In the heart of Berwick, a remarkable individual, Nada, celebrates her 66th birthday and an impressive 28 years of dedicated service at Only About Children (OAC) Berwick Campus. Nada’s journey is not just a testament to her commitment but also a reflection of the evolving landscape of early childhood education.
A Unique Start: From Serbia to Berwick
Nada’s journey with OAC began in 1993 when she arrived in Australia as a refugee from Serbia. With a teaching background, she enrolled at Berwick TAFE for an Associate Diploma in Child Studies. Nada also worked at the Richmond Multicultural Resource Centre, where she listened to other refugees’ unique stories and helped them set up life in Melbourne. She created a bilingual book and audio guide, “How to Say It,” in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and English, aiding other refugees in the community.
Looking for a childcare centre to do her placement, she stumbled upon the newly opened OAC Berwick campus. Despite her limited English, the manager recognised Nada’s warmth and engagement, a quality she was seeking, and welcomed her into the OAC family. Little did Nada know this would mark the beginning of a 28-year-long journey.
Finding Joy in Daily Moments
Today, Nada serves as the Toddler Room Leader at OAC Berwick campus, overseeing 16 children a day. Over the years, she has seen five grandchildren and numerous other family children attend the campus. OAC Berwick is affectionately referred to as “Nada’s House” by many of the families who attend the campus.
Nada’s love for early childhood education lies in the diversity of each day. “It’s the little things that are most important. It’s such a positive and rewarding environment. I love planning the curriculum for the children. I have all the children in my head. I know what they need, and then this will help them to become confident learners.”
OAC’s Supportive Environment
Nada highlights OAC’s unique approach, emphasising their genuine care for children and education. “OAC actually cares about children and education. What I see is that OAC does not cut corners. They provide support for their educators to grow. I like how they value us as educators and appreciate what we do – like with the OAC Awards night and the well-being days. You feel like you are appreciated and cared for and that you matter.”
The Future of Early Childhood Education
Looking ahead, Nada envisions the future of early childhood education as a reliable haven for families. “I think this needs to continue to be a place where families can rely on. Supporting families and not just giving care but education and an excellent start to life,” she says. Nada’s perspective reflects the evolving role of early childhood education, moving beyond traditional childcare to become a holistic foundation for a child’s growth and development.
A Legacy of Dedication
As Nada marks 28 years at OAC Berwick, her story stands as a testament to dedication in early childhood education. In the ever-evolving landscape of education, Nada’s journey inspires us to find joy in daily moments and work towards a future where every child receives not just care but a foundation for lifelong learning. May Nada’s story inspire our ongoing commitment to shaping young minds and fostering positive environments for generations ahead.
Want to learn more about the types of roles available in Early Childhood Education? Find out here: Roles in Early Childhood Education & Care | Only About Children (oac.edu.au)
Find out more about what working at OAC is like and the career journeys some of our educators have experienced: