Centre Manager in the Spotlight: Ashleigh Bellingham from Forde
11th August 2017
Ashleigh Bellingham is the Centre Manager at our fantastic Forde centre in the ACT. Having been in the early years education sector for a decade, Ashleigh is a deeply passionate and highly experienced professional. We take two minutes with Ashleigh to find out about her career journey, some of her highlights at Forde and even discover her passion for animal care and rescue. She’s a true wonder woman!
Tell us a bit about your career journey.
I began my journey in Early Years Education about ten years ago. My mum has been working in the profession for many more years than myself and inspired me to study and gain experience working alongside families and children. As the years went on, I found a love and passion for education that left my career path being an unquestionable one.
After joining Guardian, I quickly figured out that my journey along this career path was going to be supported and nurtured, and it wasn’t long before I found myself in an Assistant Manager role before taking the plunge into a Manager role at Forde.
Why did you decide to pursue early childhood education?
After being inspired by my mum to work with children, I began to also develop a passion for education. While pursuing my qualifications, I felt inspired and driven towards creating curriculums and environments that foster strong learning opportunities for children.
How long have you been at Forde?
I’ve been at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Forde since November 2016.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
My disabled cat trying to climb on and off the bed…
Knowing that we are on an incredibly journey at Forde and being a part of that journey inspires me to get up and out of bed every day to see where the new day will take us and what amazing things we will get up to.
I’m sure you’ve had many highlights in your time at Forde, can you tell us about one?
Going through A&R was a highlight of my career. Coming out of that journey with an exceeding rating blew me out of the water. We all strive for excellence and, while our journey never ends, it was great to stop and have the efforts of all of the amazing Forde educators recognised. While it is hard to identity one stand out highlight, that was a key turning point for Forde towards ongoing excellence.
What do you love most about Forde?
The amazing, passionate and dedicated team at Forde. They are so inspiring to work alongside every day, it’s great to hear the halls filled with laughter and music each day.
What exciting things are in store for Forde this year?
We have many great endeavours in the works at the moment, we are working on developing a relationship with the rangers who work at the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary which is just down the road to begin an ongoing journey of learning and discovery for the children. We are hitting some high notes in relation to sustainability and really beginning to drive home the importance of ensuring the children are given the opportunity to learn and participate within a program that aims high towards a more sustainable future. We’re beginning to create genuine links to community and land will be a focus over the next 12 months.
Let’s get to know you on a personal level…
Where’s one place in the world you’d love to travel to?
America. It is my absolute dream holiday and having two close friends recently move over there… Perhaps a holiday is already in the works!
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I own and operate an animal rescue, this is done in my own home where I bring in primarily kittens who have been born feral, or sadly dumped on the side of the road. I pay for their vet work and work on physically handling and working on their temperament to ensure they are ready physically and mentally for their new homes. I have re-homed about 40 kittens and am currently slowing my animal intake while I focus on family, but animal care and rescue is my other big passion.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
To be magic, a little like Sabrina! Have magical hands and be able to make amazing things happen with the flick of my wrist.
Learn more about Guardian Early Learning Centre – Forde
To meet our Centre Manager, Ashleigh, and to discover this wonderful early learning centre in the ACT for yourself, book a tour via our handy online form here.
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