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Homepublication-rattlerRattler 118, Winter 2016

Rattler 118, Winter 2016

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Rattler 118

This issue of Rattler invites us all to explore inclusion and what it means for us at work and on the personal level. At its heart is the idea that everyone should be able to take part in our society and all it offers and enjoy the same experiences. We all know, sadly, this is not always true.

Hopefully the articles will challenge our readers to reflect on their own practice and identify strategies for change where this is required, or networks to support their endeavours.

I have spent the past six years living and working in England and the Middle East, managing workforce and social care projects. Working as a consultant in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, I have experienced first-hand the challenges of trying to fit in with a culture that is unfamiliar and not being able to participate fully in workplace or community activities. There are feelings of inadequacy when relying on colleagues to facilitate engagement, and fear that translation may not be delivering the intended message (or tone).

I will always be grateful for the generosity of my colleagues when challenging concepts were misunderstood and found that humour, respect and kindness (and sometimes sharing food) can be bridges to enable understanding and acceptance. It didn’t go so well all the time—the camel burger and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) for example—but those are stories for another day…

As the new CEO of this highly influential organisation, I am proud to join a long list of extraordinary people committed to achieving excellence in education and care for Australia’s children and families. I have met many stakeholders and members during my first few weeks and have been thrilled to hear how many view working for Community Child Care Co-operative as a professional goal. We have a great team and much to offer the sector and I will do my best to carry forward the proud legacy of the organisation.

I am looking forward to immersing myself in the new challenges presented by the early education and care sector. I am on a steep learning curve but am already wedded to the Community Child Care prime directive: is this what is best for children?

I will be working closely with the board, executive leadership team, staff and contractors and seeking input from our members to identify new opportunities to grow the organisation’s success, and look forward to sharing more about this in the future.

Diane Lawson, CEO Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW)


  • The Lowdown | Your guide to what’s up, who’s where, and how you can get involved.
  • Beyond the Fence | Visit the Sydney preschool breaking down barriers and opening up to opportunities for inclusive practice.
  • Vale, John Kaye | Farewell Greens MP John Kaye, friend to the early and public education sectors.
  • Opening up to Refugees | How your service can prepare for refugee children and their families.
  • Council Capers | While local government’s focus on education and care is changing, it’s not all bad news.
  • Face2Face | Meet Tracy Mackey, NSW Department of Education’s new executive director for Early Childhood Education.
  • So Long, Farewell | We say goodbye to Children’s Services Central.
  • Head Start | Step inside Wollongong University’s pioneering early childhood education initiative, Early Start.
  • Vox Pop | We ask educators and advocates what advice they would give their younger selves.
  • NQS Spotlight | Clarence Town Preschool explains how connections with their local community are not just about the people.

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