More than 200 representatives from Busy Bees Centres across Australia and New Zealand came together on Gubbi Gubbi land to connect, reset, and re-energise about what their goals and hopes are for the coming year at the 2023 Busy Bees Conference & Excellence Awards.
With a thought-provoking program around the theme of ‘Opportunity’, the three-day Busy Bees conference was brimming with exciting opportunities to share knowledge and learn best-practice in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector. Through activities, networking and powerful presentations from industry experts and inspirational speakers, attendees were inspired and learnt about resilience, self-care and team building.
“The conference is always a good time. It’s a great place to catch up with old friends, colleagues, but also learn so much about what’s happening in the future and to have sector and leadership experts come and speak to all of our teams.” said New South Wales Area Manager Steve Watts.
For the second consecutive year Aboriginal Cultural Specialist Shannon Ruska delivered a powerful and inspiring Welcome to Country to our passionate Hive. At Busy Bees, we acknowledge and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Busy Bees started with one centre; three families couldn’t find care that they thought was good enough for their own children and so decided to start one… there are now almost 1,000 Busy Bees centres around the world, we are in 10 countries, across 4 continents. We are now one of the largest operators in the world. The aspiration is to provide every child the best start in life and so it’s the opportunity that we try to provide to all those children in our care every day of the week.” Robert Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of Busy Bees Early Learning
Attendees were honoured to hear from author, Educator and parenting and resilience specialist Maggie Dent who shared about her interest in the early years and adolescence. Author, athlete and mindset coach Turia Pitt captivated the audience with her inspiring life story and gave everyone a boost of confidence.
Mental health advocate Peta Dampney reminded everyone of the importance of self-care and mental health and Australian of the Year and former AFL great Adam Goodes connected with the audience on the importance of calling out racism and working together to create a brighter future for Indigenous Australians.
After three days full of inspiring sessions and networking opportunities between Service Managers, Area Managers, Regional Managers and the leadership team, the Busy Bees Excellence Awards kicked off. The Excellence Awards is an evening dedicated to recognise the excellence across our Hive, it acknowledges and celebrates those people who have gone the extra mile and who are representing Busy Bees Early Learning and the community they serve in an exceptional way.
“It’s always a pleasure to celebrate our people who have excelled and inspired across our Hive, upheld our values of Care, Quality, Service and Value and committed themselves to giving every child the best start in life.” said Robert Hughes.
The winners of a 2022 Busy Bees Excellence Award are:
- Compliance Star of the Year won by Busy Bees at Wyndham Vale (Victoria), accepted by Rachel Toull, Service Manager. Award sponsored by DCFM Australia.
- Reconciliation Partner of the Year won by Busy Bees at Fraser Coast (Queensland), accepted by Melanie Gapes, Service Manager. Award sponsored by Coles for Business.
- Sustainability Star of the Year won by Busy Bees at Cannington (Western Australia), accepted by Jessica Evans, Service Manager. Award sponsored by Coles for Business.
- In-Service Shining Star (ACT, NSW, Qld) won by Jake Simpson, Assistant Service Manager from Busy Bees at Cameron Grove (New South Wales). Award sponsored by Jani-King Australia.
- In-Service Shining Star (SA, Vic) won by Atiya Bapoo, Educational Leader from Busy Bees at Noarlunga Downs (South Australia). Award sponsored by Jani-King Australia.
- In-Service Shining Star (WA) won by Mia Grida, Lead Educator from Busy Bees at East Fremantle (Western Australia). Award sponsored by Jani-King Australia.
- Outstanding Support to Services won by Tracey Gniel-Lang from Busy Bees National Support Centre. Award sponsored by DLA Piper.
- National Support Centre Employee of the Year won by Leigh Diplock from Busy Bees National Support Centre. Award sponsored by DLA Piper.
- Brand Ambassador of the Year won by Busy Bees at Burpengary East (Queensland), accepted by Tess Barry, Service Manager.
- Best Start in Life won by Busy Bees at Chinchilla (Queensland), accepted by Eryn Magner, Assistant Service Manager. Award sponsored by Bravehearts.
- Pedagogy & Practice Partner of the Year won by Jenny Wren Early Learning by Busy Bees (Australian Capital Territory), accepted by Effey Mastoris, Service Manager, and Rebecca Greig, Assistant Service Manager.
- Educator of the Year (ACT, NSW, Qld) won by Persie Pinero from Busy Bees at Chinchilla. Award sponsored by Australian Childcare Career Options.
- Educator of the Year (SA, Vic) won by Tejinder Kaur from Busy Bees at Kilburn (South Australia). Award sponsored by Australian Childcare Career Options.
- Educator of the Year (WA) won by Susan Dique from Busy Bees at Quinns Beach. Award sponsored by Australian Childcare Career Options.
- Service of the Year (ACT, NSW, Qld) won by Yerrabi Ponds by Busy Bees (Australian Capital Territory), accepted by Wendy Mackay, Service Manager.
- Service of the Year (SA, Vic) won by Busy Bees at Smithfield Plains (South Australia), accepted by Natasha Durdin, Assistant Service Manager.
- Service of the Year (WA) won by Busy Bees at Mirrabooka, accepted by Claire Archdeacon, Service Manager.
- Quiet Achiever of the Year won by Jenna-Lee Marriott from Busy Bees at Wellard (Western Australia).
- Service Manager of the Year (SA, Vic) won by Nadia Teo from Busy Bees at Narre Warren South (Victoria).
- Service Manager of the Year (WA) won by Ashleigh Wyatt from Busy Bees at Byford North.
- Area Manager of the Year won by Erin Laing from Busy Bees National Support Centre.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners Jani-King Australia, Coles for Business, DLa Piper, MTA, Edge, Childcare Now, Step4, Storypark, PwC Australia, DCFM Australia, KTM Solutions, The Buckner Group, ACCO, Bravehearts, HESTA.