Children’s Services chief wins top accolade

CANTERBURY Bankstown Council’s Children’s Services Manager Karen Roberts has won the ‘Individual Leadership’ accolade in the 2021 HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards.

A pioneering early childhood educator for 45 years, Ms Roberts has been managing the area’s long, occasional and outside of school hours care services, the family daycare scheme, administration staff and speech pathologists for 18 years and in the last decade, has also worked privately as a trainer, writer and mentor.
Now 66, she designed an initiative in 2019, enabling parents from asylum seeker backgrounds to realise their work or study dreams by having their children placed in reduced or no-cost childcare and is developing the council’s Child-friendly Cities Report and Action Plan.
Winning $10,000 in prize money, provided by awards sponsor ME Bank, she said the win was the “proudest and also the humblest moment” of her career.
“Much of [my development] has come about thanks to the fabulous leaders and colleagues who believed in me, encouraged me, mentored and inspired me along the way,” she said.