C&K CEO Jane Bourne to retire after 52 Years in early childhood education and advocacy
C&K have confirmed that Jane Bourne will be stepping down from her role as Chief Executive Officer which she has held for three years in a move that will mark the end of a fifty two year career working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector.
Having began her career as an early childhood teacher at C&K’s Sussex Street Kindergarten in the West End of Brisbane in 1986, Ms Bourne transitioned to progressively more senior roles in the organisation including centre director and early childhood consultant.
Ms Bourne left C&K in 1998 to join Brisbane based approved provider Peppercorn Management to assume her first senior executive role as General Manager where she spent seven years after which she stepped out on her own and established Ramsay Bourne, an approved provider that over a five year period grew its portfolio of owned and managed ECEC centres to 75.
In 2010 Ms Bourne joined Lady Gowrie Queensland as their CEO where she built on the history and commitment to holistic, responsive, high quality services for children and families that are at the heart of the Lady Gowrie philosophy and vision, a role which she held for eight years before rejoining C&K as their CEO in October 2018.
“Throughout her career spanning 52 years, Jane has been a wonderful mentor, a creative teacher, a strong leader and a warm, ever-positive support to all in our C&K family,” a spokesperson for the C&K Board said.
“It is with deep gratitude, we thank Jane for her dedication and commitment to C&K, our staff, and to all of our children and families across Queensland and we wish Jane every happiness in her retirement.”
To commemorate Ms Bourne’s departure, C&K has generously shared some extracts of an interview in which Ms Bourne reflects on her career dedicated to ECEC.
Where did your journey start and what has inspired you along the way?
I just knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with small children. I wanted to be a teacher and an educator! My inspiration to make early childhood education and care my passion and my career, was and always will be my love for the ‘uniqueness’ of children. Their power to unite and inspire, to probe and find meaning, to go to the edge to achieve, using the thousands of languages that they have so easily and readily at hand.
Are there any key learnings from your career that you would like to share?
I have learnt throughout my career that I must give so much of myself to receive from any child, their trust, and their own type of love for me. Dancing with joy to a song we all love, jumping in the rain puddles because we can, learning together, exploring the world in front of us and indeed behind us, finding out about each other, the look of surprise and joy or sometimes the sadness and reflection…all this and more has inspired my career. It has never once left me, not once.
When working with children we learn so much from one another and there is never enough time to tell all the tales to parents! Often we remember when we lie in bed and think of our day, minds buzzing to do more the next day…and the next.
And what about challenges?
I cannot say that there hasn’t been challenges – there are always challenges and I have been ready to face them and make them my own. I believe the fierce loyalty I have for every child has kept me going. Today it would be called advocacy. It is about making a difference for every child, regardless of what work you do.
How has the world and teaching changed since the start of your teaching career?
I do think that early childhood has changed. Children have changed, they are often more progressive in their behaviour and astute in their thoughts. They are guided by so many different things within technology that was not around when I started to teach in 1975. I admire their skills, their need to know more and their very definite acknowledgment of their world.
We live in torrid times now and early childhood educators and teachers are right there in the middle of it. But I believe this isn’t new to us…we have always been there, with our values, our philosophies on early childhood, and our passion to do right for all children wherever they may be.
What would you say to someone who is considering a job in early childhood education and care?
Teaching in the early childhood sector is the most rewarding job in the world. If you like a challenge, supporting others, being inspired every day, holding the love of children in your heart, celebrating their achievements, watching their skills grow…this is teaching. Having a little person turn to you and ask with their whole being…. What is next for me to learn, what is next for me to find out, will I succeed on my own or with the support of my friends and you, my teacher?
This job, this career, is full of joy.
The achievements you will find are greater than you could ever imagine. Each day brings a different set of challenges, where you and the children work together to bring out the best in everyone. You are a giver, a supporter, an educator, a person of profound importance to those children you work with each day of your career. You are needed, you guide, you consider, you review and evaluate the next steps in your learning and the children you learn with.
Why would you not want to work in this field? I have for 52 years and I’m not finished yet!