Jane is an Academic at the University of South Australia in Education Futures. She gained her PhD from Cambridge University and has had a career in education spanning over 25 years.
Jane is recognised Nationally and Internationally as a leader in the field of Play. She serves on the National Board of Play Australia and is involved in writing the National Statement for Play. Well known for her advocacy work, Jane promotes the benefits of play through keynotes, invited lectures and professional development. She regularly works in an advisory and research capacity with councils, landscape architects and education settings.
Jane's research focuses on play and playfulness within schools and communities to benefit children’s social and emotional wellbeing. She has been a Chief Investigator on a number of significant projects including ‘Young and Well CRC: Safe and Well Online’ which examined the role of technology to improve youth mental health.
Jane was awarded an Academic Excellence prize in recognition of her research examining the role of play in disadvantaged, multicultural communities.
Ann is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of South Australia. An experienced clinician and researcher, her work focuses on play and playfulness across the lifespan.
She is passionate about supporting parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and making healthcare as accessible as possible, particularly for people living in rural and remote areas or unable to access services due to other factors.
Ann is currently leading a project on developing a new caregiver assessment of play (Play and Playfulness Caregiver Questionnaire) which will facilitate therapists using play as a goal more frequently in their work with young children.
Amy is an experienced mixed-methods researcher in education who has a particular interest in Early Childhood and Educational Psychology. Amy is a mother of 3 children, and her work recognises the importance of educators, parents, and societal roles in ensuring children reach their full potential. Her work highlights the ecological nature of education and how everyone has a role to play to help children succeed. Her PhD thesis is entitled “Getting ready to succeed at school: Investigating the role of parents”.
Amy has a broad range of experience; she has previously worked as a Ministerial Adviser to the South Australian Minister for Education, and also as a Policy Adviser in education in the government and non-government education and disability sectors.
As well as her research with UniSA, Amy is a Research Fellow at the Gonski Institute for Education. Her current project, Growing Up Digital Australia, is an international collaborative project exploring the benefits and pitfalls of digital device usage on children’s health and wellbeing. Amy also undertakes specialty research for the Parenting Research Centre.
The play researchers are an interdisciplinary team of experts across education, health and psychology from the University of South Australia.