Early Childhood This year’s EC activist winner

Heide Ratje with EC Activist of the Year award winner, Dianne O'Dwyer.

Dianne O’Dwyer was announced the winner of the 2023 Rebecca Simpson Early Childhood Activist of the Year award at this year’s Early Childhood Conference. 

Dianne joined the AEU’s predecessor, the Kindergarten Teachers Association of Victoria (KTAV), in 1979 as a student member, immediately taking up a spot on the consultation board, filling the student member position. She began teaching in 1980 and remained a committed unionist. The consultation board evolved into an elected council and Dianne maintained her position there, representing members from her area and staying involved in KTAV campaigns.

When KTAV merged with other unions to form the AEU in 1995, Dianne was elected to the EC sector council. Over the years, Dianne has been on AEU Branch Council and AEU Branch Executive for much of her time as a member.

Dianne continues to make her union stronger by recruiting new members, lobbying MPs, taking part in campaign actions, encouraging members to get involved, and supporting new members to find their voice. 

Dianne is always open to a chat, and treats all teachers and educators with respect. I suspect a huge number of our members have had a positive interaction with Dianne. Her involvement has been deep and powerful, and her activism has directly contributed to the wins that AEU members have achieved over the past few decades. Congratulations Dianne! 

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