Taylor Salafia, Service Manager of Busy Bees on Furlong Road in Queanbeyan has been named the winner of the Innovation in Pedagogy and Practice Award at the 2023 Education and Care Awards.
The ACT judging panel commended Taylor on leading the way in creating culturally safe environments and advocating for First Nations perspectives to be embedded everyday within Busy Bees Early Learning and the broader community.
“I was very nervous to walk up the stairs on the stage, but I was shocked I won and so excited” she said, describing how she felt.
As a proud Narrungera woman from the Wiradjuri Nation, Taylor is passionate about embedding the culture, voices, and learnings of First Nations Peoples.
“I am passionate about ensuring Busy Bees on Furlong Road is an inclusive and welcoming environment, where all cultures are respected and celebrated,” said Taylor.
“We always discuss culture and cultural events happening in the month and how we are going to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. It’s an important part of our staff meetings and we also have quarterly meetings dedicated to teaching First Nations history to staff members who are not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people so that everyone can then transfer knowledge to the children and families.”
The centre’s close community connection with the nearby Busy Bees at The Park, has seen Taylor providing leadership and support to educators, not only within her centre but the wider Busy Bees community, on embracing cultural diversity.
“We are so grateful for our working relationships and how much we have learnt from Taylor and her team in the last few months. We are excited to continue working together to embed Indigenous practices into our centre and further embed the goals of our Reconciliation Action Plan,” said Claire Northfield, Service Manager of Busy Bees at The Park.
Busy Bees Early Learning acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the country throughout Australia and recognises First Nations peoples’ continued cultural and spiritual connections to land, sea, sky and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.