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People's Choice Awards 2020

Category: Trainee of the Year

Shayd Flegg

Shayd FleggQualification: Certificate III in Early Childhood Education & Care
Trained by: Early Childhood Training & Resource Centre (ECTARC)
Employed by: ECTARC - Wallaroo Children's Centre

“Working with children is a gift. As educators, we’re able to nurture and nourish these amazing little people. I had no idea the extent of hard work early educators do day-in-day-out. When I began my traineeship, I saw these amazing women I worked with weren’t just educators, they were teachers, mothers, environmentalists, cooks, cleaners, artists, musicians, gardeners, and more!”

Shayd applied to be a trainee at Wallaroo Children's Centre because she adored children. Little did she realise that she’d adore going to work everyday too.

“I was blown away by how well a VET traineeship suited the way I learnt,” says Shayd. “I wish I’d chosen this path earlier. Learning on the floor helped me immensely with my studies as I was able to visualise the process. Working with a team of 13 early childhood educators meant I had 13 wonderful teachers. Each member of the team inspired me to grow and learn. The passion they have for the children is infectious.”

Early into Shayd’s traineeship, she identified that she had dyslexia. She didn’t want this to be a barrier to her learning and made adjustments to her learning materials and processes so she could manage her condition.

Shayd Flegg“Being dyslexic, I find theory a little overwhelming in large doses,” says Shayd. “It takes me a little longer to process and read through information. Having a very supportive trainer, a concise training and study plan and reaching clear milestones along the way made my studies very achievable. My amazing team were always looking out for my wellbeing.”

Natalie Fernandes, Shayd’s trainer/supervisor from the Early Childhood Training and Resource Centre (ECTARC), says Shayd has demonstrated skills and knowledge beyond her years.

“Shayd has special qualities that children quickly warm too,” says Natalie. “They seek her out. She communicates well with people from all walks of life and is extremely ethical. She has a natural understanding of humanity.”

Shayd undertook her ECTARC studies online, which allowed her to complete modules at her own pace.

“ECTARC’s training materials were practical and incredibly relevant,” says Shayd.  “I’m a creative person. I enjoy listening to a child’s voice and programming to their needs while also ensuring they’re meeting learning outcomes. ECTARC fully supported me in this endeavour.”

Shayd is the sustainability representative at Wallaroo Children's Centre. She develops business sustainability while educating children on the value of the environment. A strong advocate for Closing the Gap, she builds relationships with local Elders who teach the children Aboriginal culture and the importance of country.

Outside of her traineeship, Shayd holds down a weekend job and volunteers at her local drug and alcohol service.

Wallaroo Children's Centre has offered Shayd a diploma traineeship to further her knowledge and strive towards a leadership role.

“I can’t believe how privileged I am to be part of a child’s growth, their family’s lives and to be able to form everlasting relationships with the wider community. I believe I too can share this passion, and pass it on.”