Affinity shining star profile: Michelle Shephard

At Affinity we live our values daily and today we want to highlight this with an introduction to Shining Star; Michelle Leigh Shephard, Centre Manager at Aussie Kindies Early Learning Woy Woy.

“My favourite part of my job is the children and families, showing them around our beautiful Centre, the change we have made at the service is unbelievable,” said Michelle.

Michelle was nominated for her hard work following her appointment as Centre Manager just last year.

She started back at work at Bluehaven Jelli Beanz after having her own children and slowly worked her way up before being transferred to Budgewoi Jelli Beanz.

“Affinity Education took over in 2014, this was when I was given the position of 2IC two days per week, this was a great opportunity for me to learn about the running of the Centre. This was where my passion to become a Centre Manager started.”

“I loved to organize and make sure everyone was doing the right thing, I completed all the training thrown my way.”

Despite a strong application for the Centre Manager position at B&A the position fell through, but Michelle didn’t let that discourage her. Soon she received the call to move down to Woy Woy and she rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in.

“It was  run down and old, but I knew we were due for an upgrade. The centre was bought back to life, we reconfigured the rooms… received new paint inside and out, new yards, and furniture. In a short time, we were completely full with a waitlist for families to join our centre. We completed an ACECQA course, then were up for A&R. That’s when we had our work cut out for us, long days, nights and weekends with working bees. Five skip bins later and the Centre looked amazing!”

Since that achievement, Michelle and the Aussie Kindies Early Learning Woy Woy team including Assistant Centre Manager Courtney Grieve have continued to go above and beyond every day for their families, and for the children in their care.

The children at Aussie Kindies Early Learning Woy Woy loved getting involved in 'talk like a Pirate Day.'

Lifelong Learning is embedded in their programming and experiences for children which most recently have included a very fun ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ and currently, some excellent reconciliation activities as part of the centre’s National Reconciliation Week celebrations.

Echidnas made by children at Aussie Kindies Early Learning Woy Woy as part of the centre's reconcilliation activities.

 When asked about the benefits of working for Affinity Education Group, Michelle said it was the support she received from everyone: “Affinity are always looking to improve the Centre, that’s what I love about being associated with Affinity.”

Area Manager Sally Raper told us that Michelle is an absolute asset to her team, and part of the ‘Squad’ who support other centres in NSW when A&R is looming. Thank you Michelle for always going above and beyond,  and proving that all the hard work is worth the effort.

We love having such passionate and experienced staff on our team, and we want to take the time to say thank you to all those who help us live our values throughout our Centres daily.