The Early Childhood and Education Care (ECEC) sector is set to undergo major changes given the recent announcements by the Victorian and New South Wales governments.
It is in this moment of big early learning reform that we need system leadership to ensure lasting change and respond to these opportunities for change at an overall system level, to ensure a better future for all children in Australia. Given the need for systems leadership, the Front Project is excited to announce that Expressions of Interest are now open for the Apiary Fellowship for 2022.
“The Apiary is about big-picture, impactful change at a systems level to improve the lives of children today and in generations to come. Through The Apiary, Fellows become catalytic leaders who continuously collaborate and learn to create change for children,” Ms Jane Hunt, CEO of the Front Project, said.
The Apiary Fellowship is a diverse group of leaders and innovators from across the country who are passionate about working to enhance learning and development for children in the years prior to school. The Fellowship aims to bring about change at a systems level. This means thinking about the big picture, challenging the status quo, and identifying what can be done to improve the lives of children, now and in the future. It builds leadership, collaboration and the capability to bring about lasting change in early learning.
Apiary Fellows are individuals with wide-ranging experiences and perspectives across the early childhood education sector. They join The Apiary to learn more about their own and other experiences, become leaders and take action to improve outcomes for children.
Ms Kerry Graham, Founder & Director of Collaboration reflected on the space the Apiary creates for different perspectives to be heard, for building a deeper understanding of the system and the social, political, cultural and economic forces around us, and the roles we can play to generate change.
“While organisational leadership and excellence is critically important in a good healthy system, we know that lasting, transformational change comes when we take up leadership for the whole system. ” she said.
The Apiary fellows aim to deliver on their promise to children - to lead, innovate and shape the ECEC system, with the children’s needs and future at the centre. Fellows promise to help children flourish, be resilient, culturally secure, and to grow, be loved and be themselves.
At the Front Project, we collaborate to navigate all levels of the rich and complex early childhood system to positively impact the experiences and improve the outcomes of children.
“Since we believe that it is impossible for just one organisation or individual to be able to hold all of the perspectives and ‘moving parts’ of a system at the same time, we work with the whole ECEC system – both people inside the sector and those who intersect with it – to influence change across all levels,” Ms Jane Hunt said.
Associate Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, an Apiary fellow and Director of the Early Years at the University of Wollongong, feels that the systems approach taken by Fellows is essential and necessary for bringing about change and has found her experiences with the group to date to be “enriching both personally and professionally”.
Lisa Walker, a Bundjalung woman and Cultural Design Lead for Goodstart , says that as fellows, they have the “power and privilege” to advocate and push for change within the early learning sector. “I joined to give my people a voice and to advocate for a more equitable continent full with opportunities for our jarjums and communities,” Ms Walker said.
Register now to express your interest in The Apiary Fellowship if you are a leader and innovator who would like to:
Shape a shared vision for systemic change in early learning, co-designed with children and families
Learn to lead differently with a program designed to build capacity in system change, adaptive leadership and innovation
Work on collaborative projects to address key system challenges
Convene for 2-3 days with peers and other early childhood leaders, up to 4 times per year.
“Getting involved in the Apiary means coming together to collaboratively bring about change that benefits children. The people involved in the Apiary are not the CEOs of every company, they are people who are a part of this system. They’re pedagogical leads, teachers, educators, CEOs of peak bodies, academics, researchers and so on,” Ms Jane Hunt said.