Guardian Childcare and Education hosts national conference and Aspires Awards
The Sector > Provider > General News > Guardian Childcare and Education hosts national conference and Aspires Awards

Guardian Childcare and Education hosts national conference and Aspires Awards

by Freya Lucas

August 22, 2022

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Guardian Childcare and Education hosted its annual conference and awards celebrations over two days last week, bringing together 350 early childhood professionals from across the organisation’s 130-plus centres.  


Attendees were treated to guest lectures and workshops from sector leaders, motivational speakers and education professionals at the conference and celebrations, the first face to face gathering of its kind for the network in two years. 


Warren Cann, CEO of the Parenting Research Centre was in attendance along with Dr Neil Carrington, former Director of the Leadership Centre for the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER). 


Cam Calkoen, who has a distinguished background in sport, charity and youth work, and who lives with cerebral palsy, shared a motivating guest talk, and attendees also had the opportunity to share their ideas about how the organisation might improve and to offer their perspectives on how Guardian supports children and families. 


“We always strive to draw on the latest thinking and research to deliver a learning experience that supports children to have the skills they need to thrive in the world,” the Group’s Head of Quality and Curriculum, Kathryn Waugh, explained, “and we hope the conference will be a catalyst that will inspire individuals and shape the direction of the organisation’s curriculum.”


“The Connect.Aspire.2022 Conference was a unique opportunity to pause from the day-to-day rhythm and look at how we can be innovative in our teaching practice,” she explained. 


“To hear from these amazing speakers also reminds us of the privilege we have to support young children and families in those critical early years.” 


All that glitters IS gold in annual awards


The refreshed Aspires Awards debuted at this year’s conference, with an “all that glitters” themed gala dinner. National awards were presented to peer voted winners across all levels of roles in the centres. 


A highlight of the awards was the Team of the Year category, going to Acacia Gardens – New South Wales (Northern Region) and Box Hill – Victoria (Southern Region). 


“The past two years have been exceptionally challenging for our sector and we wanted to find a way to energise our teams and celebrate their amazing work,” Guardian CEO Warren Bright explained. 


“The conference and awards have been a fantastic way to reinforce the culture of brave, innovative thinking and to tap into the wellspring of talent and passion we have across our network, which leads to even better experiences for children and families,” he added. 


Learn more about the conference here

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