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Reflections Magazine : Issue 50
Amy AMY DOUGLAS, an Outstanding Educator! Author: Michelle Walsh, Trainer & Consultant, Gowrie SA Every second year there is an opportunity to recognise the achievement of outstanding Early Childhood Education and Care professionals for the work they do across the sector. HESTA, the industry super fund for health and community services, together with Early Childhood Australia, celebrate the contributions of educators in two award categories, 'Advancing Practice' and 'Outstanding Educator'. Amy Douglas, from South Australia, was the 2012 recipient of the 'Outstanding Educator' award. Amy was chosen from over 600 nominees Australia wide. I was fortunate to meet with Amy, and interview her, after she received her award. Amy was modest about her practices. She explained that she had no idea that she had been nominated until she was notified that she was one of the five finalists! She was told that the new team leader in her room had nominated her for the award. "It was so nice," she said. Amy was delighted that this new colleague had noticed her practices and recognised her passion for educating and caring for children. "I've always carried my own philosophy of working with children and Primary Caregiving, so the biggest thing for me was that I was recognised and appreciated for all the work that I do," she said. "And it showed me that the things I think are important are also important to everyone else" . Amy flew to Perth for the awards ceremony and received a trophy to recognise her achievement, a $5,000 ME Bank EveryDay Transaction Account and $5,000 towards further education. The South Australian educator had no idea that the following story of a moment which she thought was a simple, everyday interaction, would inspire her colleague to nominate her for the highly esteemed HESTA award for 'Outstanding Educator'. Amy didn't know if the camera would come back in one piece or twenty when she handed it to a child in her babies' room. She gave the child a digital camera to take photos "...and that came from a moment in the room," Amy said. "It was so lovely to share with his family and recognise all the things that he'd got out of it. He's still enjoying the digital camera, he's in the toddler room now and his parents often comment on him taking photos." 16 "In early childhood, in middle childhood and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging (DEEWR, 2009: 7). "
Reflections Magazine Issue 51