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Tina Holtom (CEO) shares her reflections this Educator Day through an advocacy lens

Due to the current climate around critical educator shortages, Tina Holtom (CEO) shares her reflections this Educator Day through an advocacy lens.
The following extract has been taken from a whole of staff communication. 

“On the eve of Educators Day, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our advocacy for the profession. 

Advocacy comes in many different shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s obvious, and other times it’s obscure, but I’ll share a little about what we have been up to. 

I’ve come to understand that our funders and supporters can be our biggest advocates. Many are trying to understand the complexities surrounding the ‘childcare’ sector as they navigate their own concerns on attracting workforce. As they navigate this new space, one thing is clear, our voice is amplified if we stand on the shoulders of giants.  

I have certainly had to learn to reframe my mindset in ways that have been truly challenging. I have spoken about this sector in what has often felt like a foreign language, referring to the ‘economic benefits of childcare’, the ‘childcare sector as a core enabler for boosting workforce productivity’ and how we encourage more ‘workforce participation for women’. While all of this is completely factual, it’s not how I would ordinarily speak about our sector, but its language that works for the audience that needs to hear it. 

Governments, corporates, funders… we need to take them on a journey of understanding. 

As Educators, your voice is being heard, this I can assure you.  

From hard truths to dispelling myths, hand on heart I have said it ALL…time and time again, things like: 

  • “Yes, Educators need formal qualifications” 
  • “There are some Educators living on the poverty line” 
  • “Some Educators can’t get a loan on their own” 
  • “Here are some of the requirements of the Educator role”  

Over the last 6 months or so, we have strongly advocated on Sector workforce issues including: 

  • active engagement in several EC committees, reference groups, stakeholder groups 
  • collaborating with aligned NFP organisations and led joint written submissions to Governments to inform the Jobs & Skills Summit 
  • providing backbone support to independent advocacy organisation 
  • writing advocacy papers for funders so they can advance our position with their own Government Relations teams 
  • supporting State and Territory Governments with various briefings 
  • attendance at an invitation-only Ministerial Roundtable with Federal Minister Dr Anne Aly  

And I promise you, it’s working.  

While we continue our strong advocacy for Educators and the sector more broadly, we’re deeply committed to ensuring that we practice what we preach. As we focus our aim on being an employer of choice, our most recent initiatives are testament to our commitment. From above award wages, innovative rosters, awards & recognition programs, career development pathways and more, as an organisation we really are trailblazers.

This sector, this profession, needs to stand up and be noticed for all the right reasons – I don’t know about you but I’m really over the negative beat up. Yes, we have work to do, but it starts with each of us – our own individual commitment, the language we choose, our actions, how we truly represent this profession.

I hope you all enjoy your Educators Day celebrations, big or small. Please take some time to reflect, be truly proud of who you are, what you do and all that you stand for – our children need you, our brilliant educators now more than ever.”

Happy Educators Day to you all ❤️!