Sally Smith wins memorial award for her commitment to excellence in early years
Sally Smith, Director of Robe Soldiers Memorial Kindergarten in South Australia, was recently announced as the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Dianne Manhood Memorial Award for Commitment to Excellence in Early Years.
Jointly awarded by Wattle Range Council and TAFE SA Mount Gambier, the annual Award is sponsored by Council in memory of Dianne Manhood, a well-respected community leader and long serving Director of the Gladys Smith Early Learning Centre, and comes with a $500 prize, to be used for on-going professional development.
Ms Smith was recognised for her passion and mentorship, and for the advocacy work she performs on behalf of children and families in her community, as well as for the innovation in her field she inspires in others.
“Sally is incredibly generous in her time and support of other educators and the families she works with. Her passion for her work in the Early Years is shown through her commitment to the sharing of learning, ideas and resources and actively seeking current professional learning opportunities far and wide. Sally is an inspirational educator and is deserving of this award,” Mr Paul Duka, Council’s Director Corporate Services, said on announcing the award.
Having worked in the sector for more than 30 years, 17 of which have been spent in her current role, Ms Smith said it was an honour to be recognised with the award.
“Over those many years and through working with so many families and children I have been continually inspired to do my best to make sure that every child’s learning experience is a successful and happy one, nurturing curiosity and joy in learning,” she said.
Ms Smith dedicated her award to “the many wonderful educators at Robe and across the Limestone Coast” who have challenged and supported her while sharing their knowledge and professionalism.
“Their commitment to continuous learning and improvement in practice has sustained and extended my knowledge and enthusiasm across my career. I would also like to acknowledge Dianne and her influence on the early childhood sector in our region over many years,” Ms Smith said.