To receive a phone call from someone who I had read a lot about, read some of her exciting publications both during my studies as well as, just because, was to say the least, thrilling. I did not believe it when my work colleague told me that Dr Red Ruby Scarlett was on the phone for me. ‘Good joke people”. I took the phone and straight away, could feel the nerves kick in. I was talking to Dr Red Ruby Scarlett.
To have Dr Red Ruby Scarlett tell me that I was the winner of the Inaugural 2017 Social Justice in Early Childhoods Anti-Bias award was quite surreal. I had never won anything, ever, and I had definitely never done anything in my early childhood career worth being recognised. And now, I was a winner.
I was extremely honoured to accept this award, not only for myself, but for all of my team, who had been on a great deal of my journey with me. I experienced a childhood that was plagued with bias, targeting no race in particular, however, a lot of this bias was focused on our Countries first people.
Throughout this journey, I had been through a great deal of challenging times, eradicating my ignorance and re-educating myself on true facts and events that shape who we are as a Nation today. Although this didn’t happen quickly, I feel that with the support I received from my team this was made easier that I anticipated.
As my service was my inspiration, I felt it extremely important to ensure that my winnings be shared with my team. It is no good me having a lot of equipment and resources sitting at my house, not fulfilling their purpose. I discussed with my team, and reflected upon the resources we currently had, and with my winnings, I purchased many resources, focusing mainly on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, Equity and Equality, Family values and structure and Resilience and wellbeing. All these resources are now available for the educators to incorporate through their programs, as well as being available for families to read and for children to interact with. Being able to spend this money in conjunction with my team, has allowed me to not only thank the people who helped make this possible, but also allow us to ensure that the children and families within our service will grow and learn with the above focuses being the norm.