UC childcare centre celebrates 20 years

UC childcare centre celebrates 20 years

Victoria Murray

5 December 2012: The Wiradjuri Preschool and Child Care Centre at the University of Canberra celebrated its 20-year anniversary at an event recently with over 100 staff, families and children.

A number of University students and alumni, who attended the centre as children, were also present at the celebration.

The centre operates as part of the Bachelor of Education at the University and caters to children between the ages of two and five.

Wiradjuri

Wiradjuri Preschool and Child Care Centre director Careen Leslie and Faculty of Education dean Geoffrey Riordan cut the cake to celebrate Wiradjuri's 20-year anniversary. Photo: Michelle McAulay.

Kate Ellison, a pre-service teacher at Wiradjuri, is studying a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Teaching (3-8 years) and said that she was “very lucky” to have been selected for a teaching position on the Wiradjuri team. 

“This program, unique to the University of Canberra, provides the opportunity for early childhood education majors to step into the classroom and gain real experience before graduation,” Ms Ellison said.

“A team of early childhood experts, researchers, and teachers challenge us to extend our thinking, encourage us when we feel overwhelmed and push us to develop comprehensive meaningful programs for the children in our care.”

Christine Gaffney was the first person who went to Wiradjuri as a child (1992-1994) to graduate from the University’s Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Teaching (birth-8). She had the opportunity to work at Wiradjuri in the final year of her degree and is continuing to work there on a casual basis.

“It’s an incredible example of things coming 'full circle', starting my education at UC and now finishing my education at UC. It has been an amazing experience to study early childhood education at UC – especially having the opportunity to work at Wiradjuri in the final year of my degree,” Ms Gaffney said.

“I do believe my time at Wiradjuri as a child contributed to the person I am today, because I firmly believe that all of my experiences – academic and personal – have come together to place me where I am in my life today. Preschool at Wiradjuri began my formal education and no doubt instilled in me valuable life skills.”

Centre director Careen Leslie said the event on 2 August celebrating Wiradjuri’s 20 years was a wonderful success.

“I found it extraordinarily overwhelming that so many people came from afar to celebrate the success of the centre,” she said.

“Having a range of guest speakers that included two pre-service teachers and three student alumni speaking about their experiences at Wiradjuri made the night incredibly special.” 

For more information about The Wiradjuri Preschool and Child Care Centre visit their website.