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The Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) is a not-for-profit organisation with an elected voluntary committee and employed part-time Operations Team. REAIE is an invited member of the Reggio Children International Network.

“Our task is to help children communicate with the world using all their potential, strengths and languages, and to overcome any obstacle presented by our culture.”

Our Purpose

REAIE draws on the educational project of Reggio Emilia as the ongoing catalyst for thinking, research and advocacy in Australian educational settings.

We aim to promote a greater understanding of both the complexity and importance of listening in creating relationships both within and between groups of children, educators, families and the community.

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What does REAIE do:

  • promotes the rights and potentials of children and facilitates national and international dialogue and debate about education
  • hosts a national biennial conference with speakers from Reggio Emilia and local presenters
  • provides professional learning opportunities and speakers on request
  • publishes The Challenge journal distributing three editions per year to members
  • provides ongoing support for educators and families 
  • coordinates annual Study Groups to Reggio Emilia and New Zealand
  • manages local conferences, seminars and events
  • coordinates and hosts exhibitions
  • provides travel grants and scholarships to members (by application)
  • undertakes special research projects relating to the educational project of Reggio Emilia in the Australian context

Our Community

REAIE members consist of students, practitioners, academics and educators in preschools, primary, secondary and tertiary organisations, graphic and performance artists, policymakers and architects. Our members live in all states and territories of Australia and beyond, including New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. Our workshops, conferences and events have attracted over 10,000 participants in the past decade alone.

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Our History

REAIE was established in 1994 to provide an opportunity for dialogue about education within Australia. The dialogue responds to the provocations from the educators in Reggio Emilia in relation to learning and teaching. REAIE was initially conceived and set up by Jan Millikan and became an incorporated body in June 2000. The organisation has grown to include many network groups throughout Australia. To learn more about the history of REAIE, watch Jan Millikan’s presentation at the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence in 2012.

Jan Millikan and Janet Robertson began the Challenge newsletter in 1994 as a tool for information and exchange about the educational project of Reggio Emilia. The newsletter responded to the provocations to the first study tours to Reggio Emilia.  At the end of 1994, the first Victorian Network group was set up, followed by a Network group in Sydney.  The Reggio Emilia Information Exchange (REIE) was the name given to the Victorian Network Group in 1995 to establish a national organisation and continue the dialogue about education within Australia.  REIE became an incorporated body in June 2000 following a bequest from the Tot Ed Foundation. In 2006 REIE became the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) and following the 2007 AGM a further change was made and the organisation became REAIE: re search for a new culture of childhood. The organisation has grown to include many network groups throughout Australia.

REAIE today continues the work began by the group of educators who first visited Reggio Emilia in 1992.  It is governed by a Committee of Management, based in Melbourne but with representation from most states of Australia. The committee continues to organise Conferences, exhibitions and Professional Learning opportunities, publish the Challenge Journal, as well as continue to support Network Groups and numerous other projects that support members whilst at all times advocating for the rights of children from birth to realise their potentials in democratic learning environments.

Reproduced with permission by Reggio Children.
Reproduced with permission by Reggio Children.

The REAIE logo ‘the man on the bike’ was taken from a wire drawing attached to translucent paper which was struck to a window in the Diana school. Mary Featherston, Australian designer and Life Member of REAIE,  photographed the wire drawing in 1992 during the first Australian Study tour to Reggio Emilia. She then made a tracing of the image for use as a logo for the first REAIE conference and exhibition held in Melbourne in 1994.