Victorian Early Years Awards Winners Announced

A teacher educating young children from Aboriginal backgrounds, and a program supporting refugee mothers and babies are among the winners of the 2017 Victorian Early Years Awards.

Rachel Webb from Save the Children’s Nowa Nowa Kindergarten in Gippsland was named Early Childhood Teacher of the Year for her work helping children – many of them from Aboriginal backgrounds.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos congratulated the winning professionals and organisations at a dedicated awards ceremony tonight – and also presented the special commendation – the Minister’s Award to Wodonga City Council for its No One Left Behind program.

No One Left Behind helps to ensure all local children – including the most vulnerable – are taking part in early childhood services like Maternal and Child Health services and kindergarten.

The exceptional contributions of individuals and organisations improving the health, learning, development and wellbeing of young children were celebrated at the awards.

The full list of award winners for each category are:

  • Improving Access and Participation in Early Learning Award: Wyndham Kindergartens – Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program and Practice at Scale, Wyndham City Council and partners
  • Supporting Parents to Build their Capacity and Confidence Award: Empowering Parents Empowering Communities, Victorian Cooperative on Children’s Services for Ethnic Groups New Futures and partners
  • Creating Collaborative Community Partnerships Award Healthy Happy Beginnings for Refugee Mothers and Babies, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and partners
  • Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing Award: Nurturing Room Bridges Home to School, Warrnambool East Primary School and partners
  • Early childhood teacher of the Year Award: Rachel Webb, Save the Children – Nowa Nowa Kindergarten
  • Minister’s Award: No One Left Behind, Wodonga City Council and partners.

Winners in each category receive between $10,000 and $15,000 to go towards improving their work.

The Andrews Labor Government is now delivering its $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

For more details on the 2017 Victorian Early Years Awards go to www.education.vic.gov.au/veya

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“These awards recognise the crucial work our dedicated early childhood professionals are doing across Victoria to make a difference to the lives of our children and help prepare them for the future.”

“I congratulate all of this year’s winners – their work in the early childhood sector lays the foundations to give our kids the best start in life to ensure they’re ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.”