St Nicholas Values Awards – 2023 Winners

We are excited to announce the winners of St Nicholas’ inaugural Values Awards, a testament to the exceptional individuals who embody our core values and demonstrate unwavering commitment to their roles and communities.

At the heart of St Nicholas lies a commitment to compassion, hope, integrity, justice and participation. The recipients of these awards exemplify these principles, reflecting the very essence of what makes St Nicholas a beacon of excellence in education and community service.


Our winners

Hope – Michelle Summers (St Nicholas Early Education Lochinvar)

“Michelle is an incredible educator with a heart of gold. She shows a great deal of compassion towards educators, children and families. Michelle is extremely supportive of families and children, helping many of them through various challenges. She is truly one of a kind.”


Compassion – Desilee Howard (St Nicholas OOSH Rutherford)

“I would like to nominate Des for the Compassion award for the amazing work she does at Rutherford OOSH each and every day. It takes a very unique person to manage a service like Rutherford. Des always demonstrates compassion and care when dealing with any situation, and mentors her team of educators to show the same level of compassion at the service. The children are all very special and well understood by the team at Rutherford, and the service wouldn’t be the same without Des as the shining star.”


Integrity – Telina Foote (St Nicholas OOSH Branxton)

“Telina Foote is an incredible asset to my team and service. As I have begun making changes in the service, she has adapted incredibly well, with ongoing participation and a willingness to learn. She is confidently implementing the new changes and structure added to our routine, and continues to show consistent improvement as she becomes more comfortable in her role. I am very lucky to have Telina as a part of my team.”


Justice – Trichelle Locock (St Nicholas Early Education Chisholm)

“Shelly is an amazing leader! She is responsible for creating beautiful connections between each and every educator here at our service. On a regular basis, Shelly invites team members to attend fun social events outside of work. Shelly excels at creating team-building opportunities for all staff members!”


Participation – Kerry-Ann Brown (St Nicholas Early Education Muswellbrook)

“Kerry-Ann goes above and beyond for our centre. She has taken on responsibilities thrust upon her during challenging circumstances and remains kind, calm and respectful to everyone across the centre—educators, children, families and contractors. She gets in and gets the job done. She has taken on so much, and she deserves appreciation for everything she does daily. She is a true asset to our team, and we would be lost without her.”


Team Award – St Nicholas Early Education Muswellbrook

“Nothing or nobody stands in isolation at St Nicholas Early Education Muswellbrook. Like an unwritten law, kindness rules. Actions speak silently. Values shine in the face of adversity. Invisible treasures hide in corners every day. When you least expect it, but more importantly, when you need it most, compassion is seen, heard and felt on so many different levels. It may be subtle, yet powerful, such as reaching out with a simple touch towards another struggling human being. Glimmers. Hope. Understanding. Belief in wonderful things soon to come. Celebrating together the amazing strength, potential and capabilities of children. Collaboration and compassion unite us – children, families and educators.”


Excellence in OOSH – Carlie Hile (St Nicholas OOSH Forster)

“Carlie continues to be the best mentor for us at Forster. She’s compassionate, answers our questions and follows each of our capabilities. Her ability to ensure each child feels welcomed at our building, as well as being approachable for them and their families, is incredible. She is extremely professional, fair, hardworking and compassionate. She upholds quality while running two services, as well as training and guiding her staff with kindness and understanding.”


Excellence in Early Education – Emily McIntosh (St Nicholas Early Education Maitland)

“I would like to nominate Emily for the amazing work she does at Maitland each and every day. She not only strives to support her own team of educators, but is always available to support other services when needed. She is a team player and a great asset to St Nicholas. Emily has high standards for her service and holds educators accountable for achieving these standards, ensuring positive outcomes for children and families. Emily involves educators and her leadership team in decision-making and goal-setting, demonstrating a collaborative approach in her leadership. She is a great listener and has been there for me personally through some very hard times. I feel she demonstrates all the above values and more.”


School-Based Trainee of the Year – Grace Shorten (St Nicholas Early Education Newcastle West)

“Grace’s commitment to learning while contributing to the school environment makes her a shining example of growth and dedication.”


Trainee of the Year – Charlotte Bell (St Nicholas Early Education Muswellbrook)

“Charlotte’s enthusiasm and dedication in her role make her the embodiment of future leadership and excellence within our community.”


These awards not only celebrate individual achievements but also recognise the collective dedication of our community. St Nicholas is more than an educational institution; it is a community that thrives on the principles of compassion, hope, integrity, justice and participation. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to each winner and express our gratitude for their invaluable contributions.

As we celebrate these exceptional individuals, let us reflect on the shared values that unite us and continue to inspire excellence within the St Nicholas community. Here’s to a future filled with continued growth, learning and a steadfast commitment to our core values.