Special recognition for Bathurst FDC educator in recognition of help during COVID-19

Special recognition for Bathurst FDC educator in recognition of help during COVID-19

by Freya Lucas

February 10, 2021

Donna Sollorz was recognised with an Australia Day Achievement Medallion for her status as one who was able to support the town’s frontline workers to continue their jobs at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Ms Sollorz was absent from the Award ceremony on Australia Day, being presented with her certificate and medallion after the event by mayor Bobby Bourke and councillor Alex Christian at a personalised event.


The medallion component of the Australia Day awards is a new initiative in 2021, and has been designed to give the community an opportunity to nominate those in public service who are known to go ‘above and beyond’.


Ms Sollorz operates Donna’s Family Day Care (FDC) out of her home, and was nominated by a frontline worker, who relied on her to care for her children while she was working during the pandemic.


As with many others, Ms Solloroz made sacrifices during the pandemic to support others, including cancelling a holiday to remain open, taking in children who were not able to attend their usual day care services, and ensuring she operated on public holidays to provide care for those in the healthcare sector who needed care. 


“I didn’t think anything of it,” she told local publication The Western Advocate. “They needed to help the community because of this pandemic, so I needed to help them.”


When she found out about her award nomination, she felt “absolutely shocked, but also proud” to have been nominated after having worked as an FDC educator in Bathurst for the past 13 years. 


Her journey as an educator began when, as a mother of five and pregnant with a sixth child, she moved to the rural New South Wales town, and decided to take a leap of faith. 


Initially Ms Sollorz only intended to work in the sector until her youngest started school, however, with that child now in high school, she has no plans to change her career. 


“I was actually at a point where I was getting tired and thinking ‘Is there another career I could do?’, and then this (the award) happened and I went ‘No’. There is no other career, this is obviously it, I have to stay,” she told the paper.


To access the original coverage of this story, please see here