KU Making the Difference Award winners announced for 2024
The Sector > Provider > General News > KU Making the Difference Award winners announced for 2024

KU Making the Difference Award winners announced for 2024

by Freya Lucas

April 24, 2024

KU Children’s Services recently celebrated excellence in its organisation through its annual ‘Making the KU Difference Awards’. 


The Awards recognise exceptional contributions to ECEC, highlighting individuals and teams who have demonstrated outstanding dedication, innovation, and commitment to enriching the lives of children, families, and communities.


Winners, and their stories, are outlined in the piece below: 


Making the KU Difference for Children


  • Alicia Hackfath – Early Childhood Teacher at KU ANSTO Children’s Centre


Alicia advocates for children in every aspect of the program, developing warm relationships and tailoring resources to each child’s needs. Her child-focused approach creates enriching environments and promotes exploration and development.


  • Christine Lee – Early Childhood Teacher at KU Macquarie Fields Preschool


Christine’s teaching embodies strength, relational focus, and diversity, fostering connections with all children. Her commitment to inclusivity and her uplifting spirit makes a difference to every child she engages with.


  • KU St Ives Barra Brui Preschool Team


Inspired by Vivian Paley’s work, the KU St Ives team embraced “Helicopter Stories,” supporting creativity and literacy. This innovative approach has had a significant impact on children’s self-expression and literacy skills.


Making the KU Difference for Families


Gaye Ryberg – Education Support Manager


Gaye’s warm and generous nature ensures families receive the support they need to thrive. Her commitment to inclusive practices fosters a culture of support and growth, benefiting families and communities.


Making the KU Difference for Communities


Oriana Blanco and the KU Inner West Supported Playgroups Team


Oriana has led Supported Playgroups for nearly 20 years, providing vital early intervention for vulnerable families. The team’s commitment to care and support strengthens communities and enriches the lives of families in need.


Making the KU Difference for Staff


  • Di Enks – Education Support Manager


Di provided invaluable support to the KU Peninsula Preschool team when they faced challenging circumstances. Her dedication and mentorship have had a lasting impact on the preschool team, promoting growth and resilience.


  • Jennifer Green – Education and Quality Manager


Jennifer’s leadership provided stability and inspiration during a difficult year at KU Peninsula. Her advocacy and collaboration with the team fostered resilience amidst significant transitions, ensuring consistency and progress with the service goals and vision.


Making the KU Difference to Quality


Megan Dodds – Director at KU Corrimal East Preschool


With 35 years of service, Megan demonstrates dedication and exemplary leadership in early childhood education. Her passion for innovation enhances the quality of early education, ensuring every child receives the best start in life.


Making the KU Difference through Sustainability


KU ANSTO Children’s Centre Team


Through the ‘Becoming Eco Smart Together’ program, the KU ANSTO team embraces sustainable practices. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of their program, paving the way for a greener future.


Making the KU Difference through Innovation


Deb Watson – Manager Sustainability


Deb’s leadership in the ‘Becoming Eco Smart Together’ program has had a significant impact on KU services. Her advocacy for sustainability underscores KU’s commitment to environmental responsibility and future generations.


Making the KU Difference by Representing KU


Carolyn Wilson – NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency State Manager


Carolyn’s collaborative leadership fosters respectful relationships, strengthens partnerships, and elevates KU’s reputation. Her representation of KU demonstrates a commitment to excellence and advocacy for inclusive practices.


Making the KU Difference in Commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples


Bree Perkins – Director at KU Kahibah Road Children’s Centre


Working closely with KU’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs Team, Bree has been open and supportive of the service team to engage in learning more about the importance of cultural responsiveness. Her dedication, passion and care has led KU Kahibah Road to make significant progress in the cultural space.


Making the KU Difference for Inclusion


  • KU Cheltenham Memorial Preschool Team


Director Michelle Healey and her team demonstrate outstanding commitment to inclusion, nurturing strong relationships with families and children. The preschool’s inclusive environment fosters belonging and engagement, ensuring every child feels valued and respected.


  • KU Fairfield AMEP Child Care Centre Team


Led by Coordinator Mervat Nashid, the KU Fairfield AMEP team epitomises inclusion and multiculturalism. Through the inclusive program and the team’s care, compassion and professionalism, they ensure all children and families experience respect and belonging.


  • Cockatoo Room Team at KU Faulconbridge Children’s Centre


The Cockatoo Room team supports a range of children with high support needs, including those with extreme behavioural responses. The team implements different programs and practices to support inclusion, focusing on relationships to create an environment where all children are valued, accepted, and celebrated.


KU Marcia Burgess Award


KU Briar Cottage Preschool Team


The team at KU Briar Cottage consistently supports vulnerable children, families, and their community through their daily interactions and planning. Each year, the service successfully includes a high number of children with disabilities, typically 50% of the cohort, in addition to many children with high learning support needs. Their strong commitment to inclusion and child wellbeing is widely recognised within the community, ensuring every child feels heard, valued, and included.


Learn more about KU here. To view a range of images from the Awards please see here

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