Affinity leaders participate in QUT leadership project
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > Affinity team members participate in ELACCA leadership project hosted by QUT

Affinity team members participate in ELACCA leadership project hosted by QUT

by Freya Lucas

October 25, 2023

Ten team members from early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Affinity Education Group recently participated in the 2023 ELACCA ‘From the Ground Up’ leadership project hosted by the Queensland University of Technology. 


Confidence, inspiration and growth were key outcomes from the project, which has been designed to build applied leadership skills among early childhood educators and to strengthen and extend the leadership skills of emerging and experienced leaders.


During the six month From the Ground Up (FTGU) leadership course, participants worked in pairs to build their skills and knowledge, coming together each week online in whole-of-group workshops or smaller mentoring and coaching sessions. 


Each team chose a research question to focus on during the project, using this as the basis to extend their own understanding of and capabilities as a leader.   


Deborah Aitchison (pictured), a Lead Educator with Affinity, chose an action research project based on the question ‘How can we support strong educator-child relationships that enhance quality and enable our Lifelong Learning Curriculum?’ 


“This question arose after Affinity launched our Lifelong Learning Curriculum (LLC) in March 2023,” Ms Aitchison explained. 


“Working with my team member Joanne Sawtell, an Assistant Centre Manager from Townsville, we identified opportunities to investigate and improve the way educators use their time, and our LLC Art Zones in a meaningful way, benefiting relationships with children. 


One of the ways this manifested was a focus on encouraging educators to engage deeply with the children while they create art, and to remove the focus of the process on having an outcome which was visible to an external observer, such as a parent.


“My participation in the program has shown me ways I can improve my leadership, and share with others, while holding myself to high standards,” Ms Aitchison said. 


For Ms Sawtell, participating in the program reaffirmed her understanding of leadership and built her self-confidence. 


She is one of 18 senior educational leaders currently employed by Affinity who are regularly given opportunities to take their knowledge and share it with educators across a geographical cluster of centres. 


“Strong leadership is key in driving positive workplaces and continuous improvement in our sector, and Affinity has been proud to support our people to participate in both internal and external leadership programs during 2023,” said Dr Lesley Jones, Head of Education and Pedagogy. 


Learn more about FTGU here. Information about Affinity Education Group may be found here.

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