Early childhood teacher of the year

Nowa Nowa is an isolated rural town near Lakes Entrance with a population of 144. It has kindergarten with 25 children form the region, many with indigenous backgrounds.

Rachel Webb is the Aboriginal Best Start Facilitator at Nowa Nowa Kindergarten. Being identified for making a difference to young lives has her feeling honoured and valued for the work she does.

Her program includes a bush kinder to help the children reconnect with nature by combining education about indigenous cultures and their underlying and fond connection to land.

"Part of their culture is growing up on the land and everything relates back to the land, so for us to offer a bush kinder, we're able to offer something back to those children in a little bit of a different context so that they can relate to other things" she said.

"If we can actually make that small difference now and get them to engage in, to be curious and interested in learning a way that's fun and engaging, then we've got hope for the future that it will keep progressing."