‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world’ – Making the KU Difference Awards announced
Kindergarten Union Children’s Services (KU) recently announced the winners of their annual awards which are open to all KU staff, at any level (either as individual staff or as staff teams), who have worked above and beyond their normal duties. The annual ‘Making the KU Difference Awards’ acknowledge those who have made a significant contribution to KU.
For example, Kirrily attended transition to school visits with children from her preschool who are from non English speaking backgrounds, to support them in settling in to school.
Diane has been working with educators on the Sunshine Coast, guiding them to learn more about trauma informed practice, and transforming the way they work with children who have suffered adverse childhood experiences.
Colette has led the innovation of many projects which have transformed the way educators, children and their families are supported, while also streamlining the processes and procedures of the Education Support Team to help them be more productive and efficient in their work.
Individuals or teams can also self-nominate for any of the awards in the following categories:
- For Children
- For Families
- For Communities
- For Staff
- Through Quality
- Through Sustainability (Environmental/Financial Practices)
- Through Innovation
- Through Reconciliation
- By Representing KU
- Annual KU Marcia Burgess Award.
The Annual KU Marcia Burgess Award is given to an individual or team of people who have demonstrated a strong commitment to children and families in one or more of the following areas:
- Children with Additional Needs
- Child Development
- Child Wellbeing
The Awards ceremony is held annually at the completion of the Annual Conference to recognise and celebrate the ‘Making the KU Difference Awards’ and the KUSA Long Service Awards.
2019 Award Winners were as follows:
Making the KU Difference for Children – Kirrily Brassil, Teacher at KU Koala
Kirrily was recognised for her efforts to “go out of her way to provide resources and experiences to engage the children and provide a smooth transition to school” and for her “exceptional ability to connect with the children.”
Making the KU Difference for Children (team) – The Preschool Team at KU Bradfield Park
The preschool team were recognised for their Mary Elizabeth’s House project, based on a popular book by Pamela Allen, which has seen the children create their very own house for Mary Elizabeth.
The children have worked collaboratively to construct the house which has incorporated block work, drawing, clay, literacy and numeracy, as well as social skills and creativity.
Making the KU Difference for Communities – Diane Bray, Inclusion Professional at the Inclusion Agency Sunshine Coast
Diane secured this award for her commitment to helping educators and services understand the impact of child abuse and domestic violence and providing hope and inspiration.Through her support and assistance, educators have grown in knowledge and understanding about the effects of trauma on children.
Making the KU Difference for Families – KU Randwick Coogee
The team at KU Randwick Coogee were rewarded for consistently demonstrating an exceptional commitment to supporting the needs of vulnerable children and their families.
Making the KU Difference by Representing KU – Bonnie Henare, Director at KU Phillip Park
Bonnie’s leadership has seen her team gain broader recognition in the education sector through the receipt of the 2019 ACEL New Voice in Early Education and Care Scholarship. Her team is also involved in the KU Leadership Project, has worked with the Fair Work Commission advocating for the Profession, and presented the Twilight Tour building collegiality within KU.
Making the KU Difference for Staff – Rebecca Harrison from KU Marcia Burgess
Rebecca has gained her certification in ESDM and is dedicated to supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, delivering individual ESDM programs for children and is now a leader and coordinator for the key worker team at KU Marcia Burgess.
She has been involved in guided practice as part of the ESDM Dissemination Research project, sharing her practical knowledge and skills, and has been a constant source of support for all children and educators.
Making the KU Difference through Innovation – KU Peter Pan La Perouse team
The team at Peter Pan La Perouse (pictured above) have worked tirelessly to put together an innovative art program that highlights the Creative Arts at their centre. Staff have undergone extensive professional development to learn pottery skills and have given their own time freely with the aim of sharing their new knowledge and skills with the children.
The art program has enabled the team to teach the children various Art mediums including traditional Indigenous techniques.
Making the KU Difference through Reconciliation – Emma Pritchard, Teacher at KU Windale
As a dedicated leader, Emma supports the knowledge building of all educators, attending regular Indigenous conferences, committed to continued learning through readings and valuable relationships with elders and Indigenous peoples in the local community.
Making the KU Difference through Sustainability – the team at KU West Pymble
The team at KU West Pymble support children in their learning about sustainability, including reducing waste and sustaining the natural environment. Recently the service celebrated 50 years and buried a time capsule in which the children put in their hopes for the environment in the next 50 years.
Making the KU Difference to Quality – the team at KU Phillip Park
The team at KU Phillip Park consistently engage in clear and transparent communication which fosters trust amongst families, and are committed to working within policy, procedure and regulatory requirements forming the foundation of their quality offering.
The team are passionate about creating an environment that not only welcomes difference of opinion but sees difference as an opportunity to collaborate towards continuing to provide a high-quality curriculum.
The KU Marcia Burgess Award – Colette Eyers, Education Support Manager at KU Central Office
Colette was awarded because she “exemplifies the values of KU and like Marcia Burgess, is a strong advocate for the inclusion of children with additional needs”.
Through her leadership, the Education Support Team is a strong and collaborative team that works harmoniously together for the inclusion of all children. Dedicated to strongly advocating for the rights and inclusion of all children and families, Colette was noted as “a deserving recipient of the KU Marcia Burgess Award”.
More information about KU Children’s Services may be found here.