Sparkways team gathers to learn more about Respect and Reconciliation
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Sparkways team gathers to learn more about Respect and Reconciliation

Sparkways team gathers to learn more about Respect and Reconciliation

by Freya Lucas

April 05, 2023
Delegates at Sparkways annual conference are seated around a table

Victorian-based early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Sparkways recently brought together about 500 staff for its annual staff conference, embracing the theme “Respect and Reconciliation.” 


The 2023 theme was chosen to inform the organisation’s approach to Indigenous families, with Sparkways CEO Daniel Findley describing the day, the first major gathering of the organisation as a whole since the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as “a tremendous success.”


Motivational speaker, resilience coach and diversity and inclusion advocate Rhiannon Tracey opened the morning, sharing her insights about the power of positivity, the importance of goal setting, and sharing how to ensure that goals are achieved while mental health and wellbeing is maintained. 

Motivational speaker Rhiannon Tracey addresses a crowd

Professional breakout sessions were hosted by Reconciliation Australia, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc (VAEAI) and the ECO Learning Network. The focus of connecting children’s learning to the land, animals and waters and incorporating culturally safe practices was benefited by the interactive and reflective nature of each session.  


“Days like these are so important because they offer our team not only the opportunity to come together,” said Amy Carr, Executive Operations Manager – Early Learning, “but also because they give us all a chance to consider multiple perspectives, positions, and ways of viewing the world.”


Respect and reconciliation are important themes for Sparkways, an organisation with a rich 140-year history of supporting all children and young people, regardless of circumstance, to thrive, and making a difference in the lives of those living in need. 


“As an organisation we embrace not only the principles of a reconciled Australia,” Ms Carr continued, “but also of the tremendous efforts our team makes each and every day to create spaces which are welcoming, safe and inclusive for children and families.”

Sparkways Head Office staff are shown

Following on from the conference the Sparkways team will initiate an organisation wide Reconciliation Action Plan, along with individual plans at service level. 


“We’re excited about the opportunities these next steps represent,” Mr Findley said in closing. 


“Having the opportunity to come together and discuss the ways in which we can be more forward when it comes to progressing outcomes for the First Nations families in our communities has filled our team with a renewed sense of passion and purpose.” 


To learn more about the work of Sparkways, please see here

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