“By the children, with the children, and for the children” is the slogan adopted by the Childhood Summit 2023 (https://www.childhoodsummit.org.au/ ). This event will be held at Griffith University Logan campus on June 23-24. Organised by the Australian Institute of Play, in partnership with Griffith University, the Childhood Summit 2023 provides a great opportunity to get to know what children have to say. “”The Childhood Summit is an event that places children at the centre, augmenting the child-centric conversation, by-in and systemic change for children, with children. This event advocates for the rights of Australian children and promotes children as active citizens.” Tickets are already for sale at https://www.childhoodsummit.org.au/2023chstickets

The event is a unique platform for children to be heard and validated. Most of the keynote speakers will be children between the ages of 3 and 14. These children apply to be selected to represent the voices of childhood (applications are open at https://www.childhoodsummit.org.au/copy-of-child-s-voice-applications-1). Those children who are accepted will present for up to 10 minutes on matters that are important to them. As the children are the keynote speakers, they are paid for their presentation, and they also get 10 free tickets for their family and friends!

This year’s theme, Secret Lives of Children – What Adults Need to Know, hopes to invite children to share their wisdom and insights, letting grown-ups into the worlds they [children] inhabit. Forty children will be chosen to be ‘The voice of childhood’ and represent children at the 2023 Childhood Summit. Some local schools are facilitating this process by encouraging their students to participate. Other children are elected through peer voting, while some are selected by the summit organisers.

The summit also includes sessions to showcase First Nations / Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander child voices, and Maori/Pacifika child voices. Additionally, the summit features some grown up speakers, including the National Indigenous Officer of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Thomas Mayor, Dr Rachel Sharman, senior lecturer and researcher in psychology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Melbourne, Pasi Sahlberg.

One of the aims of the event is to bring together children, thought leaders, students, teachers, and practitioners across the community at large to address the issues related to children’s health, well-being, and overall happiness.


The Childhood Summit is a collaboration for Logan children and aims to increase the value of listening to children and promoting them as active community citizens. This event supports the connectedness and cohesiveness of communities, rallying around young citizens.

During the two-day event, the Australian Institute of Play will takes the lead hosting the Imaginasium Play Festival which will feature free play sessions (loose parts play installation) for children. The event will be staffed by playworkers and will include activities for children of all backgrounds. Griffith University students will have the opportunity to get involved as well, by volunteering to help staff the event.

Another event that will be held during the summit is the Child Friendly Neighbourhoods workshop. With the Australian Institute of Play, children are invited to attend a child voice workshop to help create ‘their’ ideal child friendly neighbourhood. . This workshop aims to demonstrate unique ways to listen to children, through activities and creation, to support children to find and articulate their voices.

The summit presents an opportunity to hear children’s voices and to gain insights into children’s lives in the Logan area.

Dr Kym Fry, who along with Dr Sonal Nakar and Professor Parlo Singh, is part of the advisory group for this upcoming event, stated “I am proud to be part of this group as I think it gives voice to the children in the Logan area, and grown -ups should be listening“.

We wish our GIER members all the best in their collaborations with such an important initiative.