Wednesday, 11 November 2020 - 07:30 pm to 09:00 pm

A panel discussion with child and family experts on the importance of community in supporting families, and what it means to create your own village.

Expert panel

Anne Hollonds - New National Children's Commissioner

A leading voice on the wellbeing of children and their families, Anne was Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies until recently. Anne is a psychologist and former CEO of Relationships Australia and the Benevolent Society, with 30 years’ experience in research, policy and practice in social services, health and education for children and families. Anne commences as Australia’s National Children's Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission on 2nd November 2020.

Jay Laga'aia - Early Childhood Educator

Kiwi-born Jay Laga’aia is a much-loved childhood educator and actor. His passion is early learning and he has worked on many iconic children’s shows (Playschool, Jays Jungle, Larry The Lawnmower). Jay is an internationally recognised actor (Home and Away, Daybreakers, Star Wars) who has worked alongside Natalie Portman, Jodie Foster and Sam Neill. Jay has four Aria-nominated albums, and his stage credits include lead roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King and Wicked. Jay has lectured at Excelsia College for the past 3 years, and was the Ambassador for Queensland Kindergarten from 2011-2017.

Kerry Gwynne - Manager of Dalwood Spilstead Centre

Kerry has been the manager of the Dalwood Spilstead Service for the past 15 years. She has over 30 years experience in paediatrics and mental health and is a published researcher, having received the NSW Health Award on three occasions. The Dalwood Spilstead Service is now internationally renowned for it’s unique and successful program for young children who have experienced trauma, abuse or disrupted development.

Clarence Bruinsma - Founder of Connected Mobs

 Clarence is an Aboriginal Yaegl person from the Far North Coast who has lived on the Northern Beaches for the past 10 years. As a community member he puts community first and has lead a number of volunteer program and organisations supporting families and young people.  

Missed out? 

You can watch the webinar on YouTube.


This forum was developed in partnership with the Northern Beaches Child and Family Interagency.

Contact information

Community Development