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Reflections Magazine : Issue 50
3 REFLECTIONS • GOWRIE AUSTRALIA • AUTUMN 2013 - ISSUE 50 editorial contents Dear Colleagues, Welcome to the 50th edition of Reflections -- a significant milestone for Gowrie Australia. Since inception, more than ten years ago, Reflections has positioned itself as a key resource for the early childhood education and care sector. The publication aims to bring a range of issues to the fore, to articulate examples of best practice by sharing both research and practice, and generally to provide useful information to the sector in support of the important role of providing quality education and care for young children. In this issue, Dr Susan Irvine reminds us of the importance of valuing play and promoting it as a right for all children. Her article takes readers back to examine historical perspectives and moves to some of the more contemporary perspectives of play, making strong linkages to 'Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework' for Australia. The National Quality Framework is underpinned by a sophisticated, qualified and experienced workforce and the article by Suzanne Northcott, from DEEWR Early Childhood Workforce Branch, outlines some of the current initiatives by the Australian Government to support the development of this workforce. All Australian governments are committed to work together to address the immediate priorities for the early childhood education and care sector of promoting the building and maintenance of a skilled and capable workforce. The importance of developing and maintaining true partnerships with families is integral to the development and provision of an appropriate and relevant learning program for all children. The article by Associate Professor Bev Flückiger describes a partnership involving a community kindergarten in remote far north Queensland and local Indigenous families. Together, they designed and implemented a literacy program that operates within a respectful and culturally appropriate context. The benefits of the program include improved attendance and participation in kindergarten which has impacted positively on the children's literacy development. The quality of the program resulted in it being recognised as a '2012 Deadly Award' winner for its contribution to Indigenous education. While showcasing awards, this edition also features the recipients of the Kidsafe 'National Playspace Design Awards' and the 'HESTA Early Childhood Education and Care Awards'. The use of natural play materials and a commitment and understanding of cultural recognition are featured strongly in the Kidsafe Awards. The HESTA Awards share two very distinct examples of practice -- Amy Douglas' commitment to a Primary Caregiving model for infants and toddlers, and Buninyong Preschool's support for Aboriginal and low income families' access to a quality preschool program as a means of building school readiness and positive dispositions to learning. Finally, over the summer season, many states have yet again experienced disasters in several forms -- floods in Queensland and northern New South Wales, bushfires in Tasmania and Victoria. As has been the case at times of disaster, yet again Australians have rallied and responded positively to support each other. The early childhood education and care sector is no exception -- evidenced by the generosity shown to one small country school which was decimated by fire in January. The Dunalley (Tasmania) school reopened one week after the commencement of the first school term in temporary buildings built by the Department of Education in record time, and fitted and equipped with the essential tools to support children's learning -- much of which had been donated by other education and care services, schools, individuals, organisations and retailers from across the country. This is an outstanding demonstration of support and a true commitment to children, families and the community by a sector which doesn't always have consensus on some matters but, when called upon for support, does not hesitate to ensure children are not disadvantaged. Until next time, Ros Cornish on behalf of Gowrie Australia (Acting) Natalie Grenfell -- Gowrie NSW Sue Hart -- Gowrie Victoria Jane Bourne -- The Gowrie (QLD) Inc Kaye Colmer -- Gowrie SA Tonia Westmore -- The Gowrie (WA) Inc Ros Cornish -- Lady Gowrie Tasmania GOWRIE CEOs 20 Back Cover - National & International Conference Updates 4 Access an e-copy of Reflections at: www.gowrie-brisbane.com.au www.gowriesa.org.au www.gowrie-sydney.com.au www.gowrie-tas.com.au www.gowrievictoria.org.au www.gowrie-wa.com.au Still Valuing Play 9 Award Winning Playspaces within Education and Care Services 12 Early Years Workforce Strategy 14 Louise Simpson and Buninyong Preschool 16 Amy Douglas, an Outstanding Educator! 18 Forging Partnerships with Parents in Indigenous Communities
Reflections Magazine Issue 51