33 years and counting: Stacey’s ECEC journey
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > 33 years and counting: Stacey’s ECEC journey

33 years and counting: Stacey’s ECEC journey

by Freya Lucas

May 17, 2024

Stacey Timpone has been working in early childhood education and care (ECEC) since she finished high school, and it’s a career like no other for her, one which she takes a great deal of pride in. 


Currently she is the Director of the Goodstart Early Learning service Kirwan Golf Links Drive, but throughout her career she has held many roles including educator, room leader, director and area manager. 


Her bond with the Kirwan community, in Queensland’s Townsville area, is a strong one, and it’s a place where she has thrived not only professionally, but personally also. 


“I always knew that I wanted to do something to do with children,” Ms Timpone explained. 


“All through high school I used to love babysitting. My dad was in the army, so growing up there were a lot of groups and families with children together. I’d look after them. Originally, I did apply to get into the TAFE course and didn’t get in straight away. I was disappointed. But there was a second round, and I got in then.”


She has enjoyed her 24 year stint with Goodstart Kirwan Golf Links Drive, where she’s watched the service grow since its opening, to become the Exceeding rated service it is today. 


With over 24 years of history at the centre, she’s witnessed its growth from inception to now, an Exceeding rated service. 


“I really love this job and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Everybody knows that I’ll be here forever,” she said. 


“The most rewarding aspect of my work is the relationships built with children and their families. I just love it. Witnessing children’s growth from nursery to kindergarten and beyond is a privilege.”


Some of the families in the care of the service have had multiple children attend, and as such, deep connections which have built up over time. 


“Saying goodbye when the last child graduates can be bittersweet after such long-term relationships,” Ms Timpone explained. 


Not only have her own children attended the service, she now has a grandson who comes along, adding another layer of significance to her work. 


This significance is part of what drives her hiring choices when building her team, which is based on a strong culture of collaboration and mutual respect.


“I am selective when I hire people because they’ve got to be of high quality,” she said. 


“I build trust with the girls every day, from the moment I come in. I go around to every room and say, ‘Good morning, how are you going?’”


“One, it’s greeting them, but also, it might nudge them if they need to talk to me later. So, I think they appreciate that. I just try and make sure that I talk to the girls and spend time on the floor. Even if I’m working at the computer, I’ll get up and go around. It allows them to talk about something or ask questions, and I try to help them out.”


“They need to know there’s always someone there they can approach or talk to. My staff know that I mix with the children too. I try to make sure I know if something happened throughout the day.”


As a leader, Ms Timpone understands the importance of looking after the team “because they are the ones who talk directly to the parents and children every day.” 


“It’s important to have a good team who can be comfortable to come and see you, muck around and have a bit of fun too. It’s all about having a bit of fun.”


The Goodstart Kirwan Golf Links Drive is currently seeking four new team members, and Ms Timpone would like these to be “cheerful people who enjoy bringing fun into the workplace.” 


“Our centre provides a nurturing environment. Every day is an opportunity to make a difference and inspire young hearts to embark on a lifelong journey of discovery,” she said, pitching Townsville with its close proximity to the beach, as a place with a great work/life balance, coupled with a supportive community.


Learn more about Goodstart Kirwan Golf Links Drive here

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