Excellence on show in Victorian Early Years Awards
The Sector > Quality > Excellence on show in Victorian Early Years Awards announcements

Excellence on show in Victorian Early Years Awards announcements

by Freya Lucas

October 23, 2019

Early childhood leaders from across Victoria were last night celebrated for their exceptional work in making a difference in the lives of young children and their families at the Victorian Early Years Awards ceremony, held at the National Gallery of Victoria


There was a strong shortlist of 20 organisations and individuals from across the state who received awards at the ceremony. Seven organisations and one early childhood teacher of the year were recognised for their achievements and contributions to the Victorian early childhood education and care sector.


Among the winners were a program supporting newly-arrived migrant families with their English literacy, a kindergarten incorporating indigenous perspectives into the curriculum, and a program helping children transition from kinder to school.


The prestigious Early Childhood Teacher of the Year award went to Leanne Mits from Pope Road Kindergarten in Blackburn for her work devoted to early childhood learning, connecting children with indigenous history, culture and stories and ongoing research to improve her practice.


Balnarring Preschool was recognised for creating collaborative community partnerships, noting its work in advocating for a culture of learning in natural environments and consciously connecting children to the land. In 2015 the Bundjil Nest Project (BNP) was established by the preschool, extending the learning at the preschool to other local services, including schools and early learning centres. 


The full list of winners comprises:

  • Improving Access and Participation in Early Learning Award – Word Play, Moreland City Libraries


  • Supporting Parents through evidence-based practice Award – Sound Partnerships: Promoting partnerships with families for the teaching of phonics, Rosanna Golf Links Primary School


  • Creating Collaborative Community Partnerships Award – Balnarring Pre-School


  • Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing Award – We Love Stories, Banyule Community Health


  • Continuity of Early Learning Award – BY FIVE: Wimmera Southern Mallee Early Years Project, Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership


  • Early Childhood Teacher of the Year Award – Leanne Mits, Pope Road Kindergarten, Blackburn


  • The Emeritus Professor Collette Tayler Excellence in Educational Leadership Award The Geelong College


  • Minister’s Award – Walking From One Room Into Another Room, Keysborough Primary School.


The winners in each category receive up to $15,000 to continue their work in kindergartens, early childhood education and care services, schools, local councils, maternal child and health services and other early years organisations across the state.

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