ECLD winners announced at sector awards dinner and presentation
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > ECLD winners announced at sector awards dinner and presentation

ECLD winners announced at sector awards dinner and presentation

by Freya Lucas

May 10, 2024

The winners of the 2024 WA ECLD Sector Awards were announced during a ceremony held at the Pan Pacific Hotel on Saturday 4 May 2024.


Child Australia, and collaborating partners REED WA, Wanslea, Goodstart, MercyCare, The Y WA and Meerilinga hosted the awards, celebrating and honouring the exceptional efforts of individuals and organisations who have shown exceptional commitment to improving outcomes for children and families in Western Australia’s early childhood sector.


Following the success and popularity of last year’s inaugural awards, the 2024 platform saw nominations more than double, with over 200 submissions received. 


“It is truly wonderful to witness so many exceptional professionals being recognised by their peers and sector leaders,” Child Australia CEO Tina Holtom said. 


A total of 24 finalists were chosen across eight award categories, with over 200 guests in attendance to hear their inspiring stories and to witness them collect their awards. 


Winners were selected by an independent judging panel, comprising experts from Tertiary Education, independent training organisations, and leading sector consultants.


Along with the recognition and excitement of being recognised for their work, winners received tickets to the Early Childhood Learning and Development Immersion Unplugged professional learning experience and received a $1,500 cash prize.


The Awards were proudly sponsored by the Department of Communities and collaborating partners, Insight Education, Save Our Service and SNAICC.


“These Awards not only recognise outstanding professionals in the sector but also serve as a beacon of inspiration for emerging educators, guiding them towards excellence and improved outcomes for children,” Ms Holtom said.


WA Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton was in attendance on the evening and shared her pride at being able to support initiatives which recognise the importance of early childhood education and celebrate the exceptional individuals and organisations in the sector, commending the educators and leaders for shaping the future for children.


A full list of winners appears below: 


Outstanding Early Childhood Educator Award: Laura Van Duin (North Fremantle School of Early Learning)


Laura is a mentor for new educators in the centre and excels as a lead educator in the Kindy room.


Laura embodies the centre’s values and demonstrates best practices in caring for and educating children and seeks professional development opportunities to enhance her skills.


Laura’s involvement in creating and maintaining the centre’s RAP with Narragunnawali and connecting with the community showcases her dedication to fostering a sense of togetherness for children and families, working closely with several allied health staff and external support agencies.


Excellence in ECEC Leadership Award: Kelli Gander (Ruth Landau Harp Early Learning)


The staff team and families at Ruth Landau ELC Centre came together to highlight Kelli’s exceptional leadership and the positive impact she has had on the community.


Evidence and testimonials showcase Kelli’s dedication to making a difference in the lives of children, families, and educators in Perth.


Kelli has played a key role in bringing the Centre forward in programming and practice, while also supporting staff to grow and succeed. Kelli offers support and demonstrates leadership, guidance and mentorship to the team.


Service excellence in Partnerships with Families, Communities and Schools Award: Brooke Maynard (on behalf of One Tree Millars Well Children’s Service)


One Tree Millars Well Children’s Service located in Karratha, demonstrates excellence in working in partnerships with families, community, and the local primary school on Ngarluma country.


Millers Well prioritise and practice inclusiveness, they value family input, and engage in community support activities in Karratha, including collaborations with Roebourne Regional prison workcamp. They implement effective school transitions and engage in intergenerational activities with Yaandina Aged Care.


Excellence in Best Practise Award: Meerilinga Woodvale Early Learning Program


Programs that are focused on sustainable edible gardens, teaching children about sustainability including wicking beds, composting, caring for animals, like chickens and worms and the importance of caring for country. The community’s enthusiasm for the garden inspired the team to adopt a local park.


The team are committed to sustainability pledges, such as becoming a laminate-free zone and reducing paper usage. The centre has partnered with TerraCycle to collect hard-to-recycle items and educate children on proper recycling practices.


The service became St. Nic’s first-ever sub-hub, collecting specific items for recycling. This service exhibits an outstanding commitment to sustainable practices ensuring they involve children and families in recycling.    


Excellence in Supporting Child Development Award: Goodstart Early Learning Warnbro


Goodstart Warnbro identified challenges educators faced in ways to support children and staff to improve their focus on inclusion, wellbeing, and best practice.


Analysing AEDC data led to embedding inclusive practices, involving partnerships with families, community providers, and training opportunities, including engagement with NDIS for early intervention pathways and collaborations with organisations like Ear Bus and Autism Australia.


Their commitment extended beyond the center across WA. Prioritising early intervention and individualised support, providing access to community programs, workshops, and allied health Professionals.


Outstanding Commitment to Reconciliation and Cultural Responsiveness Award: Goodstart Early Learning Parmelia


Goodstart Parmelia’s Reconciliation Action Plan is a practical plan of action built on relationships, respect, trust and opportunities to continue building awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture as well as continuing to build and maintain their centres diversity and inclusive workplace.


The centre team have achieved several goals in their reconciliation journey, and they connect regularly with local Elders and the City of Kwinana. The staff are committed to cultural responsiveness and the journey to reconciliation.


Excellence in Outdoor Learning Award: Kristen McPhail (Pachamama Early Education and Childcare)


Pachamama demonstrates exceptional dedication to outdoor education, offering immersive learning experiences in expansive natural settings.


Through meticulously designed spaces and innovative structures, children engage in hands-on exploration and play, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills. Providing transformative experiences that promote holistic development.


An important highlight at Pachamama is the importance placed on learning environments as the third teacher when educators support and plan for children’s ongoing learning and development.


The WA ECEC Recognition Award: Rosina Mastrolembo (Brockman Community Centre)


Rosina has secured significant funding for a new facility, prioritises educator wellbeing, and fosters inclusivity through various initiatives.


Rosina fosters a family-friendly and solution-focused environment through initiatives like Be You and team-building events. She elevates the quality of care and seeks growth opportunities for the team.


Rosina ensures inclusivity by assisting families with additional needs and cultural adjustments, collaborating with organisations like Second Bite and OzHarvest for community support.


Rosina demonstrates proactive leadership that has led to the implementation of programs like Happy Feet and the creation of a preschool program.

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