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Meet inspirational Educator Jorja, our Rising Star

Jorja works at Goodstart Glenfield Park, NSW. She made exceptional contributions to practice at the centre in just one year.

Careers and employment

Article by Deni Kirkova

For Jorja Pinney, practice isn’t just something to come to work and perform. It’s refining and reimagining what’s best for the teaching and learning of Australia’s children.

Jorja works as an Educator at Goodstart Glenfield Park in New South Wales. She's driven to gather knowledge, share it with her colleagues and apply it in-centre.

Yet, Jorja only started working in early childhood education and care (ECEC) a year ago.

National winner of the Rising Star Goodies Award

Jorja Pinney, Educator at Goodstart Glenfield Park 

A smiling headshot of Jorja Pinney at work

Jorja Pinney won the national Rising Star Goodie Award in 2023. That's thanks to her exceptional contributions at Goodstart Glenfield Park.

Starting as a trainee, Jorja quickly completed her Certificate III in ECEC. She is now pursuing her Diploma and aims to study for an Early Childhood Teaching bachelor’s degree.

An Educator in the Nursery room, Jorja actively participates in Community of Practice network meetings. She goes beyond the norm, like attending weekend professional development opportunities. And she shares insights with her colleagues and implements learnings at work.

Jorja is committed to building trusting relationships with children, families, and colleagues. She's dedicated to creating engaging learning environments that accommodate all children. 

Notably, she has addressed inclusive needs through conducting thorough research and presenting solutions. Parents praise her growth, confidence, and how she makes a positive impact on children. They're grateful for her pivotal role in creating a joyful and secure environment. 

Jorja's win celebrates her continuous learning, dedication to inclusive practices, and warm interactions. Goodies judges said: “Jorja's impressive journey at Glenfield Park in a year is remarkable. She started as a Trainee and fast-tracked modules earning her Certificate III... her journey embodies dedication and growth, inspiring her peers."

They note that one instance left a lasting impression on her peers. Jorja delivered a presentation during a staff meeting, showcasing her proactive approach. She discussed the inclusive needs of a child with hip dysplasia in the nursery. 

Jorja had conducted extensive research and spoke with the child's family. She then presented innovative practices to her colleagues. And Jorja demonstrated how to incorporate this newfound knowledge into their daily routines.

Our interview with Jorja

Why do you think you excel in your role?

I have been around children my whole life with many of my family and friends having young children. I have always loved spending time with children, so that's why I headed into the early childhood profession. Plus, I enjoy playing team sports a lot in my spare time and I feel that this has had a huge impact on my ability to work in a team environment.

What are the three factors that make an exceptional Trainee?

  • A strong desire to work with others to expand on your knowledge.
  • A high level of communication with educators, leaders, and families.
  • Willingness, drive and organisational skills to build on best practice knowledge that suits your team environment.

If you had one piece of advice for a new Trainee, what would it be?

I would tell anyone thinking about doing a traineeship to just do it! For anyone who has just started a traineeship, I would encourage them to never give up and to work hard. 

If you stay organised, up-to-date, and hardworking, then it will go by so quickly. The amazing families, educators and support you have in this industry make the whole experience worth it.

Why is Goodstart a great place for Trainees to thrive?

My centre, Glenfield Park, has been an amazing place to complete my Traineeship. The Educators and families have been very supportive of my learning. 

I am given copious amounts of support. This lets me complete tasks and further my knowledge of centre-based procedures and practices.

About the Goodies Awards

Jorja (centre) at the national Goodies Awards 2023Jorja (centre) at the national Goodies Awards 2023The Goodie Awards are an annual tradition for Goodstart. The accolades acknowledge and honour contributions made by our people.

They celebrate exceptional Goodstarters from Trainees to Centre Directors across the organisation. The awards highlight innovation, dedication, and a passion for creating positive learning experiences.

Jorja has an extra prize too, along with the winners of Goodstarter, Educational Leader and Teacher of the Year.  They have the opportunity for an international professional development study tour! It will take place in 2024 with Goodstart’s Chief Children’s Officer Sue Robb as host.

Inspired to join the team? Explore roles at Goodstart.

Check out Traineeships and Goodstart and contact your local centres for intake information.

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