Anna is a highly talented and adored Early Childhood Teacher. Her enthusiasm for the holistic development of little people inspires engaging educational programs that support children's being, belonging and becoming. She is passionate about not only nurturing children's academic ability but also the development of them as people – their values, how they see themselves and how they see the world. Anna is also a mindfulness practitioner, laughter therapist and humanitarian who actively works to improve the lives and wellbeing of people within the community. Of a weekend, she can often be found facilitating workshops that focus on self care and social and emotional wellbeing.
The journey of The Herd began 6 years ago when we watched a moving documentary on an intergenerational care centre in Seattle. At this achingly beautiful centre, an aged care home shares the same roof as a child care centre. It made us laugh and cry as we watched the loving and life-giving interactions between the little ones and older residents. We were so moved by the documentary that the very next day, we began a journey to bring this model of intergenerational care to Australia.
A big motivating factor was, and remains to be, our beautiful Grandma who spent the last year of her life in residential aged care. The move into residential aged care was, understandably, very hard on her, and we know that she would have received an enormous amount of joy if she had the opportunity to interact with young children every day. This project is for our Grandma and for all of the people we love who might end up living the last years of their life in residential aged care. It is what we would want for them.
Fiona is a highly-regarded and experienced school leader whose most recent work in schools has been as an Assistant Principal and Acting Principal. She has a keen interest in the early years and has been invited by universities to teach Early Childhood Education students. Fiona is also passionate about maximising parent and community engagement to enhance learning and foster a sense of connection and belonging.
As a mum herself, Fiona is eager to raise children who can love and be loved. For her, intergenerational care provides the perfect context for a child to begin to understand compassion and offering help to others.