Advantages of working in rural QLD on show
The Sector > Jobs News > QLD Department of Education shares advantages of working in rural ECEC contexts

QLD Department of Education shares advantages of working in rural ECEC contexts

by Freya Lucas

May 08, 2023

Queensland is a vast state with a wealth of opportunities and support for early childhood educators in the state’s rural and remote areas. The Queensland Department of Education has shared the story of two educators who made the decision to embrace the ‘far out’ life and seek early childhood work in rural and remote communities.


Mount Isa’s Andrea Bowcock never imagined herself working in early childhood, growing up in the remote mining town 900 km from the east coast. However, once her own children came along, she decided to move careers. 


Ms Bowcock now works at Warekila – Happy Valley Kindergarten where she is the Director, Teacher and Educational Leader.


Originally a qualified vet nurse, she planned on taking on an admin role when her two girls started school, however in 2013, she started working in a local kindergarten and “hasn’t looked back”. 


Working and studying to complete her diploma, she then went on to complete her Bachelor of Early Childhood. Since 2018, she has taken on the position of teacher/director at Happy Valley.


“I feel strongly about our little kindy and as much as possible, engage with the community to enrich the lives of the little ones we educate and care for,” she said.


“As educators, we have the opportunity to ensure children develop a love of learning and support them to develop skills for success.”


Learning along with the children is one of her favourite parts of the role, hearing about the history of the Kalkadoon People through Elder Aunty Joan, and working with her team to create learning spaces that inspire creation, wonder and challenge.


120 km east of Mount Isa, fellow educator  and proud Mitakoodi woman Sharlene Hill calls Cloncurry home, a rural town known as ‘the friendly heart of the Great North West’ with a population of 3,000. 


“I grew up in Cloncurry and completed all of my schooling here,” she shared. “When I was four-years-old, I actually went to the kindergarten where I now work.”


Ms Hill has been working in the ECEC sector since she was in high school, starting out as a school-based trainee. 


Now Lead Educator at C&K Cloncurry Kindergarten (pictured) she completed her diploma in early childhood while working at the service, and loves how different each day is.


“I love hearing the stories the kids come in and say, it’s so much fun. I love being the teacher who makes the mess with the kids and being crafty.”


Her connections with the local community continue to grow through her work with the Kindergarten, and she loves feeling so connected to the families she sees in town. 


Both educators encouraged anyone considering a move to a rural community to embrace the opportunity.


“The connections in smaller towns are fantastic,” Ms Hill said. 


“You’re really busy throughout the year, but when the year comes to an end and you reflect back, you can see how much you and your team have made an impact on each child who has attended your service and you feel great.”


The Queensland Government’s kindy funding service location subsidy provides financial rewards for going remote. Learn more here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button