Pitta Pitta woman Cassy Baker, Goodstart Early Learning’s State Manager, Regional Queensland has secured a highly prestigious scholarship from Chief Executive Women and the Aurora Foundation.
Ms Baker will be attending (virtually) Harvard University in Boston to do further study on leadership and management in the not-for-profit sphere as the Roberta Sykes Scholarship recipient for 2022.
“Cassy brings an extraordinary level of understanding and experience to her leadership and her studies at Harvard will no doubt be to the benefit of many others as she works to share her learnings,” Goodstart CEO Julia Davison said.
“In her two decades in the early learning sector she’s been a shining light for inclusion, building capability and excellence in her teams and driving participation rates for First Nations children and educators,” she added.
Ms Baker said she was “still coming to terms” with the significant achievement, expressing her gratitude for having been chosen.
“It’s a huge honour,” she said. “I grew up hearing about Roberta Sykes who was an extraordinary advocate for First Nations people.”
The scholarship is overseen by the Aurora Foundation, with a spokesperson explaining that the Foundation is “not just looking for outstanding Indigenous scholars who will be role models for Indigenous communities.”
“Our Scholars will have a mission to return to Australia from their overseas studies with a commitment to ‘give back’ to their community. We have no fixed ideas on what ‘giving back’ looks like, what courses are going to better advance the interests of Indigenous communities, or whether this is better done in the public or private sector on return,” the spokesperson said.
In applying for the scholarship Ms Baker spoke to the panel about the importance of the first five years in the development of all children and her passionate belief about the life changing power of education.
“I grew up understanding the value of education thanks to my Mum and she also taught me that social justice was vital and that we all have a responsibility to fight for the more vulnerable,” Ms Baker explained.
“I am really looking forward to the study itself but more importantly to sharing it with everyone at Goodstart, our sector and beyond.”
The selection process was rigorous, with Chief Executive Women selecting four Scholars after an exhaustive national process which included a detailed written application and an interview.
Learn more about the Roberta Sykes Scholarships here.
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