When you meet Adam Angwin, it’s easy to see why our Goodstart family flourishes so wonderfully under his guidance and care. Our Area Manager based on NSW’s Central Coast radiates warmth, compassion and calm. Yet, Adam is also a strategic and innovative leader, supporting our centres to strive for excellence. Early childhood education is a world away from his previous career in the finance sector, but at Goodstart, Adam has truly found a place where he belongs.
Rediscovering passion and purpose
If there’s anyone who exemplifies what it means to be a people’s leader, it’s Adam Angwin. Our Area Manager has made such an enormous impact on the Goodstart community, it’s difficult to imagine him being anywhere else. But in fact, this inspired and compassionate leader spent 10 years working in the banking and finance industry before joining us.
Adam’s long-held passion for education eventually put him on a more purposeful path. Yet, the skills he gained in banking - communication, organisation, strategy - and his drive to give children the best start to life have proved to be a winning combination at Goodstart Early Learning.
“At school, I was always interested in a career in primary education,” Adam says. “But I also enjoyed business and commerce studies, so I ended up going down that road. I started working in the banking and finance sector in 1999, including at one of the big four banks. But I never felt satisfied with what I was doing. I’m a people person, and I wanted to do something I was passionate about. So, after 10 years, I went back to uni to study primary education.”
During his studies, Adam saw a job ad for a casual position at Goodstart Tuggerah, on the Central Coast of NSW. Early childhood education had not been on Adam’s radar, but he seized the opportunity to gain more learning experience.
“I started as an Unqualified Educator and loved it. I felt part of a community. I loved working with the children and seeing them learn and grow. I quickly realised early education was where I wanted to be, and since then, I haven’t looked back.”
A leader in the making
From the moment Adam joined the Goodstart family in 2011, his career soared. After gaining his qualification as an Early Childhood Educator, Adam swiftly rose through the ranks. From Group Leader to Assistant Director to Centre Director, Adam has continually reached and expanded his potential - and he’s been instrumental to Goodstart’s growth.
“Tuggerah was an amazing journey for me. I was very lucky coming into that centre - I had amazing wraparound support and great mentors. I may not have had the experience with children at the time, but I brought a range of other skills to the team, and they supported me on my journey into the profession. The team culture was about striving for excellence, and we achieved some amazing things.”
As Centre Director, Adam ensured Tuggerah’s culture of excellence stayed true. He and his team worked tirelessly to achieve accreditation as a Centre of Excellence - a national ranking that recognises innovation and excellence in education and care. Currently, only about 40 learning centres across the country have this status.
“The excellence rating required a lot of hard work and dedication from the team. It’s something I’m really proud of, and demonstrates our passion for what we do.”
Adam was instrumental in many other initiatives, including a fortnightly fathers group and a Big Brother program for children needing extra support. He’s participated in health and safety committees at a state level, and is a strong advocate for males entering the profession. It’s no wonder that Adam was awarded the CEO’s Goodstarter of the Year and promoted to Area Manager in 2021.
Today, Adam coaches and supports 10 Goodstart centres across the NSW Central Coast to provide children with outstanding early learning experiences.
“I love that I’m able to amplify my impact across the whole area. I visit each centre at least once a month. There’s no typical day, as each centre requires different support. It could be anything from recruitment and enrolments to leadership development and health and safety.”
Adam values the career pathways he’s been given at Goodstart. In turn, he places great emphasis on the professional development of our Central Coast teams.
“Being a not-for-profit organisation, Goodstart not only invests in its centres, which is beneficial for children and families, but they also invest in us as professionals. I’ve personally been given plenty of development opportunities, and I’ve been supported to pursue my external studies.”
A safe place to grow
Diversity is important to Adam. He supports our centres to create a safe and welcoming space for Educators of all ages, genders, abilities and cultural backgrounds. Adam strongly believes children need a range of role models in their lives, and he’s proud of the impact our Educators have in the lives of young people every day.
“The value our Educators bring is huge, and I think that’s recognised and acknowledged at all levels of the organisation. They’re really on the frontline. Educators make a significant difference to the children and families who attend our centres and the organisation as a whole. They also positively impact the community by supporting children to become lifelong learners and good global citizens. The impact we can have is unlimited, and I think that’s amazing.”
And if you’re thinking of a career at Goodstart? Adam says there are two things you must have, and then everything else will fall into place.
“You need to be passionate. That’s the most important thing. You have to genuinely care about children’s education. You also need to seize the opportunities available to you. That’s what will set you up for success in the long term.”