Minister Welcomes First Meeting Of Early Childhood Expert Reference Panel

Minister Welcomes First Meeting Of Early Childhood Expert Reference Panel

Northern Territory Minister for Children Nicole Manison

Putting Territory Children And Families First

Victor P Taffa

Northern Territory Government is delivering on its election commitment to improve the lives of Territory children and make generational change.

Minister for Children Nicole Manison today welcomed the first meeting of the Early Childhood Expert Reference Panel in Darwin.

“We promised to invest in children as part of rebuilding trust in Government and we are delivering on that.” Ms. Manison said.


“We know that if children are ready for school day one, term one, they will lead healthier, happier and better lives.”

“Investing in the early years of children’s lives will create a better future for all Territorians.”

“Expert Reference Panel has been convened to provide analysis and advice in the preparation of the Northern Territory Government’s Early Childhood Development Plan.” Ms. Manison said.

Early Childhood Strategic Plan which will be delivered this year will set out the framework to achieve this.

Ms. Manison said the 14-member panel is made up of 9 early childhood experts from the Northern Territory and 5 from around Australia. 

“14 members have specific expertise in the areas where we want to see generational change Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood development; early childhood education; early childhood health, social and emotional wellbeing; child protection and research.” Ms. Manison said.

“Expert panel is part of Government’s collaborative approach to listen and take decisive action. This will be done by working with NGO’s, community organisations and across all sectors of Government, to see long term, generational economic and social change.”

“As part of its 10-year plan to improve the lives and opportunities for children, Government will deliver expanded Families as First Teachers program, and an expanded Nurse Family Partnership program.”

“These are programs that we know deliver results by helping families to raise healthy, engaged children from the earliest stages of a child’s development.” Ms. Manison said.

Expert Panel will oversee the development of the Early Childhood Development Plan and provide expert advice to the Territory Government.

Members of the Expert Reference Panel are:

  • Donna Ah Chee
  • Professor Kerry Arabena
  • Professor Fiona Arney
  • Dr. Paul Bauert
  • Dr. John Boffa
  • Ms. Maree Bredhauer
  • Ms. Olga Havnen
  • Ms. Tanja Hirvonen
  • Ms. Jayne Lloyd
  • Professor Frank Oberklaid
  • Mr. David Pugh
  • Professor Sven Silburn
  • Professor Collette Tayler
  • Ms. Christine Tayler

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)