A hard call
Last week we chose the winners of our scholarship to the MENu conference in Adelaide in February. With so many entrants via our Facebook page and website, judging was very difficult.
In fact, our judges were so impressed with the quality of applications that instead of awarding two scholarships they chose three.
CEO Diane Lawson congratulated the winners, Jesse Sloan, Jordan Malone and Sean Bundy, and wished them well as they prepare for the trip to Adelaide and the conference.
Support in the home, but not at work?
“Men comprise less than 3% of employees in the early and middle years education sector,” Diane said.
“There’s an expectation that fathers will take on an even share of child rearing, but we aren’t backing that up in one of the most obvious professions relating to children.
“Male educators are welcomed in many services – but sadly not all. As a sector we need to look sensibly at the stigma some parents and educators attach to men in early childhood and assess whether the evidence supports their fears.
“We should also celebrate the excellent educators we see every day – male or female – and embrace opportunities for professional development like the MENu conference organised by Dr Martyn Mills-Bayne at the University of South Australia and Molly Rhodin of Down to Earth Practical Solutions.”
The next issue of Rattler+Broadside magazine features an article looking at males in early childhood education, interviewing both men and women about the gender imbalance in the sector.
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Jesse Sloan – nominated by Trisha Dean, director of Karana EEC, Queensland
Jesse is a proud Wiradjuri man, born in Campbelltown NSW. He moved to Queensland in 2017 and began his early childhood career in November through an Indigenous based traineeship. Jesse very quickly became an integral and valued member of the team at Karana Early Education Centre. Being the oldest of six siblings gives him the ability to relate with young children in a truly authentic way. He truly sees the value of nurturing young children and giving them guidance as they grown. Jesse has certainly found his calling in the world, and is just at the very beginning of a long and rewarding career.
Jordan Malone has worked in early years education for seven years, and during that time he has a seen a shift in the way that males are viewed as educators. As a proud Australian Aboriginal Jordan devotes his time to embedding his culture and heritage into the centre as a whole, educating families and his co workers about the Darumbal people, his local community.
Jordan is passionate about early years education and views this opportunity to attend the MENu conference as a way of networking with other men within the industry, sharing ideas and experiences to help overcome the barriers that males face working with children. Jordan is excited to attend the MENu conference, and hopes that through collaboration he will be able to provide support and guidance to other male educators who work in a minority environment.
Sean Bundy – self-nominated, Victoria
I started my career in early childhood education over nine years go working in a long day care before returning to university to complete my BEd primary and early childhood at Victoria University. I continued to work in early childhood education after graduating, still within long day care as a teacher for a few years before taking a year out to work for the Australian Education Union where I further developed my skills. After this I returned to teaching and I am now employed at a government school where I teach in a sessional kindergarten. Early childhood education has evolved over the years and with it my passion and dedication to this amazing profession, which is so rewarding to be a part of.
Community Early Learning Australia is a not for profit organisation with a focus on amplifying the value of early learning for every child across Australia - representing our members and uniting our sector as a force for quality education and care.