What is the VOICE conference?

Our logo and name stands for Voicing Our Ideas for Children Everywhere.

This conference was developed in 2019 by Dr Fiona Mayne and Dr Gemma Scarparolo from the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia to provide a platform for children between the ages of 5-12 years old to be able to talk about issues that are important to them in their world in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The VOICE conference is run by children, for children and only children present at the conference. The conference includes children's presentations, children’s activities and discussion and opportunities to ask adult guests questions that they have regarding issues that are important to them.

This conference is not only about children sharing matters that are important to them, it is also about children being heard by adults who are in positions of power and influence.

The date chosen for the VOICE conference each year is significant as it is timed to celebrate and acknowledge international World Children's Day.

How can children be involved?

All children aged 5 to 12 are welcome to participate in the conference! (Siblings outside that age group may attend as audience members along with parents.)

Participating children are also invited to submit a creative work relating to an issue that is important to them and the wider world for display at the conference and/or inclusion on this website afterwards.

What is the theme of the conference?

Presentations and discussions will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations which are a “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity”. These SDGs will act as a guide for children as they think about issues that are important to them.

The children on the 2019 committee chose the conference theme,

Children’s Voice 4 Change: It’s Our Future.

The children on the 2020 committee will choose the theme for the 2020 conference, so stay tuned for more details!

How will the event run?

Each session will include (a) children’s presentations, (b) small group discussions about issues and potential solutions, and (c) opportunities to ask questions of the invited guests on the panel. While this sounds very serious, (and make no mistake - it is), the children on the committee are also committed to making the sessions fun, interactive, full of laughter and opportunities to make some fabulous new friends.

How much will it cost to attend?

This conference is completely free!

How can I register?

Simply register online when the registrations open as capacity is limited.

Each participating child must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. You can also bring along siblings or other family members to join the audience.