From the Ground Up wins Excellence award
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > From the Ground Up wins Award of Excellence and Impact in Education from ACDE

From the Ground Up wins Award of Excellence and Impact in Education from ACDE

by Freya Lucas

December 20, 2023

From the Ground Up, a leadership program co-designed by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) has been recognised by the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE) with the Award of Excellence and Impact in Education for 2023. 


QUT Associate Professor Megan Gibson, a former early childhood teacher and leading research academic and ELACCA’s Elizabeth Death a former early childhood teacher and academic, worked closely with QUT colleagues Dr Julia Mascadri, Dr Marie White and Ms Cathy Nielson from QUT and Dr Amanda Walsh and Kim Crisp from ELACCA to develop and deliver the program.


‘From the Ground Up’ is an innovative program to strengthen and extend the leadership skills of emerging and established leaders in early childhood education and care (ECEC). 


Participants in the program are enrolled in pairs with one being an experienced leader and the other an emerging leader and engage in university-style learning, undertaking fortnightly workshops and coaching and mentoring sessions.


The program aligns with the National Children’s Education and Care Workforce Strategy goal to support the supply, attraction and retention of a high-quality ECEC workforce.


Through expert instruction and action research, educators build knowledge and skills, and put their learning into practice right away. The ‘From the Ground Up’ alumni pool is growing each year, creating a professional leadership network for educators right across Australia.


“We’ve found that participants have really thought about their career development. It is giving them a sense of worthiness in the sector, that they are valued,” Associate Professor Gibson said.


The ACDE Award celebrates and acknowledges the accomplishments of remarkable individuals or teams who have made a meaningful contribution to the education profession with the awards, with any person or team operating within the education sector eligible to be recognised for making a positive impact through any of the following which has (or will have) resulted in a positive impact or improvement to the education sector: 


  • Achieved a meaningful outcome through education research. 
  • Achieved a significant stand-alone success in the education profession. 
  • Built strong collaborative partnerships in the education profession. 
  • Developed and implemented positive initiatives in the education profession. 


‘Our co-design process with the QUT team is delivering such fantastic results for teachers and educators,’ said ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death. ‘Seeing the program participants applying their learning from day one, building great practice in their services and reigniting their passion and commitment to the early childhood education profession, is incredibly rewarding.’


ELACCA looks forward to continuing its partnership with QUT in 2024.


The two other national winners of the ACDE awards were Moombaki Cultural Learnings (led by Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, Curtin University); and Dr Cris Edmonds-Wathen (Charles Darwin University). 


Learn more about From the Ground Up here. Information about the ACDE is available here.


Image shows (L-R): Cathy Nielson (QUT), Marie White (QUT), Amanda Walsh (ELACCA), Kim Crisp (ELACCA), Elizabeth Death (ELACCA), Megan Gibson (QUT). Absent: Julia Mascadri.

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