Author and advocate: Kate Pennington uses ECEC experience differently
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Author Kate Pennington uses ECEC experience and passion to advocate for children

Author Kate Pennington uses ECEC experience and passion to advocate for children

by Freya Lucas

May 18, 2023

Kate Pennington is an author and a passionate educator who sees herself as “an advocate for ostracised children”. 


She has written a series of children’s books where many of the protagonists have disabilities, to show how ‘a bit of kindness’ can create a more compassionate and inclusive society. 


Specifically, her books teach children not to laugh at other children who may have disabilities.


“My books focus on compassion and kindness that aims to stop aggression and bullying,” she explained. 


“I wrote these books to leave a legacy and build a safe haven for children to support each other and not be passive bystanders.”


In one story, the lead character Suzie Strauss has a cochlear implant to help her learn how to speak and hear, and other characters tease her. Another story, which touches on eating disorders, was inspired by her time working directly with children in an early childhood setting. 


“The book originated when I overheard a three-year-old saying they didn’t want to eat something ‘because I’ll get fat’,” she explained. 


“This book teaches children about photoshopping and that things they see may not be a true reflection of reality.”


Her work began as a way of honouring the memory of her brother, Bruce. 


“Growing up, I saw things through other people’s eyes and recognised that the pain in another person’s eyes (dealt by the cards of life), can never be hidden. This has informed my personal motto, which is: ‘Create a domino effect of kindness’,” she shared.  


While Ms Pennington “no longer has the energy required” to work with toddlers, her passion for education continues, and she is studying for a Certificate IV in School-Based Education Support.


“I’ve always worked with children, but I’ve always loved to work with kids who are living with a disability,” she said. 


“I studied early childhood years ago, however I now prefer to work with primary-age school children.”


Once her Certificate IV is complete, she plans to open her own service to provide  support and social groups for all children, with and without disabilities.


“My cousin had a learning delay and was born with epilepsy. He went to a special school, but unfortunately, some people made fun of him even as he grew into an adult,” she explained.


“Because of this, I plan to provide support groups and a fun atmosphere of belonging, safety and nurturing.”


To learn more about Ms Pennington’s books, please see here

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