navigating the smallest of steps and the most monumental of leaps.

Through little steps and from the earliest moments, we can make giant leaps for our children. In doing so, we lay the foundations for our children to become the directors of their futures.

Welcome to Country
Michael West, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Michael is proud to be part of the oldest living Civilisation, encompassing History, Knowledge, Ceremony, Traditions and Culture practised for more than 65,000 years.

Michael sees himself as an educator sharing stories spanning from contemporary urban-based Artist to cultural representatives with Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.

“Burning and creating “Message Sticks” is practising my culture, and they are used for symbolism, marking points in the continuum and educating people about history and Aboriginal perspectives.”

Opening of the Conference
Jordan O’Reilly, CEO Hireup

KEYNOTE PANEL: Including the voice of your child – Building independence and flourishing

In 2017 and 2018, our panel discussions centred on parent-professional relationships and how parents can ‘lean into’ their relationships with professionals. This year, we are shifting focus to how we can support our children to ‘lean in’ too.

Our panel of experts will discuss how families can encourage, incorporate, and include their children in decision-making and planning by asking why we should include children in decisions that affect them. What is our role to promote this? How can children be integral members of their teams, even when they are very young? How can children express their views in therapy, home and community environments?

Join us, as we explore how our children can flourish through developing independence in their own lives.

KEYNOTE: Helping children recognise and express emotions | Dr Emma Goodall

It is frustrating for children and their families when a child cannot recognise or safely express their emotions. This session will explain why many children with disabilities struggle to identify and manage their emotions. It will also give you practical strategies to support them in doing so.

These strategies require 5-20 minutes a day and are suitable for everyone regardless of age, challenges and support needs. However, while children are still learning about their emotions, they need the adults around them to help them manage their feelings.

This session will provide three useful strategies for helping children manage and recognise their emotions.

10 things I love about having an inclusive life Marlena Katene

Having a disability does not equate to having a dull or stagnant life. In Marlena’s presentation ‘10 things I love about having an inclusive life,’ she will show how with the right support, a clear vision and a purpose, no matter what the disability, we can ALL attain living the good life. 

Karim’s Mojo Disco
Abdul-Karim Bouchafaa

Karim’s Mojo Disco is a life-changing motivational presentation by “Don’t Dis My Ability” ambassador, Abdul-Karim Bouchafaa.

Guaranteed to put a smile on your dial and a spring in your step, Karim’s Mojo Disco will completely change the way you think about people living with disability and might change the way you look at yourself and the world altogether.

For more information on Karim’s Mojo Disco, visit his site

Get started with Plumtree

We make it easy for you to take the first step. Find out more about getting started with Plumtree.

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