KU Annual Report 2010 - Page 14

Making the KU Difference KU Marcia Burgess Award The KU Marcia Burgess award is a perpetual honour recognising an individual or a team who demonstrate a strong commitment to vulnerable children and families, or children with additional needs. The award is given in memory of the late Marcia Burgess. Kerry Burke Manager, Child Protection Kerry Burke’s role as KU’s Child Protection Manager requires a special commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children, however Kerry’s passion for vulnerable children and children’s rights extends far beyond the expectations of her position. Kerry builds trusting relationships with those she comes into contact with, often in difficult circumstances, resulting in fair outcomes for all. She never loses site of the rights of children to feel safe and be protected by adults. Kerry is generous in sharing her knowledge and expertise, and supporting staff and families to navigate a complex and often confronting reporting system. We consistently receive feedback regarding Kerry’s ability to conduct a thorough, compassionate and fair investigative process, and to provide positive and focused support. Kerry is known and highly respected for her exceptional ability to diffuse difficult situations. KU was the first early childhood organisation in Australia to employ a dedicated Child Protection Manager, and Kerry has always embraced this commitment with true dedication and an unwavering effort to support children’s rights. Today Kerry is recognised as an expert in Child Protection and a leader in the area of children’s wellbeing. Through Kerry’s significant contribution as an advocate for vulnerable children and families within KU services, she is helping to ensure the legacy and memory of Marcia Burgess’ work lives on. In memory of Marcia Burgess Marcia Burgess was an inspirational early childhood teacher who dedicated her entire career of more than 50 years to KU, and ensuring that all children were able to access high quality early childhood education and care. Whilst Marcia took a quiet approach, it was none-the-less driven by her strong will and determination. The results of her dreams, vision and advocacy for vulnerable children, children with additional needs and families have become some of KU’s greatest achievements. Marcia retired from KU in October 2006 as the Manager, Special Education and sadly passed away in June 2007. She is recognised for her significant contribution to KU, the early childhood sector and the lives of the thousands of children she touched. 14 KU Children’s Services