Harmony Newsletter
16 December 2002

Dear Parents                                                                           

This is the busy time of the year when we are rushing at work to keep up to date and rushing around the neighborhood to finish holiday preparations. Hopefully we still have time and energy for our family, the most important people in the world.

All Harmony educators wish you and your family a most enjoyable Christmas and New Year break. We wish this in the true spirit of the season, as we take time to reflect on past deeds and look forward to new happenings that will help make us really content with the way we live. We wish this because there are so many unfortunate people around the world, in poverty, in war, and in many other types of misery who, often through no fault of their own, don’t have even a fraction of what we take for granted in Australia.


Each of the staff thank all those who have given presents of appreciation – we really enjoy the ones that we can share such as homemade shortbread and chockies (for Harmony chocoholics!).


Closedown & re-open dates

After the closedown period from 4.00 pm on 20th December we re-open at 7.30 pm on Monday, 6th January 2003. Please take care at home and in the car, so that your holiday season is a safe and happy one.




I believe all families will join me in conveying appreciation of the energetic commitment and responsibility that every one of Harmony staff have shown during the past year. They truly are a great bunch!! They feel proud to have a career that really makes a difference in the world. They are constantly working to help raise the next generation by supporting you parents with their knowledge and feedback, by providing the best possible care and education for your under school age children, by complementing your efforts in encouraging your children to love learning, and by making sure that we all have fun while doing it!


All three diploma-qualified Harmony educators, and their assistants, are also to be complimented for their willing efforts to assist and evaluate our Trainees and also several other students from TAFE and Edith Cowan University during their on-the-job training.



2003 staffing                           Babies                         2 year olds                  Kindy/Preschool

Early Childhood Educator         Carissa                         Simmone                      tbc

Assistants                                 Alisha & Kelly  Ginette & Erin              Yvonne & Brooke

Manager                                   Robin  

Administrator                            Janet   

Cook                                       Toni

Ian, Bookkeeper, is working for the next three months in Karratha and will be doing Honors at UWA next year, which is why he has upgraded Janet’s admin skills so that she can take over most of his tasks. Briony, Cook and Child Care Trainee, recently left for her hometown of Melbourne to catch up with family after three years away and to complete her traineeship – she reckons she will be back (how can anyone resist the pull of WA?!). We welcome Toni, who has been one of our relief cooks for four years and has now accepted the permanent position of Part-Time Cook.


Blanche will finish her long-term temporary position this week (Simmone’s maternity leave), and Renee completes her job sharing in the 2 year olds group. We wish them both happiness and success in their future careers and warmly thank them for the many contributions they made for the children’s wellbeing every day and to Harmony in general.



Congratulations to three staff who have received promotions. As from early December Janet is Administrator (fees, bookkeeping, general enquiries). Brooke and Alisha are now higher “E” grade Assistants following their graduations with a TAFE Certificate III in Child Care in November. To their credit they both completed the certificate early through fast-tracking the assignment modules – a well-deserved reward for all their after hours study this year.



Carissa and Simmone are continuing their degree studies for a Bachelor of Social Science (Family & Children’s Studies) and we wish them heaps of success in that area, especially as they have to put in so much effort while working full time in Harmony.


Kelly is just about to finish her traineeship in child care, and in early December Erin commenced work and study as a full-time Trainee. Many will already know Erin from the substantial amount of relief/casual work she’s performed in all age groups over the past four months – she is very keen to learn more.


Brooke and Janet intend to take up study for a TAFE Certificate IV in Small Business Administration through on-line modules, commencing February. Congratulations to them for taking that initiative to further their careers.


Staff socials

A Melbourne Cup sweep was coordinated by Carissa, and a couple of weeks ago staff enjoyed a great end-of-year dinner at Hillary’s boat harbor with plenty of wine flowing (their men folk drove them home). Brooke says she’ll coordinate more fun times during the New Year.


Versatility award

This month’s award goes to Yvonne who sewed some washing bags to make cleaning of small toys a quicker operation. Again she (and Carissa) commenced making lunch when our permanent Cook was unavailable. By the way, if you know of someone who would like work as a relief cook in Harmony from time to time, please contact Robin or Janet as soon as possible (no formal qualification needed).


French sessions

Even though Ginette will be moving to the 2 year olds group, she will continue facilitating the learning of French for the Kindy/Preschoolers. She will run a half-hour French session each day, plus conversation during outdoors play and while cutting fruit in the morning – in fact, at many opportunities just as at present.



We are always grateful (and relieved) when we get enough helpers for Kindy/Preschool holiday excursions! Thank you so much to mums of Jaiden, Claudia, Liam R, and Tegan for your valuable time and assistance in October.


Many thanks to our superb parents who think of Harmony when something is no longer wanted and may be thrown out. We really appreciate mums of Joel and Luke C (old towels & sheets); Lachlan B’s mum (40 lever arch files); Taite’s parents (toys); Robin’s friend, Mark (electric organ); Scarborough Lions Club (carved timber story board); and our own Simmone and her mum (rolls of drawing paper).


End-of-year concert

What a lot of fun last Friday! And some real talent amongst the participating children. And a lot of proud parents and grandparents. The room is always hot and hectic, but it’s worth it to make a special day for parents, with memories and film that will bring back the amazement of it all for many years down the track. Santa of course is a tremendous hit and returns to Harmony year after year (if he weren’t so chubby, I’d say he looks a lot like one of our relief educators!).



Janet finally received the fundraising profit from the Entertainment Books ($402) and will soon get $60 from sales of the Bailey’s Christmas goodies. Thank you to Nutrimetrics consultant and mum of Hamish & Imogen for $10 donation from sale of natural soaps recently. All this will be added to previous fundraising to help purchase (very expensive) impact-absorbing rubber for under the swings.


Repairs & maintenance

On your return in the new year you’ll notice quite a few changes. The quite old blue gum trees will be cut and the shade will be replaced by shadecloth sails (the leaves and brittle branches fall constantly which is a nuisance and possible danger). We’ll also use the 2-week closedown period to finish fixing the ceiling of the main room and to fill in bald spots of the lawn.



In November the Parent & Staff Committee had a successful introduction to the quality assurance process (video and sharing of accreditation summaries) and the next meeting is scheduled for 20th January. Parents are welcome to join the Committee or attend to see what accreditation is all about.


A tribute to parents

We never forget you, “our” parents. You and your precious children are the reasons for Harmony existing. We know from talking with you a little each day that you are doing the very best for your children, and for this we admire you. We want to make sure that at all times we are supporting you and your family, and we really take on board our responsibility when you entrust your children to us.


Once again, have a very pleasant Christmas and a refreshing break until the New Year. To those who are leaving Harmony to move on to “big school” or away to another suburb, we hope that your future prospects are just what you want them to be.



Robin Garbutt, Manager                                               Janet Johnston, Administrator


P.S.  Please check Lost Property crate, & remember to iron on your new name labels.