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ABOUT US

Ethical Interactions is a Melbourne-based early childhood consultancy that specialises in working alongside teaching teams to create evidence-informed, locally responsive teaching strategies that work for your community of teachers and learners.

The Team

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Rachel Flottman

Rachel has over 15 years’ experience working in early childhood policy, research and practice.

Rachel works in ways that are sensitive and responsive to young children's emotional and intellectual capacities. She is particularly interested in using methods that gather children’s perspectives in ethical ways to inform decisions about matters that affect them. She views children as powerful and agentic and as holding equal value to others in the community. Central to her work is the principle that children are simultaneously capable, and vulnerable. She is continually engaged in critical reflection about the most ethical ways to balance children’s rights with their needs to be protected. 

 

Rachel enjoys working with teachers and educators as an active and equal partner co-constructing approaches that work for local contexts. She brings deep knowledge of theory and research and collaborated with teams’ deep knowledge of their community and local context to create excellent pedagogy, programs and environments. 

Rachel worked closely on the development of the Early Years Learning Framework and led the development of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (2009). Later, she supported the design of School Readiness Funding in Victoria.

 

Prior to this, Rachel held an academic appointment at the University of Melbourne during which she taught in the Master of Teaching (EC) and (Primary) programs, and was widely published in the area of early childhood curriculum implementation. 

 

Rachel has also taught young children across a range of small community services, as well as being the Under Three Practice Leader at a large service in outer Melbourne and a regular speaker at national conferences. 

 

Rachel works across all aspects of programs at Ethical Interactions 

 

BA(Hons), BSocSci, MBA,

Post Graduate Diploma Teaching(EC)

 

VIT Registered Teacher

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Sonja Chambers

Sonja has completed a Masters of Teaching at the University of Melbourne and has worked in the Early Childhood field for over 10 years. Her work spans across stand-alone and integrated EC settings as well as leading education programs for children with complex medical conditions at The Royal Children’s Hospital. 

 

Sonja’s particular passion is working with at-risk children and their families, working holistically to incorporate the complex influencing factors in each child’s learning, development and wellbeing. Sonja has provided EC perspectives in diverse multi-disciplinary teams including psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists in order to design and implement whole-team, whole-child interventions. Her work is informed by socio-cultural theories, attachment theory, and trauma-informed practice with a family partnership approach.

 

Sonja enjoys collaborating with teachers to share knowledge and draw on multiple perspectives to best support children’s learning and development within their specific cultural contexts. She has designed and facilitated EC teacher training in marginalised communities and presented in various contexts including conferences and tertiary education institutes. 

 

Sonja values active listening and empathy to deepen her understanding and relationships with children. She also places emphasis on creative and critical thinking skills in her teaching practice in order to meet the needs of children and scaffold learning. 

BThArts (Acting)

M.Teach (Early Years)

VIT Registered Teacher

Fiona Connan

Consultant

 

Fiona is a specialist inquiry based teacher in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate. She has extensive experience teaching both in Australia and overseas in the UK and Italy. 

 

Fiona is motivated by really knowing and seeing children and giving them the feeling that they are deeply understood and respected by her. She does this through deep pedagogies of listening, a commitment to teaching informed by the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and honouring child voice and perspective. 

 

Fiona loves language and literature and has a deep understanding linguistics. This love informs the way she works with children to help them express their ideas, thoughts and emotions in sophisticated ways so that they can be known and truly understood 

 

Fiona joins Ethical Interactions to bring her deeply developed inquiry teaching approaches as well as her teaching philosophy based on Rights and ethics. Fiona manages our programs and leads our work that supports early childhood services to be more inclusive and responsive to LGBTIQA+ families and their children. 

Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) / BA (Sociology)

VIT Registered Teacher 

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Megan Walsh

Megan is a Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with children, teens and adults.

 

She works alongside her therapy dog, Valentina the Italian Greyhound.  Often people find having an animal in the room helps to put them at ease, especially children. She is the founder and principal at Full Bloom Psychology - a private psychology clinic in Tecoma, in the scenic Dandenong Ranges.

 

Megan says she was “so happy to be invited to collaborate with Rachel and Ethical Interactions after meeting at a meditation retreat and realising our shared passion for inclusivity and diversity”. 

 

Megan and EI collaborate on programs that bring together multidisciplinary perspectives of young children’s social and emotional well-being and identity. 

 

Some of her special interests include yoga, connection to nature, meditation and mindfulness. 

 

When she’s not working, Megan loves spending time with family & friends, bushwalking, taking Valentina out for puppuccinos, music and art or even playing a few games on the Playstation or Switch from time to time.

BA(Psychology)(Honours)

M. Psych (Clinical)

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Taila White

Taila, a graduate in Science from the University of Melbourne with a major in Psychology, is interested in promoting wellbeing and cultivating inclusive environments within Early Childhood settings.

 

Her commitment to establishing supportive spaces for all children is evident through her work with children with special needs. With experience across multiple Early Childhood services in London, she has gained valuable insights into cross-cultural educational practices, broadening her understanding of effective teaching approaches and learning environments.

 

Guided by a sincere love for learning and a deep-seated passion for working with children, Taila's role at Ethical Interactions is an amalgamation of her passions and aspirations. With a solid grounding in psychology and love for writing, she works to make accessible resources and support the Ethical Interactions team in their endeavours for honouring and inclusive perspectives and voices. 

BSc(Psychology)

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Elly Nestler

Elly has over 15 years experience in the early years including teaching, leading educational programs and managing Early Years services. More recently, Elly has been consulting with services that are inspired and ready to improve the quality of their programs to enrich the outcomes for children in the years before school.

 

Elly has worked across Australia and internationally and she has led pedagogy in the UK, where she worked at an integrated hub that supported families and children from diverse and vulnerable backgrounds. This is where she found her passion for working in collaboration with families.

 

Elly has an enthusiasm for supporting teams to critical reflect on how they support children’s identity and create environments and programs that nurture a strong sense of belonging. Elly enjoys working alongside early years professionals and encourages practitioners to use a lens from the child’s perspective. She does this through using real life examples that each educator regardless of their background can relate to. She believes that empathy and understanding build knowledge and change. 

B.ECE 

M.Teach (EC)

Cert IV (Training and Assessment)

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