Experienced Board Chair to Lead Wheatbelt Early Childhood Education and Care Overhaul

  |   News

Helen Creed, the former Executive Director of Children and Family Services in WA Department for Communities and Executive Director of the Community Legal Centres Association, is the Board Chair of the recently formed not-for-profit organization, the Regional Early Education and Development Inc. (REED).

Funded by the State Government and Lotterywest, REED was officially launched by Minister Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services in Narrogin in March this year. REED was created in the Wheatbelt to provide high quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services for Wheatbelt families.

REED is creating a new cluster model of management to provide services across the Wheatbelt, and working with local childcare providers and shires to reduce their burden to provide these vital community services, and offer expertise and assistance.

Originally a social worker, Helen was the WA Secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers Union (MWU) during the 1990s and went on to represent working people at both the national and international level.

Helen, who has been awarded a Centenary Medal for recognition of her work in childcare, and was inducted in the WA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, has held numerous high profile positions ranging from local organisations through state-based, national and international ones. She has extensive experience in private and public sector, as well as not-for profit organisations. This expertise coupled with her understanding and knowledge of rural communities makes her the perfect candidate for the Board Chair of REED.

Helen is the current the Chair of Victoria Park Youth Accommodation –a local community based service providing assistance predominantly to potentially homeless young Aboriginal families, and a Board member of Child Australia, which provides children’s services in both WA and NT. She is also the Deputy Chair of the WA Government’s new Supporting Communities Forum.

In her role as Board Chair of REED, Helen oversees a board of eight dynamic volunteers, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds, locations and experience that all collectively add expertise and guidance to the REED management team.

Helen said that ‘Childcare has always been a particular passion of mine – from both the perspective of my employment and my interests. I am excited to be part of the REED team that will allow us to create a sustainable ECEC organization. Whilst this will be the key focus, at the same time we will be developing REED’s culture in line with our agreed vision for children, families and vibrant communities and our values of quality, partnership, respect and integrity’.

Under Helen’s guidance, REED has achieved a number of goals including:

  • Adopted a strategic plan;
  • Secured significant funding support from the WA Government/Royalties for Regions
    and Lotterywest and met our contractual obligations in relation to both;
  • Established a governance structure with regular, quorate Board meetings and a
    Committee structure;
  • Opened an office in Narrogin, with support from the Shire of Narrogin;
  • Successfully recruited a senior management team to work with our General
  • Commenced the setting up of REED corporate systems;
  • Initiated the due diligence and other preliminary pre-merger work with services
    across the Wheatbelt

‘With the recent appointment of REED managers, I now see the REED Board functioning on a different level as we are no longer required on an operational basis, and we can now focus our energy on a more strategic level’, Helen noted.

‘We look forward to sharing news of REED’s success in the Wheatbelt, and local communities benefiting from this vital service’.