Medowie Community preschool safe for another 30 years

Steve Tucker, Geoff Dingle, Jacqueline Hrast, Sarah Smith, Ryan Palmer, Chris Doohan, Patrick Doohan and Patrick Byron gather for a well earned morning tea and presentation this week.
Steve Tucker, Geoff Dingle, Jacqueline Hrast, Sarah Smith, Ryan Palmer, Chris Doohan, Patrick Doohan and Patrick Byron gather for a well earned morning tea and presentation this week.

 

MEDOWIE Community Preschool has celebrated 31 years and the security of 30 more, with a morning tea and presentation ceremony for all councilors and candidates to say thank you for their support of this important community asset.

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Negotiations of more than four years finally came to a resolution last month when the preschool struck an agreement with councillors.

Often in community organising and public policy, it is easy to get caught up in the emotion, especially when many of the volunteers of this preschool have been involved since the very beginning.

The agreement reflected in the Notice of Motion passed by Council is a very good solution to a complex and long running issue.

Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, who is also the shadow minister for early childhood education, this week told preschool staff that the agreement the preschool and council made has talk of the sector.

Many community preschools find themselves in a legacy situation of back of the envelope agreements with Councils of bygone days and the challenges that involves.

The sector has been very interested to see how the preschool managed to achieve such a positive outcome, and president Jacqueline Hrast told News Of The Area that it was all due to the people at the morning tea.

Jacqueline addressed the special guests and said, “Your ability to recognise our problem and work constructively on a solution for us has secured our future.”

“Our situation is an excellent demonstration of the power of pragmatism and the ability of good people from vastly different political backgrounds to work together for the good of the community.”

The plans are in motion now to secure this wonderful community facility.

As a show of their appreciation the preschool presented a very special artwork to Deputy Mayor Chris Doohan on behalf of Port Stephens Council.

Medowie Community preschool has the highest number of Indigenous students of any full-time Port Stephens preschool.

During the recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, the children worked together to create a very special hand print artwork for the Council.

Attached was a plaque that read ‘Thank you for valuing quality early childhood in our community’.”

 

By Rachael VAUGHAN

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