Spotlight on the REED Team
We at REED are so proud of our amazing staff, and we would like to introduce them to you in a series of interviews which will be published on a regular basis.
Meet Madison Boothey, a staff member with exceptional leadership skills, who has recently stepped into the role of Cluster Manager for the Central region. REED recognises Madison’s talent and continues to provide her with support and mentorship as her career progresses.
Where are you based, and tell us a little bit about your hometown?
I have lived in Narrogin all my life. My family had a farm 15 minutes out of Narrogin, outside of Highbury before I was born. This was on my dad’s side of the family. I was then born in the Narrogin hospital and have lived here ever since. I spent my younger years on a farm with my dad until it was sold, and we moved into Narrogin permanently. I went to East Narrogin Primary School and Narrogin Senior High school, up to year 11.
Once year 11 started, I realised high school wasn’t going to benefit me in what I wanted to do at the time. I then started looking into TAFE courses at the Narrogin TAFE to see what they had to offer. Whilst doing this I found the Cert3 in Early Childhood Education & Care and Diploma. The next week I was signed up and ready to smash through my studies. I did my cert in about 8/10 months and started my diploma straight away to complete it in the two years. I finished my diploma in September 2021 and gained an excellence award from TAFE for all my hard work and determination to get my studies done.
When did you start with REED?
I started working at REED Narrogin in August 2018.
Tell us the story of how your career progressed from a student to eventually becoming a cluster manager.
I started as a casual assistant in 2018 then as a parttime room leader in the toddler room for close to 2 years. Once I had grown in this role, I was offered to take on a bigger role as team leader at Mobile. I was in this role for a year and truly loved it before I took another step and became team leader/director at Narrogin. I was sad to leave my role at Mobile, but I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to grow more with REED and I didn’t know when I would get this opportunity again. This was a big step since the two services and roles were very different, but I grew to love this role as well. In the start of this year I took on another new role as a cluster manager for the central services including, Mobile, Corrigin, Quairading, and Hyden.
What is your biggest motivation, and what do you love about the job?
My biggest motivation is to make myself proud of all I have been able to achieve and learn in the early childhood industry. I have always been a person to strive to do my best and being with REED, they have been able to see my best qualities and use them to better myself through all the obstacles and learning opportunities I have had. I have been able to grow more with this organisation than I ever thought was possible and in these past years of hard work I am now able to call myself a cluster manager. I have many things that I love about my job. The main ones that come to the top of my head are the educators and the children. I love being around all the different staff who come from many different backgrounds. We learn so much from one another and bring something different to the table. The children are the exact same and being able to be there while they meet all their milestones and see them grow from a baby until they are off to school is the most rewarding part of my job. You don’t realise how attached you are to the children until they are leaving, and you reflect on all the years you were able to spend with them. Children help us just as much as we help them and seeing them off can be just as hard on the educators as it is for them.
What do you think makes a good educator?
I think what makes a great educator is finding out why they do their job, why this profession? I chose to come into this industry knowing the challenges. It is a hard job as it puts a lot of pressure and stress on the educators but is extremely rewarding at the same time. If you are here for the right reasons such as wanting to help the children grow to be the best they can be, explore the world with them, showing empathy and give them a sense of empathy, show them all the love and kindness you would want to be shown yourself then I believe this makes a good educator.
In your opinion, what is the different about REED centres compared to other childcare providers?
I have worked with REED and REED only since first starting in this industry, so I don’t know comparisons between us and other services by being in other places. I would say that one thing I love about this organisation compared to others is we all work together. REED has over 20 services across the regional area, and we all work together to keep services open and running smoothly for the children, families, and educator’s benefit.
How is REED providing you with support in your career (mentoring etc)?
REED has continuously provided me support in all my roles. I have been able to receive support through my team leaders, cluster managers, operations manager and general manager depending on the different roles I took on. This is included one-on-one mentoring, online training, and face-to-face trainings outside of the service. In reviewing my progress every six months I have been able to discuss where I would like to grow and every time, I got the assistance to achieve my next goal. All of the roles I have went through I have spoken about in my Pd’s and I can see the way I grew through REED.
How do you, in your roles as a team leader and then a cluster manager provide support to others?
As a team leader I was the first person the educators/families would come to if they were needing any support. Being the team leader, I was able to learn how to problem solve or what support to provide when needed. By supporting other people, you first need to be able to have an open mind about what they are wanting to talk about, you need to be able to understand their perspectives and work together to fix any issues. We must have partnerships with the families and educators to do the best for everyone involved. As a cluster manager I provide more support to the educators than anything. This is because the team leader can usually assist with any support directed at families. I do fortnightly visits to catch up with all the educators to assist them, check on how they are doing and how the service is running. This is great time for them to discuss with me any issue they may be experiencing so we can find a solution as a team.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
My goal for the future right now is to grow in the role I am in. I still have a lot to learn and will continue to grow each day. I am loving being a cluster manager as it has now been almost 2 months since starting and I’m continuing to learn more everyday which is exciting as I want to better my own knowledge in this industry. I have enjoyed the past 4 years working in this organisation and don’t see myself wanting a change anytime soon.