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“I’ll be here forever”: Stacey’s positive workplace culture in Kirwan, Townsville

Stacey Timpone has dedicated her working life to early childhood education.

Careers and employment

Article by Deni Kirkova

Stacey has been working out of Kirwan, Townsville QLD for more than 30 years. And she’s proud to run the Goodstart Kirwan Golf Links Drive centre as Director. 

When Stacey finished school, she completed studies at her local TAFE and began her incredible 33-year journey. Throughout her career with Goodstart, Stacey held various roles, built lifelong friendships, and witnessed the growth of countless children. 

Here, Stacey shares insights on the value of relationships, the charm of Townsville's community, and advice for aspiring educators.

Lifelong dedication to early childhood education

Stacey completed a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care in 1991. And she started in her first childcare position that same month. 

Stacey said: “I always knew that I wanted to do something to do with children. All through high school I used to love babysitting. My dad was in the army, so growing up there were a lot of groups and families with children together. I loved helping to look after them."

Stacey (left) loves living and working in TownsvilleStacey (left) loves living and working in Townsville

Stacey’s been in early childhood education ever since, in the Kirwan area the whole time – 'nice and close to home'. 

She said: “I started as an assistant at Goodstart on Burnda Street with Jenny – she's still there actually. Then, after a few months, I stepped into a Lead Educator role.”

When Stacey came back from maternity leave aged 22, she was soon propelled to the Centre Director position. 

Then, after having her second baby, she opened Kirwan Golf Links Drive, where she still works to this day. 

With over 24 years of history at the centre, she’s witnessed its growth from inception to now, an established high-quality service. 

Stacey also did a stint as an area manager with Goodstart, which enriched her expertise. But it’s the bonds she’s formed with families that mean the most. 

"I really love this job and I couldn't see myself doing anything else. Everybody knows that I'll be here forever." - Stacey Timpone

She said: “The most rewarding aspect of my work is the relationships built with children and their families. I just love it. Witnessing children's growth from the nursery to kindergarten and beyond is a privilege.

“Some families have had multiple children attend the centre. We have deep connections fostered over time. Saying goodbye when the last child graduates can be bittersweet after such long-term relationships.”

And it’s the children who make Stacey’s job fun and exciting each day.  She said: “The true reward lies in their smiles and eager greetings each morning. They melt my heart. 

“Watching my own children develop while attending my centre has been incredible. Now, my grandson attends, which adds another layer of significance to my work.”

Why Townsville is a great place to live and to work in early learning

The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Townsville, coupled with its proximity to the beach, makes it an ideal place to live and work. 

The supportive community adds to the appeal. It provides a nurturing environment for both residents and early childhood educators.

For those curious about working in the sector, Stacey says a traineeship can provide a great introduction to early learning. 

She said: “The hands-on experience of a traineeship is so valuable. It allows people to become familiar with the environment and requirements of the role before being included in ratios for the first 6 weeks.”

A compassionate leader in tune with her team

A compassionate leader, Stacey stays in tune with her close-knit teamA compassionate leader, Stacey stays in tune with her close-knit teamAs the centre director for 13 years, Stacey fosters a culture of collaboration and mutual respect among her close-knit team. It’s what keeps them anchored and working well together.

Stacey said: “I am selective when I hire people because they've got to be of high quality. I like to build trust with the educators every day, from the moment I come in. Each morning, I go around to every room and say, ‘Good morning, how are you?’ 

“They need to know there's always someone there they can approach or talk to. And I enjoy getting involved in the classroom activities along with the educators."

Stacey added: “You’ve got to look after your team because they are the ones who work and communicate directly with the parents and children every day. So, it's important to have a good, supported team who can be comfortable to come and see you, muck around and have a bit of fun too. It's all about having a bit of fun.”

Stacey makes a point of presenting herself in a public space where people can come to her. This includes the families on pick up or drop off. It gives them an opportunity to chat with her about their children or anything on their mind. Forming close, trusting bonds is part of what Stacey loves most about her role.

“When families come in, I always try to be out there at the front counter to say hello and goodbye. If I'm not there, the parents tell me that their children ask, 'Where has Stacey gone?' because I also like to greet the children. That's special.”

Working at Goodstart Kirwan Golf Links Drive

Stacey treasures watching children develop and forming bonds with familiesStacey treasures watching children develop and forming bonds with families

There are currently a few opportunities to join Stacey’s outstanding centre and stellar team, which includes an award-winning Teacher

They’re recruiting for an Assistant Director, Casual Educator, and an Educator/Catering Assistant.

Stacey says it’s cheerful people who enjoy bringing fun into the workplace who would thrive at her centre. Those who are passionate about early learning and who create a positive, engaging environment for staff and children. It’s all key to fostering growth and development.

Stacey said: “Our centre provides a nurturing environment. Every day is an opportunity to make a difference and inspire young hearts to embark on a lifelong journey of discovery.”

Explore all our early learning jobs in the Townsville region.

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