Long-serving ladies love the littlies 

From left: Teressa Diatschenko, Janelle Carrier (front), Debra-Ann Lee (back), Robyn Teakle and Tanya Palavi at the CDU Child Care Centre.

A strong sense of family and a love for what they do has allowed a group of five child care workers to achieve astounding longevity in one Australia’s most transient industries.

Janelle Carrier, Robyn Teakle, Tanya Palavi, Teressa Diatschenko and Rhonda Tipakalippa were all recognised with long service awards as staff members of Charles Darwin University at a recent ceremony.

With more than 10 years under each of their belts, the women have been teaching, entertaining and ensuring the welfare of Darwin children from 0-5 years for a combined total of more than 60 years.

CDU Child Care Centre Director, Debra-Ann Lee said the accomplishments of the group were all the more remarkable given the high turnover of staff within the child care industry generally.

“It is incredibly difficult to find quality staff who want to stay at a centre for an extended period of time and build a rapport with the children,” she said.

“I’m extremely proud that we’ve bred a culture of longevity.”

Child care worker, Tanya Palavi said there was no real secret behind her milestone, rather a combination of factors.

“We can all have our days where you feel like pulling your hair out, but at the end of it we’re all mothers and we all love kids,” she said.

“The centre offers great facilities, benefits and fantastic people to work with. Even though we’re almost all from different cultures, we definitely see each other as extended family.”