Gabrielle Flavin – NSW
I suppose it all began when I was 12 years old and started babysitting for the two neighbourhood 9 month olds Theresa and Lola. I can still remember feeding Theresa lunch or playing with Lola on her living room floor. I moved onto the role of live-in nanny when I finished high school. This went on for a few years before I decided to make early childhood education my career and started at TAFE. I completed a Diploma in Child Care & Education at TAFE.
Afterwards I started working as a casual educator (then called Child Care Worker Qualified) for a large not for profit in Sydney. I worked at 20 of their 24 services. This casual work enabled me to see how other services worked and it really helped me to grow as an educator. It seasoned me! While I was filling a maternity leave position leading a team of 3 and sometimes 4 educators in a 15 place nursery, I really grew into my own. It was this experience that motivated me to further my education and I enrolled at Macquarie University. It was painful and challenging at times, but rewarding. The university degree was only the beginning of my learning and growing as a teacher. There are still times when I’m lost and overwhelmed, but reflective practice leads to learning, and learning is for a lifetime.
I’ve worked with every age group from birth to preschool and school aged care. I’ve been an assistant, a team leader, a 2nd in Charge, an Educational Leader, Director. I also spent two years leading a project for a large council where I supported 25 educational leaders in long day care services, preschools, before and after school care and vacation care services. It was a fantastic role which really challenged and rewarded me. It’s a role I do miss! I’m now currently working as a director for a work based not-for-profit service.