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Difficult Conversations: How do we have them?

  • Online course

    It can be difficult to have difficult conversations with parents or colleagues whilst sustaining relationships with them. 

    Engaging parents in honest and supportive conversations can enable change for children and families and help professionals to sustain relationships with parents. Learn how to enter into difficult conversations from a family partnership perspective with the help of this workshop.

    This workshop explores the context and desired outcomes of difficult conversations. It considers the skills and qualities required to enter into conversations from a partnership perspective and provides practical opportunities to practice and reflect on newly acquired tools and approaches.

    Date: 9 February 2022 - SOLD OUT

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Date: 17 March 2022 - SOLD OUT

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Date: 27 April 2022 - SOLD OUT

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Date: 21 July 2022 - SOLD OUT

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Date: 23 August 2022 - SOLD OUT

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Date: 20 September 2022

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Date: 12 October 2022

    Time: 11am – 12.30pm and 1.00pm – 2.30pm

    Delivery: Online via Zoom (2 x 1.5 hour sessions)

    Cost: $197 incl GST

    Registration: Click here to register

    About the facilitators

    Donna Anderson

    Donna has an extensive background in early childhood and holds a Diploma in Children’s Services and a Diploma of Business (Community Services and Health Management). Her diverse experiences working as a practitioner, in management roles, and teaching of Child Studies has equipped Donna with a unique understanding of child, family and professional needs within early childhood.

    Donna facilitates multiple training programs such as Let’s Read, Group Facilitation, Having difficult conversations, Reflective Practice with CCCH. She has been practicing as a Family Partnership Training facilitator since 2005 and is an accredited Family Partnership Model trainer and supervisor.

    Deb Sestak

    Deb Sestak is an experienced facilitator with a keen interest in community partnerships. Her training portfolio at the CCCH includes The Family Partnership Model (FPM), Family-Centred Practice, Reflective Practice, Platforms, Improvement Approach and Linking Schools and Early Years. With the training and development team, Deb delivers customised training and consultancy for a diverse range of community partnerships and organisations.

    Experience and achievements

    Since 2013 Deb has facilitated learning and development workshops for CCCH in the FPM foundation and facilitation courses and workshops that sit under the umbrella of the FPM: Facilitating a process for genuine engagement, Engaging families, Difficult Conversations and Group facilitation.

    Nathalie Martinek

    Nathalie Martinek is a project officer working on facilitation and training in the Centre for Community Child Health Training and Development team since 2015.

    Originally from Montreal, Canada, Nathalie completed her undergraduate and her PhD in developmental biology at the University of Toronto. After moving to Melbourne with her husband, in 2005, she spent several years as a Postdoctoral researcher at the Peter Mac before moving into projects with a public health and community focus at CCCH.  This shift in focus lead her to develop programs and aids that support medical and allied health professionals in their own lifelong learning and behavioural health alongside her work at CCCH in group facilitation and partnership-centred practice.

    Nathalie is interested in the power of partnerships as agents of cultural and practice change in healthcare settings that promote the fulfillment and wellbeing of all health professionals and the communities they serve.

    Martin O’Byrne

    Martin commenced with the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) as part of the Tasmanian team in 2010, leading an action research project and participating in the Learning and Development Strategy as part of the development of the Tasmanian Child and Family Centres initiative. 

    Martin has extensive experience in early childhood education having trained and worked as an early childhood teacher. He has also worked in community development roles in Victoria and Tasmania. Martin now facilitates training for early years practitioners across Australia through the Training and Development team within CCCH and is interested in practice change and how partnerships can assist better outcomes. 

    Face-to-face course

    A common concern for practitioners working with parents of young children is how to enter into a conversation with families about what is perceived as a difficult topic. By popular demand, the Training and Development Team has developed a new workshop. Difficult conversations may arise in situations where there are concerns about a child’s development or behaviour, or where there is a clash in perspectives between a parent and a practitioner. This new course explores the context of these situations and the desired outcomes. It considers the skills and qualities required to enter into these conversations and reflects on how this might work in practice.

    Course Outcome: Participants are able to engage with parents in difficult conversations

    Learning Objectives:

    For participants to increase their awareness of:

    • the need for a trusted relationship as a basis for these conversations
    • the factors that accompany difficult conversations
    • the factors that enable or become barriers to these conversations
    • the qualities and skills required to work with parents effectively

    Cost: $226 incl. GST

    Duration: (1/2 day)    


    Enrol now

    Due to the current situation all face to face calendar workshops has been cancelled.  This course can also be delivered online.

    The workshop can be tailored to suit a range of practitioners and/or particular situations. It can be provided as a brief session (1½-2 hours), a half-day or one day workshop or a series of sessions.To find out more and enquire about this new workshop  contact us


Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.