Belinda Friezer

Proposed Title

How do infants interact in triads in long day care?


My research, titled "How do Infants Interact in Triads in Long Day Care?"  aims to better understand the interactions of infants under 2 years-of-age in groups of three children (triad) in the context of centre-based long day care.  A key component of this research and what makes it different to previous laboratory-based research is that it is designed to document over a 12-month period the developmental trajectory of infant-peer triadic interactions in a natural setting.   This study will gather fine-grained information about the ways infants develop social and cultural understanding in small peer group dynamics during their early transition into long day care.  Data sources include observational diaries and filmed case studies of 15 infants from 3 to 24 months-of-age.  Educator responses to filmed infant-peer triadic interactions are obtained providing information on how educators understand and support infant-peer interactions in group care.

Why I chose Charles Sturt

I worked as a research assistant studying infants for Professor Linda Harrison, Professor Ben Bradley and Dr. Robyn Dolby.  I had also worked as a psychologist and art therapist with mothers and babies. It was a natural progression to commence a PhD based on the interaction between infants.


  • APHRA Psychology Registration, Number PSY0001133145
  • Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society
  • Arts Therapist Registered, Number P1997N-070
  • Full Professional Member of the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association
  • Member of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health.


  • Harrison, L., Friezer, B. & Dolby, R. (in press). Applying the Tavistock method of observation and group reflection to the study of babies and toddlers in child-based childcare. In L. Li, G. Quinones & A. Ridgeway (Eds.), Relationships in cultural contexts. Springer.
  • Dolby, R., Hughes, E. & Friezer, B. (2014). Playspaces: educators, parents and toddlers .In L.J. Harrison & J. Sumsion (Eds.), Lived spaces of infant-toddler education and care. Exploring diverse perspectives on theory, research and practice (pp. 89-102). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Dolby, R., Hughes, E. & Friezer, B. (2013). Secure transitions: supporting children to feel secure, confident and included. Early Childhood Australia (issuing body).  Deakin West, A.C.T:  Early Childhood Australia
  • Swan B., Dolby, R.  (2003). The First Five Years.  Developing Practice. The child, youth and family work journal: Autumn 2003 (6) 18-23.
  • Swan, B. (1998). An Object relations approach to art therapy and its application to early intervention programs. In S. Donnelly and J. Edwards (Eds.), Inner worlds – outer realities: the prevention of child abuse and neglect through early intervention (pp. 177-185).  Sydney: Benevolent Society of NSW, Centre for Children's Early Intervention Programs.

Conference Papers

  • "Developing a community within Early Childhood Services using an attachment framework." By Dr Robyn Dolby and Belinda Swan.  Seminar presented at the Parent Infant Foundation of Australia, Attachment Theories and Clinical Work Seminars, 10th November 2003, St Francis Xavier Parish Hall, Sydney.
  • "When it's all too much.  Re-thinking child-teacher relationships in facilitating positive responses in children." By Belinda Swan, Dr Robyn Dolby and Judith Croll.  Presented at the Uniting Care Children's Services Forum, Annual Conference, 28th October 2003, The Uniting Church Offices, Sydney
  • "Early Intervention in childcare settings – a new model holds great prospects.  Building relationships in Early Childhood Settings." By Belinda Swan, Dr Robyn Dolby and Judith Croll.  Presented at the Country Children's Services Association Annual Conference, 20-22nd June 2003, Rydges Hotel, Canberra.
  • "Early Intervention in childcare settings – a new model holds great prospects." By Belinda Swan, Dr Robyn Dolby and Judith Croll.  Presented at the Queen Elizabeth Centre's Second National Conference, 8-9th November 2002, University of Melbourne, Melbourne.
  • "Caring for children who have experienced abuse and neglect: a positive role for childcare". By Dr Robyn Dolby and Belinda Swan. Presented at the Early Childhood Association Biennial Conference, 18-21st July 2001, University of New South Wales, Sydney.
  • "An Object relations approach to art therapy and its application to early intervention programs". Presented at the Inner Worlds – Outer Reality Conference, 14th-15th September, 1998, Benevolent Society, Sydney.
  • "The Application of art therapy to infant parent psychotherapy." Presented at the Australian National Art Therapy Association Conference, 24-25th October, 1998, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.
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