AGECS Fellowship Programme for Leadership and Change


AGECS supports the early childhood profession through a number of professional learning opportunities, to further their understanding and knowledge of child development and learning so that all children have access to high standards of care and education in early childhood settings.

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Fellowship Guidelines

The aim of the AGECS Fellowship Programme for Leadership and Change is to provide financial support of grants of up to $10,000 for individual early childhood professionals (who are current members of AGECS) to undertake a project for a period of 6 – 12 months that will impact on the quality of services for children aged birth to 5 years.

Fellowship recipients are expected to demonstrate improved access to and achievement of equity and excellence in early childhood. Applicants will need to communicate their interest in making a difference in Early Childhood Education leading to change. It is expected that such professional learning from the project will position the recipient as a leader who is able to share their learning. It is hoped that the Fellowship will lead to improved outcomes for all children, which could include those children and families experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability. It is expected that the findings from the project will be presented at an annual AGECS research symposium.

Further information


Any current member of the Association of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies (AGECS) can apply. If you are not already a member, apply now at:


The AGECS Fellowship Advisory Committee will consider applications that demonstrate the potential to enact leadership and change in the early childhood field. This could be in relation to:

  • Building quality programs within the early childhood field;
  • Strengthening already existing programmes or practices;
  • Positive outcomes for children;
  • Increasing professional knowledge;
  • Leading new directions in programmes or practices; and
  • Expanding perspectives through investigating best practice nationally or internationally.

Application Form

Download and save the Fellowship Application form_2019 as: fellowship_<your family name>.doc

Submission Dates
  • The final submission date for the first round of applications is 28 February each year
  • The final submission date for the second round of applications is 31 July each year

Applications must be submitted electronically by the due date to:

Expressions of Interest

The Association of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies invites submissions that present an outline of a Fellowship application proposal. Please read the Fellowship information to assist with including necessary criteria. Completed EOIs can be emailed to who will share this information with the Fellowship Advisory Committee members. AGECS members who submit EOI submissions that indicate potential will be approached by a committee member who will act as a mentor to support the clarification of project detail and budget in preparation for a grant submission.

Download the EOI Application Form

Fellowship Recipients and Projects 2015
In 2015, its inaugural year, the successful Fellowship recipients were:
Sharryn Clarke, Early Childhood Consultant at SNC Educational Innovations, Teaching Associate at Monash University. Current PhD Candidate
Project Title: Nature Kindergarten Curriculum and their Application in Australian Varying Cultural Contexts
Sharryn’s project involves a combination of research, engagement and delivery of learnings. She will travel to Sweden to partake in nature programs and connect with University academic staff to enhance her knowledge and practical ideas. Sharryn will also visit nature programs around Melbourne.
With the knowledge gathered she will offer a series of 6 free workshops/information sessions for educators across Melbourne, as well as 6 free workshops/information sessions for families to support the growth in our communities for building children’s resilience, developing their strong connections to nature as champions of future sustainable and ethical practices towards the earth, and to learn how to make safe decisions when they are taking risks within their natural environment.
Kerryn Kneebone, Knox City Council- Connecting to Nature Project Officer and has recently presented on the topic of Nature play at the IUCN World Congress Sydney 2014
Project Title: Nature play
This project involves a study tour of Early Childhood Nature based education in the United Kingdom. The study tour is a group study tour Facilitated by Niki Buchan. Nicki will discuss her previous experience as a Head of a Forest Nature Kindergarten in Scotland and lead a tour of 5 Early Childhood settings in England and Scotland. The tour will include a site visit and mentoring with Claire Warden in United Kingdom .
Research gathered will be applied to a larger project which involves developing tools and resources that encourage educators, families and children to develop greater connections to local reserves. Information gathered on the research tour will be able to be applied to case studies that could be delivered to early childhood professional as a workshop, newsletter article or fact sheet delivered through the Association of Graduates in Early Childhood studies.
Josette Nunn, an Educational Leader and Kindergarten Teacher at The Dala Yooro Children and Family Centre at the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative (GEGAC) in Bairnsdale.
Project Title: A Web of Connection ‘Building a Positive Education Framework that is cultural sensitive to the Aboriginal Ways of Knowing’
The Dala Yooro Children and Family Centre has created a partnership with the Australian Childhood Foundation to build a Therapeutic lens that supports the context of the families and children. Josette will undertake the Post Graduate Certificate on Positive Education to build on the underpinning of elements of creating optimal learning environments. From the course Josette plans to build a skill set and mind set for the children around wellbeing and the ability to use the strong relationship of culture and with their community to support the building of resilience. She will also document the children’s learning with the experiences to develop the understanding of wellbeing – physically, emotionally and their understanding around their signature strengths and their own ways of knowing that become protective features for the future.
Josette plans to build partnerships with the local schools using the learning that the children have undertaken with Positive education to continue the journey of what works with local culture.
Read more about the Fellowship projects 2015
Fellowship Recipients and Projects 2016
In 2016 there was 1 Fellowship awarded to:
Alannah Dore, Inclusion Support Facilitator / ISA SEO KU Children’s Services.
Project Title: Empowering Early Childhood Educators to Embed Cultural Diversity into their Programs for Children Aged Birth to 2 years
This project involves developing video resources which will be made available to all early childhood professional.
It includes production of 2 engaging online professional learning modules to increase cultural competence in early childhood educators who match the following criteria:
i) Certificate III or Diploma qualification
ii) Employed in long day care infant or toddler programs
iii) Minimal evidence of embedding diverse cultural perspectives into programs
iv) Interested in participating in the learning modules
Each module is intended to be freely (no cost to services) available to host organization websites.
This professional learning will consist of
i) Two short videos
ii) Multi-choice questionnaires
iii) Workplace activities
iv) Implementation reports
v) Evaluations
Alannah has identified that currently cultural resources are more often pitched to 3-5 age groups and professional learning styles of many early childhood educators use Pinterest, short Youtube videos and early childhood Facebook groups, to inform their programming. It is planned that the resources will be launched early in 2017.
Read more about this Fellowship Project 2016
Fellowship Recipients and Projects 2017
In 2017,  the successful Fellowship recipients were:
Coral Campbell, who will develop and enhance her knowledge and skills of (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in early childhood through conference attendance, and through the delivery of STEM workshops to early childhood services in various locations in Victoria.
Helen Baker, who will develop and enhance her knowledge and skills as an Early Childhood coach by attending the 15th National Training Institute on Effective Practices: Addressing Challenging Behavior, and participate in training in Vanderbilt Tennessee regarding the group coaching model for the Pyramid Model, visit centres implementing the Pyramid Model and have been involved in the group coaching model. Helen plans to use the group coaching model to promote and facilitate reflection of Educator practices that will support and facilitate enhanced social and emotional outcomes for children. The proposed project will provide opportunity for this to be replicated with other preschool/school communities.