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Join three well-respected, leading Australian experts for a clear & practical exploration
of the fastest-growing health concern in childhood – anxiety.

Maggie Dent

Parenting author, educator & resilience specialist

Dr Kaylene Henderson

Medically trained child health specialist

Allison Davies

Specialising in music & brain care

With the fast pace of modern life and the hidden pressures on our children, they need our guidance more than ever to better manage fear, worry and anxiety – even more so since the pandemic.

One of Australia’s most popular parenting authors and a passionate advocate for mindfulness, Maggie Dent has been writing about calming children since 2003 (and that was before our kids even had iPads!).

In this very special conference, which has been touring since 2019, Maggie is joined by two of her favourite experts to share their insights into anxiety in childhood and what we can do about it.

Together, they will not only explore why anxiety and associated behaviours occur, they will reveal tangible, simple strategies to improve our children’s ability to regulate themselves.

Topics include:

  • What unhealthy anxiety looks like
  • When to get help
  • Teaching your child strategies for managing anxiety
  • Self-regulation
  • Understanding our stress-response system
  • How to develop a calm brain
  • What sensory processing disorder is like
  • Anxiety for those with ASD
  • How music can help
  • How you can make your home or workplace calmer
  • … And how to do all this in an increasingly uncertain world.

Our speakers are not just authorities in their field — they are parents and/or grandparents who have a firm grasp on how life is for children today.

Dr Kaylene Henderson

Tackling anxiety & building resilience in our under 12s

In this helpful presentation, Dr Kaylene — a medically trained child health specialist and mother of three young children — will deliver practical, research-based advice about anxiety and emotional resilience in her signature warm, engaging way.

Join her as you learn:

  • How to interact with your child in ways that promote emotional resilience
  • The different ways in which anxiety presents
  • The difference between ‘normal’ anxiety and an anxiety disorder
  • Practical strategies that you can use to help your child tackle their anxiety 
  • When to seek professional assistance

Dr Kaylene Henderson (MBBS FRANZCP Cert C&A Psych) is a medically trained child health specialist, trusted professional development provider for the early years sector and one of Australia’s leading parenting experts. She’s also a mother of three young children. In her warm and relatable style, Kaylene shares practical, research based advice with parents and professionals alike hoping that together, we can bring out the best in the children for whom we all care.

Visit Kaylene’s website to check out her blog, online courses, events and to download her awesome advice packs on a range of topics including anxiety, behaviour, meltdowns, school readiness and more. Together, we can help our kids to become more calm, kind and resilient…what could be more awesome?

Find out more about Kaylene’s work here:

Allison Davies

Supporting children (especially those with ASD & SPD) to thrive through the experience of music

As an autistic woman with Sensory Processing Disorder Alli will share her own stories in a way that puts an adult perspective to some of the struggles our children may be experiencing.

With her lived and professional experience, Alli is in a wonderful position to unplug what life may be like for our children who are struggling with overwhelm, self-regulation issues and in particular sensory overload.

Research shows that our brain becomes more active when we experience music than when we experience any single other thing! With a background in music therapy, Alli prefers an ‘emotive storytelling mixed with science’ approach to education. In her presentation she will show us how the brain responds to the individual elements of music and demonstrate a range of musical strategies for you to implement that will help manage childhood anxiety, regulate behaviours and assist relaxation.

Alli creates online resources for parents, educators and support staff and works with schools to deliver professional development around the topics of childhood brain development and the use of music as a regulatory tool. A former Registered Music Therapist of 16 years, Alli left the Allied Health industry in 2021 in order to align her work more deeply with culturally responsive practices and to switch her focus from individual change to socio cultural change. Alli is an autistic person with attention, sensory processing and executive functioning difficulties. She works within a neurodiversity framework that favours deep acceptance and regulation over assimilation and intervention, and shares her lived experience of autism openly within her seminars, workshops and conferences as part of her ‘emotive storytelling mixed with science’ approach to education. In 2018 she received third place in both the ‘Women Will Change the World’ and ‘Making a Difference’ National AusMumprenuer Awards.

Find out more about Alli’s work at

Full presentation abstract

As an autistic woman with Sensory Processing Disorder Alli will share her own stories in a way that puts an adult perspective to some of the struggles our children may be experiencing, with a particular emphasis on sensory overload.

Rhythm, rhyme, repetition, melody, vibration. These are all individual elements of music that the brain responds to, in magical ways. And when you bring all of these elements together as one, in the form of music, you have yourself the most powerful tool for supporting our children’s brain functioning and helping them to thrive.

Research shows that our brain becomes more active when we experience music than when we experience any single other thing! In this presentation, Alli will show us that there are many ways to experience music, that’s it’s accessible to all and that it’s really not about ‘being musical’.

She will also demonstrate a range of musical strategies for you to implement at home that will help manage childhood anxiety, regulate behaviours and assist relaxation.

If you are not already using music as a way of managing your child’s behavioural and developmental needs then you are missing the most important piece of the puzzle, and if you do already use music in your home, now is the chance to get strategic with it.

Maggie Dent

Exploring children’s anxiety: Understanding & calming our anxious kids (birth-12)

There are many reasons why unhealthy anxiety is being identified at higher rates in recent times. And the pandemic has made things much worse! In this session, Maggie — a former teacher and counsellor, now author, mum of four and grandmother to a growing tribe — explores key stressors in childhood. She asks what unhealthy anxiety is and what we as parents and educators can do to help reduce anxiety and fear in today’s kids as they live with increasing uncertainty. Creating habits that build calming neural pathways can weaken stress sensitive pathways.

Maggie explores:

  • ways to encourage our children to build healthy stress-response systems
  • the importance of time in nature and play 
  • self regulation and how we build it 
  • the what and how of creative visualisation
  • helpful supportive strategies to help our children cope with stressors and be calmer in our homes and classrooms.

Commonly known as Australia’s ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie has experience in teaching, counselling, and working in the palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention.

She is an advocate for the healthy, common-sense raising of children in order to strengthen families and communities. Maggie is also a passionate, positive voice for children of all ages.

Maggie began exploring ways to calm students in her classrooms over 25 years ago. Her passion to understand stress and to find easy ways to calm our children and our world was born. In 2003, she published her first book exploring the increased stress that was being seen in childhood. The book, Saving Our Children from Our Chaotic World: Teaching Children the Magic of Silence and Stillness, was ahead of its time.

Maggie is now one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors, with 9 major books to her name— including her bestsellers Mothering Our Boys and From Boys to Men. In May 2022, she released her new book Girlhood. Maggie is the host of the popular ABC podcast, Parental As Anything and in 2021, she released a book of the same name, based on some of the podcast’s most engaging topics. In 2023, she launched a new podcast with LiSTNR, The Good Enough Dad.

Maggie is the proud mother of four adult sons and a very grateful grandma.

Find out more about Maggie at

Doors open and registration

Acknowledgement of country & welcome

Kaylene Henderson — Tackling anxiety & building resilience in our under 12s

Morning tea 

Maggie Dent – Exploring children’s anxiety: Understanding & calming our anxious kids (birth-12)

Lunch (including opportunity to relax with a 10min recorded ‘sound bath’ created by Ute Coleman from Sound Relaxation, Margaret River)

Allison Davies – Supporting children (especially neurodivergent kids) to thrive through the experience of music

Q&A Session

Prize draws and close

All tickets include:

– delicious food
– a comprehensive conference manual
– a free downloadable bundle of resources worth $43


Early-bird*: NZD215

Standard tickets: NZD255

Concessions/Full-time Students: NZD200

Group pricing**: NZD215

*Early bird pricing closes 1st June.  Now extended to 30th June.
Payment plans close 1st August.
Ticket sales close 1am AEST Sunday 8th September 2024 for Perth.
Auckland ticket prices are displayed and charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD).

*Group pricing applies to bookings of two or more tickets completed in the one transaction. If you are booking for others you will need to enter their name, email address and phone number at the time of purchase so we can contact them with their resources/event information.

AUD prices include GST

+ FREE resources for all attendees

All attendees will receive a conference manual and a downloadable resource bundle worth $43 featuring handpicked eBooks and audio resources for you to use at home or in your centre/classroom/clinic. The downloadable bundle will be emailed to you after the event.

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