Fast forward some twenty-something years later, I was the ‘square peg’ in mainstream early childhood, the student-teacher who questioned too much, hence my delight at the offer to work in the first Australian Montessori long day care centre and embarked on the first 0-3 AMI Montessori training to be offered in Australia.
After six years in Montessori both here and abroad, I acknowledged the need to evolve and experience other roles such as; directing a community based preschool, working as a senior director in education, participating in research projects, teaching in a school for children with Autism and working as a Trainer/ Assessor/ Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE.
Child Street Conference, a Child Friendly City initiative, was one of the most inspiring projects I’ve worked on and connected me with urban planners, philanthropists and educators worldwide. This experience inspired me to learn more about eco villages and the idea of an eco-village for children was born.
In 2009, Chris (my husband) and I set off for Far North Queensland and founded a Montessori kindergarten/ long day care centre that grew to become an integral part of the community. The service achieved ‘Exceeding’ the National Quality Standard in all 7 Quality Areas. At the end of 2013 we decided to close this chapter of our journey and moved to Port Macquarie with the objective of living closer to family.
Although passionate about Montessori, I draw inspiration from Lilian Katz’s Project Approach, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Reggio Emilia, working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), yoga, life experience and last but not least, my mother heart. Over a decade of research and observation was poured into the creation of both Eco Kids Village and ‘Tapestry of Life’.
I have been fortunate to have directly consulted some of the world’s most inspirational educational pedagogues, scientists, social reform experts and philanthropists. I have such gratitude for these experiences, it seems the most natural thing in the world to share, meshing the best of what I have experienced as state of the art early childhood education and care.
Eco Kids Village