Comparing apples with apples

- new councillors welcome accreditation

The IEU’s ECS Council has been strengthened with the arrival of five new members ready to advocate on behalf of the early childhood sector.

The ECS Council gets together on a regular basis at the Union’s Sydney office to discuss issues affecting the sector and Union responses.

Emma Cullen, Director at Abbotsford Long Day Care Centre in Sydney, has been involved with the Union’s Teachers are Teachers campaign, even appearing on an ABC TV news report about it.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be more involved behind the scenes,” Emma said.

Melinda Gambley, Director at Clunes Community Preschool on the north coast, has been an IEU member for more than a decade, but this is her first position on Council.

“We haven’t had an IEU Rep on the Council from the north coast for quite a while so I’m hoping to take back information to the members in the area and help them be more connected to the Union,” Melinda said.

“We have an email group and some face-to-face networking events so I’ll be able to tell them what’s happening.”

Long-time IEU member and St Columba Uniting Church Preschool Figtree Director Cheryl Collinson-Smith has been involved with the Teachers Are Teachers campaign and encouraging other teachers to join the Union. She said she’s happy to have been selected for Council.

Julia Cameron, Director at Werris Creek and District Preschool in the Tamworth region, said: “It’s been a long time since someone from the Tamworth region has been on the Council. I want to tell the stories of what’s happening in our rural and regional areas of NSW”.

“I’m looking forward to learning new things and taking that information back to community management committees, as well as the teachers in our region.”

Suzanne Snowball, Director of Arndu St Paul’s Preschool in Oatley is a relatively new member of the IEU, as she previously

worked for TAFE. She said she is really interested in the Teachers are Teachers campaign.

“I’m hoping to contribute to Council and to recommend others in the St George region join the IEU.”

All the new Council members agreed that the information they received at their first meeting from IEU General Secretary John Quessy and IEU Assistant Secretary Mark Northam about the new accreditation process would be useful information to share with colleagues.

“The accreditation process is a good one to take back to management committees,” Julia said.

Emma said: “Accreditation provides us with tangible evidence to compare us with others in our professional, providing recognition that we have equivalent teaching qualifications”.

Julia said accreditation would make is possible to “compare apples with apples across the teaching profession”.

Sue Osborne Journalist

Sue Osborne