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Joanne

Director, Port Lincoln Children’s Centre

Department for Education

Tell us about your career pathway.

I became an early childhood teacher in 1986. I studied externally from Ceduna to gain a Diploma in Teaching ECE from the (then) SACAE Magill Campus in Adelaide.

I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of Aboriginal children in my community.

What does an average day look like?

An average day for me starts with saying hello to children, parents and my team. I manage the day-to-day operations of childcare and kindy, which can be different every day.

The best part of my day is hearing the children laugh and having fun with their peers and educators.

What do you love about your job?

I love my job because of the people I work with and the children, families and community I work for. I believe my role is to serve others with grace, an open, honest, giving heart and a helpful and willing mindset.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I want to make a difference in the lives of all children and I want to be part of that change in South Australia.

There are so many families who need support, without judgement or criticism of their lifestyles. Early childhood is a great place for this to happen.

I am about empowering educators to have a voice, to be an advocate and to understand Aboriginal ways of knowing, seeing and doing so that Aboriginal children and families will enrol and attend all early childhood services.

What do you see are some of the benefits of working in the public sector?

Working in the public sector, I get to see, talk with and help people from all walks of life. I get to work for children and families in need as well as families who don’t need as much support as others.

I love the fact that everyone who walks through our door is welcomed and has a sense of belonging. I have instilled in my team to create a family atmosphere for all children and families.

It is rewarding and warms my heart when I see children and families happy and smiling as they come into the centre in the morning and leave at the end of the day.

Why have you chosen to live and work in South Australia?

I work in South Australia because I was born and raised here. I feel that I have a responsibility to do the best I can for my people, my community, and at this time in my life that is in Port Lincoln. Port Lincoln is a beautiful part of the world and I know that the work I do is significant for the Aboriginal community especially, but also for the Port Lincoln education community.

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