For those who want to build an ECEC career, Gowrie Victoria offers abundant opportunity
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > For those who want to build an ECEC career, Gowrie Victoria offers abundant opportunity

For those who want to build an ECEC career, Gowrie Victoria offers abundant opportunity

by Freya Lucas

December 02, 2022

For more than 80 years, Gowrie services have been known for showcasing innovative practice, which places children at the centre as dynamic and involved learners, and which supports early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals with fantastic learning and development opportunities. 


Gowrie Victoria is no different. We recently spoke with the team to learn more about “the Gowrie difference”, and about what the regular culture surveys conducted by the leadership team reveal about what it means to be a part of the organisation. 


When employees are asked in the surveys about what drew them to their role, and what keeps them there, three elements come up over and over again: 


  • the Gowrie philosophy and how this shapes programs, 
  • the culture and values of the organisation, and how those values are lived by those who work in that community, and; 
  • the focus on providing career pathways


“Our values and our culture are the foundation for all of our work,” Susan Anderson, CEO explained. 


“The authenticity of the relationships we build with each other and with our children, families and communities is core to who we are. Investing in our people and supporting them to grow is how we deliver better outcomes for children and families.”


Helping children and educators thrive


Known for more than just being an ECEC provider, the Gowrie Victoria name is synonymous with championing quality sector wide, and for being a place where educators from across the state have come to observe, learn and be inspired. 


The Gowrie Victoria philosophy encourages teachers and educators to intentionally engage children in thinking and learning about themselves, about the world around them, and about First Nations perspectives, taking the view that children are strong and capable citizens. 


“We encourage children to be active participants in their own learning,” Susan said, “which is why you’ll see our teachers and educators actively engaging children in decision-making. This might be about where they choose to play, what and when they will eat through to how they think the learning environments should be designed.”

Attracting and retaining educators, leaders and other ECEC professionals who align with the core philosophy of Gowrie Victoria is a priority for each of the six services because it is this alignment which is such an important part of how programs, practice and relationships are shaped. 


There’s a strong focus on allowing employees to spend their time planning, educating and caring for children, and developing strong relationships with families.


Professional development and a focus on career pathways


Gowrie Victoria supports its employees, and others in the ECEC community who access Gowrie’s professional learning opportunities, to build and refine their ECEC practice through professional development,coaching, mentoring, and other programs. 


For all Victorian early childhood teachers (ECTs) who wish to move from provisional to full registration, Gowrie Victoria offers a mentoring program which runs from between three to five months, depending on the needs of the teacher, and includes three onsite observation and reflection sessions. 


In between visits, the mentors provide support on any areas which require further development, gather evidence of professional practice, and work in tandem with their mentee to complete an inquiry project, which is then assessed by a panel of teachers, supported by the mentor. 



“I found I was well supported and had the good fortune to observe my mentor, to have professional discussions and receive constructive feedback,” recent participant Zaahirah shared. “This made it a good experience.”


Coaching is also something which is available to the broader ECEC sector, with Gowrie Victoria staff offering coaching conversations which help individuals to unlock their potential through raising awareness and supporting people to identify their own goals, articulate their current reality, explore options for development, take action and form habits. 


“At Gowrie we talk about a culture of coaching. This is one where a coaching approach is adopted in a wide variety of interactions. It happens formally through a specific program or in  meetings between a leader and a team member. 


It also happens informally, as a way of working and engaging, to embed learning and develop skills and capabilities. We believe that the coaching and mentoring programs we offer the sector can have a real impact because these are programs we already implement in our own services and we know they work,” Susan said. 


For those who are at the beginning of their ECEC careers, Gowrie Victoria offers a range of traineeship options which allow aspiring ECEC professionals to “earn while they learn,” offering the opportunity for educators to mix theory and practice, learning on the job and in the classroom, while also earning a living. 


“I would definitely recommend it,” Julia, a trainee from Gowrie Clare Court shared. “It’s a great, hands-on way to work with children even if you don’t have prior experience. I had volunteered at a children’s hospital and did some babysitting, but apart from that, I hadn’t worked with children before at all.”


“You get a wage, but you also learn in such a practical way. You don’t just learn in the classroom and then get your qualification. You get it through experience. You get it through working with different people and learning different things from others.”


“I wouldn’t do this course any other way because for me, I couldn’t sit in a classroom all day to learn. Then you’d go into the workplace and think, ‘now what do I do?!’ We have hands-on experience, and we have the practical experience of observing the children and learning with them – which is just so valuable.”


Tailored solutions with chances to grow


“There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Susan added, “and as an organisation, because we also run an RTO and offer several professional development programs for the sector across Victoria, we’re in the fortunate position to offer our team a number of different career pathways.”


Team members may have the opportunity to grow and develop as professionals, contributing to coaching and mentoring work, training and development, inclusion support, and other roles as they move throughout their career, offering far broader opportunities than simply a pathway from educator to service leader. 



Individual learning plans, leadership programs, an online learning hub and support for accelerated study which leads to a teaching qualification are just some of the benefits enjoyed by the Gowrie Victoria team. 


There are also opportunities to participate in state based, national and international projects, research opportunities and communities of practice. 


Will 2023 be the year you choose to make a change?


A non-profit organisation with six services located in diverse communities across Melbourne, Gowrie Victoria’s spaces  celebrate the natural environment, allowing children to be active and connect with the natural world around them, building relationships with Country and the community in a respectful and considered way. 


With Victoria leading the nation in its commitment to the ECEC workforce, and with ambitious reforms to continue under a re-elected Andrews Government, Gowrie Victoria is well positioned as a dynamic employer, with a number of opportunities for professional growth, and programs which support children to thrive.


For those in the state, or those who are willing to relocate, Gowrie Victoria is a wonderful place to grow a career for those who align with the values and philosophy of the long standing organisation. 


If a change is on your mind for 2023, there’s never been a better time to consider moving to Gowrie Victoria


To access the latest opportunities available please email [email protected] , or view the dedicated careers page, here

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