About the conference 

The Parent Engagement Conference is jointly hosted by ARACY and The Smith Family, and proudly supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

Parent Engagement Conference Australia will bring research, policy and practice together to advance discussion about the importance of parent engagement to maximise every child’s learning potential. A key focus will be on ways to increase the effectiveness of parent engagement strategies through relationships, and through capacity building.

The conference has an outstanding line-up of International Keynote Speakers to be announced over the coming months.

Delegates will experience feature presentations and workshops designed to showcase high impact, evidence-based engagement strategies. Speakers will share examples of quality program practice and in-depth examination from a variety of school and community contexts, linking research evidence with real-world applications.  

Aim of the conference

The primary aim of Parent Engagement Conference Australia is to highlight the way parent engagement supports child wellbeing and learning outcomes, with four areas of focus:  

  1. Growing a shared understanding of parent engagement and why it matters
  2. Acknowledging the diversity of contexts in which parent engagement operates
  3. Building a consistent approach to the measurement and evaluation of parent engagement
  4. Highlighting the importance of capacity building to the future direction of parent engagement in the Australian context.

The intended outcome of the conference is to build and strengthen a parent engagement community of practice in Australia. 

Key elements

Pre-conference workshops

Participants will be encouraged to attend pre-conference workshops and network with other delegates. Workshops are still under development but may include aspects from the following areas:

  • program measurement and evaluation
  • building relationships between parents and teachers
  • strategies for engaging with marginalised populations
  • moving from policy to practice.

Keynote presentations

These presentations will form the basis of a conversation around the essential principles and practices required for effective parent engagement.

Q&A sessions

A Q&A session involving each of the keynote speakers will provide an interactive forum for delegates to discuss the future of parent engagement.

Conference papers and poster presentations

Conference papers and poster presentations will explore aspects of parent engagement in relation to learning and wellbeing; building partnerships; innovation in practice; and continuous improvement.

Who should attend?

Parent engagement is not an end in itself but is one of a number of interrelated activities that are important for child development. As such, anybody who has a responsibility for child education, child wellbeing and health and welfare should attend. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • parents and carers
  • teachers and other educators
  • principals
  • school administrators
  • education unions and parent organisations
  • federal, state and territory education departments
  • early childhood and child development practitioners
  • child welfare agencies
  • child-focused community organisations
  • education and child development researchers
  • AITSIL and ACARA employees
  • Indigenous, refugee and migrant education experts.

And, most importantly children themselves are invited to attend because we need to hear their voices and their ideas about what’s important, to know what works for effective parent engagement.

Conference hosts


The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) works to improve child and youth wellbeing in Australia, through collaborations with policy makers, practitioners and researchers from various disciplines. We turn the evidence on 'what works' for child and youth wellbeing into practical, preventative action to benefit all young Australians.

The organisation was established in 2001 in response to increasingly worrying trends in the wellbeing of Australia’s young people. Fifteen years on, ARACY remains committed to the founding ideas that the complex issues affecting young Australians can’t be solved by one organisation, sector or government working in isolation, and that evidence lies at the heart of long term, sustainable solutions.

Visit our website to understand the diversity of the work we do: to drive alliances; broker the transfer of knowledge and exchange of ideas; promote collaborative practice; develop capacity; and influence important agendas in the wellbeing of children and youth.

About The Smith Family

The Smith Family is a children’s education charity that helps disadvantaged young Australians to succeed at school, so they can create better futures for themselves. Strong parental engagement in a child’s learning and education is crucial for improving their school attendance and educational outcomes. The Smith Family partners with parents to support their children’s education.