Thank You & Goodbye to 2020!

It’s that time of the year already! On the one hand, we have experienced periods that seemed never-ending, each day a repeat of the previous day and at other times we felt we were on a roller coaster with changing scenes and we had to hold on tight to stay grounded.

This year has brought with it many new challenges but has also shown us new ways of dealing with them. At Aurora, we have mostly reflected on these situations and grabbed at the chance to gather up our thoughts and make lemonade from lemons. As we approach the last day of this year, amidst festivities and family time, we pause to be grateful for the year that was, making our peace with and celebrating everything the year has given us and for being part of Australia where, for the most part, we have somehow managed to stay afloat and taste some freedom especially over Christmas and New Year.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for us all. We focus our attention on being well, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Despite its adversities, we look at it this time with an optimistic, retrospective lens looking and projecting the thousands of strong silver linings.

2020 has brought us closer together as a community. Both for staff and families this year has taught us much, more giving, more sharing, more understanding, more collaboration, more knowledge, and more tolerance. With your support, we rapidly adapted and came up with innovative solutions to unique challenges. We reminded ourselves and the world around us to slow down, reflect, and introspect.

In looking back on 2020, we celebrate it all; the triumphs, the joys as well as the setbacks and challenges.

We wish each of our families, parents, children, and our wonderful staff a wonderful start to the New Year and look forward to 2021 with the promise of hope, fearlessness, and to new beginnings. Thank you all for your continued support. We wish you all a Happy New Year!

With much love & gratitude, 
Sheela Edwards & Simone Edwards

2020: A Photographic Retrospective 

January 2020

In January, we celebrated Chinese New Year by inviting some of our families in for a dumpling-making experience. Also in January, our Willow Walk Studio Leader, MJ, visited the Philippines, where she met and taught groups of preschool children and gifted them Aurora t-shirts and a collection of essentials!

February 2020

February was a month full of love at Aurora as we made gifts for all our loved ones. We focused on the importance of love for others, but also a love for nature and for the animals we share our environment with.

March 2020

March was full of celebrations; we celebrated Women’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Holi. As the world around us changed, we began to move many of our staff meetings and team bondings onto digital platforms. Meanwhile, our children put on their creative hats to display messages of love and positivity.

April 2020

In April our children engaged in a variety of arts and crafts projects to make cards and presents for Easter. They were especially proud to make some cards for their friends over at PepperTree Retirement Village.

May 2020

We launched our Digital Learning Program in April, but in May it really took off; we had a committed team of educators who designed and delivered online programs. We were so proud of our children who quickly adapted to this new method of learning! We were even recognized by Semann and Slattery and the Victorian Department of Education for our DLP!

June 2020

June was a relatively quiet time at Aurora, with many of our children transitioning into learning from home. At our centres, we celebrated National Reconciliation Week, where we focused on exploring our steps towards Reconciliation and building on a deeper knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.

July 2020

In July, we celebrated Eid, which included exploring why Eid is celebrated across the world and making artwork that represented our understanding. We also had fun on National Pyjama Day, on which we came into Aurora in our comfiest jammies to raise awareness and funds for children in foster care. We also were delighted to receive an award from HolmesGlen TAFE, which recognised us for our commitment to training early childhood educators through challenging times.

August 2020

August saw us celebrate Book Week, with our children and staff coming in dressed as their favourite book characters. We also hosted a virtual Coffee Catch up for our families to give them the chance to connect with us and each other safelty.

September 2020

We started September by celebrating Educator’s Day; our educators woke up to a wonderful, heart warming video from our families, Sheela, Simone and Kate and Kellie. They were showered with love through the day and received some amazing handmade cookies from a family, a buffet in their honour and a bounty of gifts. In September, we also celebrated Father’s Day, on which our children took home some adorable handmade gifts. For our virtual team bonding, our CEO, Sheela hosted a cooking class where she taught our team how to make a traditional South Indian curry. In September, we were also delighted to see a lot of  our children come physically back into our centre; it was wonderful to be able to re-orient and reconnect.

October 2020

At the beginning of October, Aurora was featured in The Age, for our commitment to our community through Covid-19 as well as for our Connect, Care and Create pillars. We went on to celebrate the cultural festival of Diwali. We also had a fun Halloween Dress Up Day, where we welcomed witches, fairies and other characters into Aurora!

November 2020

November brought with it summer, sun and lots of fun outdoors! Once we were all SPFed up, we spent time outdoors cycling, learning about plants, playing in the sand and even sleeping outdoors!

December 2020

In early December, Santa Claus visited Aurora and, in the days leading up to Christmas, left surprises for us and our children to find! On one day, the children came in to Aurora to find gifts in each of their lockers. On another, Santa helped the children make joy jars to take home to their parents. We had a wonderful month celebrating and appreciating the value of Christmas – joy and the spirit of giving.

And that’s a wrap on 2020! Thank you to all our families, children, staff, and community for all the love and support through this year. It’s been a year of immense growth and development and we were able to face and overcome challenges as a united front.
We’ll see you in 2021!