Families ACT
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Middle Years Forum


The middle years of children’s development – the years between 8 and 12 – have been described by leading child development researcher Gerry Redmond as a period of 'benign neglect', characterised by a lack of dedicated research data and critical gaps in funding for support services.

Families ACT is hosting a Middle Years Forum on Thursday 9 February, 2017. The forum will bring together experts from the research, medical, education and community sectors to discuss how children develop between the ages of 8 and 12, and how to ensure they and their families get the support they need during that crucial period of growth and development.


Speakers and panel participants will include:

Professor Gerry Redmond
Flinders University

Professor Redmond’s research focuses on child poverty and inequality and children’s rights, with a particular focus on middle years. He is the lead researcher on the Australian Child Wellbeing Project.


Professor George Patton
Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Professor Patton is an expert in young people’s physical, social and emotional development in middle years. He is working on the CATS (Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study) which is tracking more than 1200 young Victorians and their families from Year 3 through to late secondary school, looking broadly at the course of development – educational, social, emotional – through these years and the factors that influence adjustment across all of these areas. 


Alasdair Roy, OAM

Former Children & Young People Commissioner with ACT Human Rights Commission. Currently in practice as Consultant Psychologist and advisor to government and non-government organisations on child rights, consulting with children and young people, statutory advocacy, adolescent mental health, care and protection, youth justice, street-based outreach and support, policy development and with children and young people who sexually offend.


Debbie Noble-Carr
Institute of Child Protection Studies

Debbie has just completed a PHD on how children aged eight–12 conceptualise loss. She has also researched how children form self-identity.

The Forum will comprise a morning and afternoon session. Professors Redmond and Patton will speak during the morning, while the afternoon will be devoted to interactive panel discussion. A full program of speakers and panel discussions will be available closer to the date.

The Forum is open to all, but discounted for Families ACT members. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for the discounted rate, see our list of members.

Karen HallMiddle Years, Forum