Bright future ahead for early childhood professionals

There is a bright future ahead for Bachelor of Education (Birth to Twelve Years) student Jessica Inglis who has just won a coveted early childhood education scholarship.

23 July 2015

Jessica Inglis, Holly Brown and Lauren Danakos, all Bachelor of Education (Birth to Twelve Years) students at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Education Sydney, have been awarded coveted scholarships for their commitment to early childhood education and academic achievement.

Jessica was awarded the $2000 SDN Aunts Fry Gift Scholarship while Holly was awarded the $3000 SDN McElhone MacCallum Leadership Scholarship. Both third-year students are also guaranteed a professional 10 week placement at a SDN Early Childhood Centre.

Lauren was awarded the $800 KU Scholarship for Outstanding Commitment to Early Childhood. She has completed her second year of study and achieved a high level of academic achievement throughout her course. As part of the award, Lauren will be placed in a KU Centre for her early childhood professional experiences and mentored by KU for the remainder of her degree.

Lauren said she was very excited at the prospect of working with KU educators who had a wealth of experience in play-based learning and early intervention.

“I am grateful that Notre Dame not only introduced me to this respected education and care provider but also encouraged me to apply for the KU award,” she said.

The SDN Aunts Fry Gift Scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates courage, compassion and concern for children with disabilities or who are in need. Jessica said she felt honoured to receive the scholarship and her decision to pursue teaching as a career was inspired after visiting Durban in South Africa in 2011. “My long term goal is to go back to Durban and use education as a tool to help those communities,” she said. “Through education it is possible to implement programs for children that will empower them to eradicate poverty.”

The SDN McElhone MacCallum Leadership Scholarship is awarded for demonstrated commitment to early childhood education and a history of undertaking leadership roles. Holly said her exposure to both current research and purposeful practical teaching experiences during her time at Notre Dame served to consolidate a strong belief in the role of effective early childhood education in setting young children on positive life trajectories.

“I have not only read about but also witnessed the engagement of young children as they participated in play-based learning and observed how early child care centres can be environments that foster inclusion and reinforce values of tolerance and caring,” Holly said.

This is not the first time students from the School of Education have caught the eye of industry professionals with their high academic ability, commitment to the profession and work-readiness. This the third consecutive year students have won these or similar awards.

“Excellence in early childhood education is a tradition at Notre Dame and it is clear our commitment to developing well-rounded, work-ready education professionals resonates with the industry,” Ms Elizabeth McKenna, Coordinator of the Bachelor of Education (Birth to Twelve Years), said.

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;