Naomi is an Early Childhood Teacher from Meath, Ireland. She has 5 years’ experience and has been working with anzuk Education since arriving in Australia 5 months ago. Our Early Childhood Consultant Siobhan chatted with Naomi about her journey so far…
Why did you decide to move to Sydney?
I always wanted to move to Australia because of all the great things I’d heard about teaching here. Then I met my boyfriend, who was born in Sydney. He decided he wanted to revisit his home and I loved the idea. So we travelled through south east Asia to Sydney, it was a blast!
How have you found your experience working as a casual educator with anzuk?
All the anzuk team have been really helpful and supportive. I was concerned doing casual work as I’ve never had the best geographical skills and Sydney is a lot bigger than anywhere in Ireland!
I wanted to try casual before I settled anywhere so I could see what the industry was like before putting myself in a committed role. It’s been really empowering to have the opportunity to test myself in finding new places, knowing the team will help if I’m stuck.
It’s also been really awesome seeing so many different types of centres. Within the first few weeks, I felt my own mindset open up to so many new perspectives in the early years environment. As an educator, this is important to me; I’m always learning and testing new approaches.
I never thought I’d stay casual for as long as I have, but I love it. My favourite thing about working as a casual with anzuk is how the team always try to pair you back up with services you’ve been to and liked. It makes it easier to build bonds, without having to settle into one place. You have the best of both worlds; work whenever you want it, then you can book your own time off whenever you want!
What did you find were the main differences working in early childhood in Australia?
To be honest, the approach Australia use in the early years is very similar to Ireland’s Aistear. They hold similar values and hopes for our young people. I did notice though a real emphasis on valuing earth and understanding our impact as humans on the earth, here in Australia. I also noticed that the ratio in Australia makes the environment much easier to maintain and create worthwhile experiences.
Many centres will be over staffed, having floats and myself (casual staff) really helps keep the focus in the room. Every centre I visit is all about having education at their core. I’ve worked in some exceptional centres with outstanding practice. It makes me happy to see confident, capable little humans be supported in this way.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of making the move to Australia?
My main advice would be DO IT! I’ve missed home and family and friends of course, but I’d do it all over again. I am the most anxious person I know; if I can do this anybody can. I would also say to ensure you have your qualifications assessed by ACECQA, prior to arriving.
If you have a degree in Early Childhood Education, it can take some time to get this back and you cannot work until you have the assessment. Speak with anzuk staff before arriving, they are helpful and have important information they can guide you through clearly.