Get to know your AOs: Megan McArthur

Megan McArthur, an Authorised Officer from the North West Regional team, has continued to deliver effective and responsive support to services in NSW for nearly a decade.

What is your role and where are you based?

I am a Senior Field Officer in the North West Regional team, I am based in the beautiful Great Lakes area at Forster. Forster is at the northern end of Worimi Country and is bordered to the north by Biripi Country. We are lucky enough to have amazing beaches and a huge lake system to enjoy. This is especially awesome as I love dragon boat racing and we get to train on the beautiful Wallis Lake.

What is your professional background and qualifications?

I have worked in the early childhood education and care sector for 33 years and have a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood). Over my many years, I have worked in preschools, long day care, schools, TAFE and Early Intervention. I have been an Authorised Officer for eight and a half years.

What are some of the best examples you have seen of quality service delivery?

I have seen many examples of quality practices across a broad range of service types over the years.

Some of our regional services are really leading the way with innovative, contextual programs which highlight engagement with their community and families, while maintaining the focus on the child as the centre of everything they do. These are the services which ‘fill up my cup’ when I go to visit.

I am particularly proud of a service, which is located within an Aboriginal community, that I have been working with over the past couple of years. This service has risen out of some very challenging experiences and circumstances to change their path in management and service delivery. They have turned around their practices and this was seen in improvements in their quality rating. They continue to impress me with their relationships and support for the children, their families and their local community. Through their connections with country, community Elders and the delivery of language and cultural programs, they are supporting long term educational, health and wellbeing outcomes for the children.

How have you been adaptive in your role supporting regional services this year?

The North West region covers a vast area, from Bulahdelah in the south to the Queensland border in the north and west to areas including Dubbo and Moree.

Our region has been hard hit over the past few years, suffering under the effects of years of drought, bushfires, floods, mice plagues and of course COVID.

The amazing services and educators we visit have demonstrated the fortitude and resilience of regional services, as they have continued to operate and provide quality services to children and families.

Over the past year, we have all become quite adept to change and adapting our practices to provide support and guidance in ways that suit individual services and their circumstances. Using virtual visits to keep in touch with services has allowed us to be proactive in our monitoring role. It has also allowed us to make time to chat and maintain connections with services in our area.

We have also found ways to work with services through a monitoring and guidance process to support them through difficult and challenging times and assisting them to put in place systems and processes to meet regulatory requirements.

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