Maree’s first teaching position was in Dunkeld then onto St Josephs Kindergarten Fitzroy from 1980 -1992. St Josephs’ ran an extended hour’s program working closely with family services, protective services, aboriginal community and refugees.
At this time Maree worked as a research assistant with the Education Department on a longitudinal study following secondary school leavers from two Frankston Secondary colleges. Ex students were interviewed about their current positions of employment or study.
Maree underwent further studies specialising in Social Emotional Development in Early Childhood and graduated with a Diploma in Special Education from Melbourne State College. When doing this course it became apparent that her qualifications gave her an advantage against other primary/secondary teachers. Her Early Childhood training gave Maree a strong understanding and connection about how children learn and develop. To this day she believes that to be effective educators of children, training in early childhood development and special education are a good union and provide excellent teaching strategies to support children’s growth.
Maree completed her Bachelor of Education at La Trobe University, studying theories of girls/women in Education and social emotional development. Maree followed on from here in 1987 to do research coursework at La Trobe on ‘The role of Teacher Intervention on Children’s Resolutions’.
Maree then worked as a kindergarten teacher at Yappera Thornbury from 1993 – 97. She was the only non-aboriginal person teaching and forged a deep appreciation of the indigenous community which she will always be eternally grateful for the opportunity. Her respect for the indigenous community was nurtured through their support and acceptance.
In 1996, Maree worked part time as a research assistant at La Trobe University on an Intergenerational Literacy study.
In 1997, Maree began working as a Preschool Field Officer. In this role she sought to strengthen the child’s place in their community. Resourcing Kindergarten Teachers to promote their relationships with the children, their families and the community. To establish strong rapport with families so that they will make the demands to access the services and resources that will assist their child’s participation in the community.
Maree enjoys networking and building bridges between services to better support families and children.
Diploma of Teaching (Melbourne Kindergarten Teachers College)
After graduation Avril’s first kindergarten was at Lalor in the Shire of Whittlesea. It was a new kindergarten in a new housing development. She taught there for five years before moving to Bendigo where she taught at the Maldon Preschool. After a break to have children, Avril did some emergency relief teaching in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. With her family she then moved to North –West Tasmania, where she worked for the Tasmania Education Department. Initially she worked as a kindergarten teacher at Moriarty Primary School and then in a literacy recovery program at the Ulverstone Primary School.
Upon returning to Melbourne Avril taught a three year old Group at Vista Valley Pre-school, Bulleen. In 1997 she accepted a position at Yarralea Children’s Centre teaching the three year old group and today she is still happily working there. During her time at Yarralea she taught with some wonderful directors. At Yarralea, Avril worked under the Educational Charter: Story- Spring board for Learning, Literacy and Life. Under this governance, she greatly expanded her knowledge and teaching experience.
PhD, M.A, Grad Dip Arts, Grad Dip Ed, B.Ed
Sue is a Indigenous Victorian, a Yorta Yorta woman, who has taught and worked across the education sector within Kindergartens, Tafe and the Higher Education Sector with Indigenous and non Indigenous communities for over 35 years. She gained her PhD in 2009 by research into ‘Indigenous self determination and early education and care in Victoria‘. She has recently retired due to ill health but remains an Honorary Research Fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education and continues to contribute to her local community by active membership on several committees including the City of Moreland’s Reconciliation Advisory Group.
Returning to Australia, Wendy resumed teaching in preschools, early intervention and Private school ELCs. Later, Wendy became a Preschool Field Officer with Knox and Booroondara and was a founding member of the Victorian PSFO Association. This role enabled Wendy to become an advocate for the PSFO service in Victoria for 10 years.
Currently, Wendy is working as a team leader in Preschool cluster management in Knox.
MEd, Grad Dip Special Ed, Grad Dip Ed. Admin, Grad Dip Movement and Dance, Grad. Dip Special Ed. (Visual Impairment), Bachelor of Early Childhood, Diploma Teaching Early Childhood
Dorothy initially trained as a Kindergarten Teacher at the Institute of Early Childhood Development in Victoria. After completing her B. Ed, working in Kindergartens and Long Day Care Centres, Dorothy moved to Special Education working in Day Training Centres, before being appointed as Supervisor of the Broad Insight Group, an Early Intervention Programme in Broadmeadows. Dorothy has also worked for the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (now Vision Australia), as a Home Advisor and the Royal National Institute for the Blind (in the UK), as Deputy Head Teacher and then Acting Head Teacher of a specialist school, prior to returning to Australia.
Dorothy then worked at Holmesglen TAFE as a teacher on the Diploma of Children’s Services and Certificate III in Child Care courses. Following this, she returned to mainstream education and worked as a Literacy Support Teacher and then as a Reading Recovery Teacher in Primary Schools. For the past 7 years Dorothy has worked in the Nationwide Inclusion Support Programme as an Inclusion Professional.
Dorothy has completed a Masters Degree and 4 Post Graduate Diplomas, two of which are in Special Education.
Dr Sue Emmett has been extensively involved in early childhood education and the translation of research into the practical environment for over thirty years. Her professional experience includes early childhood teaching in a range of settings, work as an early childhood educational consultant and teaching and researching within TAFE and Higher Education sectors.
Sue is currently working as Senior Lecturer in Education at Federation University Australia where she coordinates and teaches in Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Programs and manages partnerships with external organisations both in rural Australian and international contexts.
Prior to this, Sue worked as a Research Fellow within the School of Social and Policy Research at Charles Darwin University where early childhood literacy was central to her research, particularly in relation to rural and remote indigenous education.
Her research interests also include the well-being of children and educators including trauma informed practice in early childhood contexts. Sue has recently published journal articles, reports and a book chapter in these areas. She completed her PhD in 2011 entitled ‘Preparing Professional Caregivers as Young Children’s Attachment Partners: A longitudinal study of a new Australian pre-service program’ which centred upon relationship focused theory and practice in early childhood contexts as well as learning and teaching at tertiary level.
After graduating from Melbourne University, Sarah spent a year living and teaching in London before settling into the city of Knox as a preschool teacher. After ten years teaching across the municipality Sarah moved to her first leadership role as the coordinator of PSFO’s at the City of Casey also completing a Postgraduate Diploma. A passion for family partnerships lead Sarah to the department of education as an intake worker for early intervention services working with all the “priority” children and as team leader of specialist children’s services. Seeing an opportunity to use all the skills gained in previous roles Sarah took up the position as the founding coordinator of Springvale Service for children, spending 6 years developing an integrated hub, including early learning programs, MCH, toy library and playgroups. Currently Sarah is working at the City of Yarra remaining passionate about the delivery of high quality children’s services.
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood), Graduate Diploma Special Education, currently Masters studies at Melbourne University.
Sophie has been working in the E.C. field for over 20 years. Her first teaching position was at Dobson Kindergarten in Maidstone. She also taught at Sunshine Kindergarten and worked as an After School Care coordinator at Albert Park Primary School. After completing a Grad Dip in Special Education, she moved into the field of early intervention and worked at Uncle Bob’s Child Development Centre for approximately 6 years before leaving and becoming a consultant at Play works. She has worked for Moreland City Council (12 years), as a Family Day Care Field Officer (2 years) and currently she works as a Preschool Field Officer. Sophie has a passion for supporting and building communities. She has worked on a project with Communities for Children in Broadmeadows.
Associate Diploma in Social Science (Child Care; Certificate in Social and Community Studies Management (SACS)
Annette has worked in the early childhood profession for over 27 years. In 1992 Annette completed her Associate Diploma in Social Science (Child Care) at Swinburne. The following year she took part in The Victorian Education Foundation’s Travelling Fellowship. She observed at Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena where the Anti-Bias Curriculum was developed. Annette visited Anti-racist early childhood programs across England. She also worked at the First Nations School in Toronto in the kindergarten and out of hours program. It is these experiences and the her Aboriginal role models that have influenced Annette’s World Views and inspired her to become an activist in her own community. When Annette returned from abroad in 1995 she worked at Yappera Children’s Service (MACS), mainstream child care centres and for the Department of Human Services as the Koorie Early Childhood Field Officer (KECFO). Annette has also completed a Certificate in Social and Community Studies Management (SACS) at RMIT in 1996.
For the past 17 years, she has been the small business owner and director of Yarn Strong Sista Pty Ltd. Yarn Strong Sista is an Indigenous Education consultancy that provides storytelling, conducts cross cultural training with teachers, and develops culturally appropriate resources. Annette feels blessed to be able to go out on Country where she has been taught her traditions and stories by her Taungurung Elders. She is passionate about passing on the knowledge they have shared with her.
Annette is a storyteller and artist and who paints using ochre and wattle sap on canvas. She also felts on silk. Annette has taught these mediums during a variety of art projects with children in Kindergarten and Primary schools. Annette has illustrated 3 Aboriginal children’s books written by Yorta Yorta author Dr Sue Lopez- Atkinson.
PhD; MEd(research); PostGrad Dip EC Studies; Dip Teach (MKTC)
In her role as AGECS Project Administrator, Kay supports the AGECS Council in a wide range of administrative functions including memberships and events.
Kay is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, having retired from her position as Associate Professor in Early Childhood Studies where she was active in early childhood and primary teacher education programs and coordinated and developed the postgraduate International Baccalaureate programs. Prior to this she was lecturer in Child Development and Special Needs at Monash University; Project Officer – Inservice and Professional Development Programs at the Lady Gowrie Child Centre; writer and producer of children’s television programs; and worked closely with primary schools.
Her research interests include children’s transition and adjustment to school, child development and teaching practice. Kay has published widely, with two of her key publications (with Bridie Raban) being The Early Years Learning Framework in Practice and Principles and Practice for Driving the EYLF. She regularly provides professional development to early childhood services and primary schools around transition, early childhood curriculum, development and pedagogy.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes here at AGECS there are a number of very busy volunteers keeping abreast of the best ways to support early childhood and to add value to becoming a member.
As a member there are opportunities to join our Council, or to volunteer to help organise events or institute programs. If you have any suggestions or ideas on how the Association can serve you or the field of ECEC better, please either email us directly or comment on one of our community media. Alternatively as a member, you are invited to attend Council Meeetings and the AGM and talk to any current Council members directly.
The Council meets quarterly. As well as addressing official business, discussion surrounds what programs and events the Association can become involved in or organise. The best way we can institute this is to hear from you. What are your greatest needs at study, at work, or at play with children?