What makes a good childhood in Australia today?

Our childhood can often become a distant memory as we grow older, but our experiences in childhood provide a foundation that shapes and informs the rest of our lives.

Childhood in Australia today is complex – full of conflict, competition, inequalities and anxieties, but also opportunities, choices, learning and growth.

Childhood is a ‘special, protected time’ (Convention on the Rights of a Child), but what actually makes a good childhood? What does that look like in Australia today? What does a child need for a good childhood?

Hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, this public seminar brings together an array of voices within the Australian community to answer those questions. The seminar will showcase a new video featuring a broad range of perspectives around childhood, from children and parents to educators and policymakers, and will provide valuable insights into what a good childhood means to different people.

We are thrilled to also have two special guest speakers – Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Dr John Davis from Deakin University – who will join this important conversation and lend an international and First Nations voice, as they examine the state of contemporary childhood across the country.

Note: this event is in person and also online. If you select online attendance, you will be sent the webinar link closer to the event date.

Please join us immediately after the seminar for canapes and drinks.


Professor Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone DPhil (Oxon), OBE, FBA, FBPS, FAcSS, FRSA, is a Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published 21 books on media audiences, including Parenting for a Digital Future: How hopes and fears about technology shape children’s lives. She has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, OECD, ITU and UNICEF and others on children’s internet safety and rights in the digital environment. She directs the Digital Futures for Children research centre at LSE and 5Rights Foundation and Global Kids Online with UNICEF. See www.sonialivingstone.net

Dr John Davis

John Davis is an experienced educator, teacher, manager, and school principal. John is a Senior Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, and the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab (Deakin University). He is a regular media commentator, and the former CEO of the Stronger Smarter Institute. John is a proud Murri Ambae man, and he is a Traditional Owner of the western sides of Bunya Bunya Mountains. John completed his PhD in Indigenous Community Models of Education – Community Durithunga, with the Queensland University of Technology. John’s research interests include Indigenous languages as LOTE, and embedding Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous ways to multimodal literacy.

Date: 7 August 2024 Cost: Free
Venue: Telstra Customer Insights Centre 1/242 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3004 View location