Meet our team

About Dr Deborah Harcourt

Dr Deborah Harcourt holds a number of visiting and adjunct professorial positions in Early Childhood and is the Executive Director of APECC. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for the past 30 years in Australia, Singapore, China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, UAE, UK and Sri Lanka.


Deborah began her career as a preschool teacher, working with 3-5 year old children and then moved to the University sector where she has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in teacher education, health sciences and within a school of medicine. She was based in Singapore for 8 years as a teacher educator, education consultant and researcher. She focuses on practice and research that highlights young children’s rights as active citizens and is currently working with educators and researchers in Sweden, Italy, Australia, Austria and Israel who are interested in researching with children on a range of topics.


She has published and presented her work widely and was the 2004-2015 Chair of the special interest group, “Children’s perspectives in research” for the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA). Deborah is also a member of the Europen Educational Research Association (EERA) and their special interest group, "Children's Rights". Along with colleague Dr Jonathon Sargeant, Deborah is the only Australian to have undertaken the international course in Childen's Rights offered by the UN at the Universities of Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium.


Deborah worked closely with the 2012-2013 South Australian Thinker in Residence program that hosted Professor Carla Rinaldi from Reggio Children. She has visited Reggio Emilia many times on study tours and completed the Winter School on Documentation in 2015. Deborah urges early childhood professionals, in Australia particularly, to engage with the recommendations from Prof Rinaldi's 2013 report Re-imaging Childhood.

Deborah is particularly fluent in speaking about children's rights; constructing the way we view children in early childhood settings; the centrality of relationships in early childhood; the importance of deep listening and its role of educational documentation and; the importance of context for young children's learning and well-being.


Dr Harcourt is currently exploring the notion of Evaluation Communities and their ability to strengthen educators' understandings of the Early Years Learning Framework's learning outcomes. She is also interested in assisting educators examine Quality Areas 1 and 5 from the National Quality Standard by creating "spaces" for honouring thinking with children. In addition, Deborah has begun to work with early childhood settings on establishing a culture of professional inquiry.


Her international experience enables Deborah to quickly adapt to diverse contexts, experiences and a range of educator and organsiational capabilities. Well known for her engaging manner and humorous stories from the field of early childhood, her depth of knowledge about early childhood pedagogy, practice and research is evidenced through her publications and public presentations.


Deborah lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two of four children still at home. You can contact Deborah at


About Vivienne Walsh

Vivienne has over 20 years experience with early learning across kindergartens, child care and independent schools. She has a passion for personalising the Reggio Emilia experience within the Queensland context and leads a team of educators who are currently researching and implementing an inquiry rich philosophy. Vivienne has been leading the Flinders Early Learning Centre team for 10 years who are involved with an ongoing research project redefining educational documentation and inquiry linking with their pedagogy and the Early Years Learning Framework.

Vivienne is focused on the rich image of child and teacher, authentic listening and a commitment to relationship based learning to create an optimum environment for play, inquiry and reflection. You can contact Vivienne

About Kalliope Coplin

Based in Singapore and with over 16 years experience in the education sector, Kalliope has built extensive professional experience relating to both the international school sector as well as the Singapore Ministry of Education, and is a registered MOE principal. With experience and training in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), project and enquiry-based learning, along with professional learning  at the world-renowned study centre in Reggio Emilia, Italy, has resulted in numerous invitations to present leadership, critical skills and best practices seminars and workshops in a diverse range of educational fields. You can contact Kalli

About John Burke

John is the entire APECC accounts department! With a long history in retail and stock control, John ensures that all of our clients receive the very best value for money and that our accounts are kept in order to comply with high quality business practices. You can contact John

Other critical resources

There are a range of high quality organisations, networks and consultancies that we believe offer additional expertise and experience to the work of APECC.


For those particularly interested in the "Reggio Emilia Approach" we always advise that you view:

Reggio Children for information about the Reggio Emilia Educational Project at it's source


We also recommend the international Reggio Networks. For example:

The Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) which offers support in the Australian context

The North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) which offers support in the North American context

The Reggio Emilia Aotearoa New Zealand(REANZ) which offers support in the New Zealand context


And other consultancies/agencies/organisations that compliment the work of APECC:

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Jayne Kinley Consultants particularly for outdoor environments and sustainability practices