Conference on Play

9 Oct 2015

Play Matters – exploring children’s play worlds 

A one-day conference to mark the 30th anniversary of Wallaroo Playschool, Cork 

In collaboration with the Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century – Children and Young People Research Cluster  

13 November 2015 @ UCC

Play Matters Programme


‌This conference brought together practitioners and researchers from multidisciplinary perspectives to explore the complex and multi-faceted role of play in children's worlds. Themes explored included: debates around the potential of play in supporting young children's wellbeing, learning and development; children's agency and participation in and through play and play spaces; values and play; and equality and diversity issues in children's play.


Speakers from Wallaroo drew on their 30 years’ experience of creating and supporting play and play spaces for children.

The conference attracted interest from parents, childcare practitioners, researchers, policy makers and the general public.



Keynote Speaker:

What's So Great About Play?

Nóirín Hayes, Trinity College Dublin


Confirmed Speakers:

Joanie Barron, Wallaroo

Helen Lynch, University College Cork

Tim Moran, Wallaroo

Susan McDonnell, Sligo Institute of Technology

Caroline O'Callaghan, Wallaroo

Marian Quinn, Cork Institute of Technology

Vanessa Rutherford, University College Cork






Wallaroo Playschool was established in 1985 and is a non-profit making and community oriented organisation delivering a full range of childcare services. It has pioneered diversity and equality programmes for 30 years. For further information go to:



The ISS21 Children and Young People Research Cluster is an evolving network of academics, graduate students, researchers and practitioners within UCC, who aim to collaborate, promote awareness and disseminate research with and for children and young people. The network values diversity and debate within this forum.






Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30