G8 Education announces national awards
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > 6 of the best: G8 Education announces National Standout Education Awards

6 of the best: G8 Education announces National Standout Education Awards

by Freya Lucas

November 27, 2023

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider G8 Education has announced the winners of its National Standout Education (NSE) awards, acknowledging the efforts of six of its educators for their outstanding contribution.



The NSE awards were created to recognise excellence and continued commitment to play based learning, and the amazing contributions G8 team members make every day, Managing Director of G8 Education Pejman Okhovat explained. 


The awards cover six categories which include: 


  • Safety
  • Sustainability 
  • Community engagement 
  • Family engagement
  • Mentoring
  • Outstanding practice.


Nominations for the awards came from centre teams and families, with team member nominations including stories of how the educator meets the criteria for the nomination to be accepted. 


Six regional finalists for each of the six categories were announced on Early Childhood Educator’s Day in September, and each finalist was then invited to submit additional content to share how they demonstrated their practice in their award category, to support children, teams, families, and their community.


The submissions from Early Childhood Educators Day and the original nominations were assessed by a review panel comprised of Dr Mia Christensen, Slavica Hristova, and Katie Dix, from the G8 Education team, to decide the National Standout Educator for each category.


The winners were announced in an all-team address, and representatives from the G8 Education Leadership Team visited each winner at their respective centre to present them with their awards.


“As I reflect on this year, and my time since joining G8, I am so incredibly proud of each of our regional finalists, as well as the national winners’’ Mr Okhovat said.


The winners are as follows:


Safety Award – Melissa Hills, Kindy Patch Springfield 1


“Ms Hills shows exceptional initiative in identifying workplace hazards and supporting the team to action these,” the judging panel noted. 


“Ms Hills is proactive in her approach as the centre’s Workplace Health and Safety Champion, prioritising her tasks for the month ahead to ensure risks and hazards are identified and reduced to ensure a safe space for all.”


Sustainability Award – Kelly-Lee Went, Community, Kids, Narrabri


The judging panel said that Ms Went has embedded sustainability into her practice and learning environments by establishing a bush school program, sustainability management plan and other projects with the centre’s children, team, and community. 


“Ms Went promotes the use of natural resources and environments to support children in their play, learning, development, and well-being,” they added.


Community Engagement – Nosheen Irtaza, Community Kids Meadow Heights Early Education Centre


“Ms Irtaza is an involved community member, extending this into the experiences she provides for the children with local excursions to the playgrounds, fruit markets, and the local schools,” judges said. 


“Ms Irtaza has also developed key partnerships with support agencies to enhance the team and what is provided at Community Kids, Meadow Heights.”


Family Engagement – Amy Whitby, Bundaberg Early Learning Centre


Ms Whitby was awarded because she “goes above and beyond, dedicating time to encourage and have families participate in centre events and experiences”. 


“Ms Whitby listened to the families to create a daily program and centre events that reflect the families, as well as promote the health and well-being of all the children and families.”


Mentoring – Michelle Mitchell, Fraser Avenue Early Learning Centre, Kellyville 


The judging panel described Ms Mitchell as a committed mentor, always striving to empower her peers to be the best version of themselves, who has also engaged in the ‘From the ground up program’ and attended external conferences, bringing her learning back into the centre and sharing with the team to uplift quality.


Outstanding Practice – Sasha Hill-Head, The Learning Sanctuary, Yarraville


The judging panel said Ms Hill-Head shows clear passion and dedication to her role, leading and mentoring her fellow peers to create rich experiences and environments for children to learn, develop and play, and that she supports her team in setting up engaging environments across the centre, showing clear pedagogical decision-making and understanding of all ages and development needs.


The national winners of each category received financial recognition and funding towards continuous professional development of their choice, and have been acknowledged with an award.


Learn more about G8 Education here

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