Changemaker- Glenda Strong
Monday, 29th July 2013 at 10:21 am
Glenda Strong is the Executive Director of The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Education Institute, Melbourne.
The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute works in collaboration with young people, families, schools and education and health professionals to ensure that children and young people continue to engage in learning and remain connected to their school community throughout their health journey.
This week we feature Glenda in Changemakers- a weekly column that examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Glenda believes in providing every child and young person with rich and meaningful learning and development opportunities and supportive educational environments, so they can reach their full potential as lifelong learners.
She has extensive experience working in the Victorian education sector, with almost 30 years in roles ranging from classroom teacher to executive roles in the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development central office and regional director of Barwon South Western Region.
This coupled with her intense passion for children and young people ensures she successfully leads the RCH Education Institute in meeting the education needs of children and young people, and their families.
Her leadership in this field ensures RCH Education Institute research and practice contributes to the collective knowledge of the education, health and welfare sectors and therefore the wellbeing of Australia’s children and young people.
Glenda was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2002 Australia Day Honours for outstanding public service to education, particularly in the area of early schooling.
What are you currently working on in the organisation?
Our work is focused on providing high quality education support to children and young people with a chronic health condition, to both inpatients and outpatients at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
We integrate the arts and technology into our teaching and learning and are delighted to have just launched an App for children and young people that showcases some of the magnificent artwork on display at the RCH.
What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?
I’ve had a long career in Government, particularly working within the field of school education. What drew me to the Not for Profit sector was a complete values alignment with the vision of the RCH Education Institute and the opportunity to enhance and promote learning within and beyond an environment that was primarily seen as a health setting.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
The greatest opportunity we have at the RCH Education Institute is to focus on young ‘learner’s and not on young ‘patients’. As educators, we believe every child has the right to learn, the right to imagine and dream and the right to succeed every day.
I consider my greatest achievement to be…
Having our work acknowledged as a model of an excellent innovative learning environment by the OECD. This is such an important international recognition of the effort of our dedicated and wonderful staff and reinforces what we feel every day – that we are making a difference in the lives of young learners.
‘Gentle pressure, relentlessly applied’. These words were shared with me many years ago by a colleague and have stayed with me. We are a small organisation with a big vision and it’s often easy to feel overwhelmed by the type of changes we’d like to see. Staying focused, staying passionate and remaining persistent always pays off.
My greatest challenge is …
Balancing the resources we have to provide education support to those connected to the RCH, with our belief that every child and young person with a chronic health condition should have access to the highest quality education support.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
I’m very lucky to work at the RCH, as it’s an environment rich in inspiration. The curiosity, engagement and delight of the young learners we work with every day is a constant source of inspiration, as is the work of our entire team who stop at nothing to provide world class learning opportunities each day.