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Sense of family for new Bourke childcare staff

Robert Dixon and Nooka Harris. Photo TWH

Tricia Duffield

When parents and children arrive at the Bourke and District Children’s Service Preschool, an Albanian flag is flying proudly flying the Australian and Aboriginal flags.

The flag is there to celebrate and welcome one of the centre’s most beloved staff members and to remind her of home.

For educator Miranda Katsikis, the flag symbolises more than an acknowledgement of her heritage - she says it demonstrates how Bourke, and the Pre-School community, has embraced her ‘as a member of the family’.

“I was born in Albania but moved to Greece when I was in my twenties and spent 23 years there,” Miranda said.

“It’s where I met my husband Paul, who is Australian but of Greek heritage and when he returned to Australia I came here with him.

“We settled in Bourke when Paul became manager of the Commonwealth Bank and it’s the place that I call home now. I have been studying English and when I started working at the Pre-School, I continued with my language studies as well as studying for my early childhood educator qualifications.

“In November I passed my Certificate III, and I am now qualified.

“I love the children and the people I work with, and it makes me feel accepted and part of the family to work here, even though I am still learning the language.

“I feel like I belong here,” Miranda said.

Administration Manager Sadia Sajid said Miranda brought enthusiasm and a genuine love for children to the Pre-School.

“Miranda has worked very hard to qualify, despite English being her second language,” she said, “she is passionate about her work”.

“The children love her and are very attached to her; she makes the transition through early childhood education very easy for them.

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