IF good news runs in threes, childcare worker Michelle O’Brien should buy a lottery ticket.
The Columba Cottage director has had a stellar few days, taking out two major prizes. Mrs O’Brien attended the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards in Sydney on Friday night.
She was made NSW’s Australian Scholarship Group Early Childhood Director of the Year.
While she was making an appearance at the winners’ formal dinner, Mrs O’Brien was told of her win in the 2012 Port Macquarie News Employee of the Year awards by phone.
“It was really funny actually,” Mrs O’Brien said. “I must have looked a bit strange to everyone else at the dinner, because I was standing in the corner jumping in the air when I found out.”
She was overwhelmed, not only by the win, but also by being nominated for the prestigious award.
“It was some of my staff who nominated me,” she said. “Being the state winner was just amazing, it was quite a surprise. It took a while for it to sink in.”
Mrs O’Brien said the all-expenses paid trip to Sydney was enough reward itself, without the title of state winner.
She said Columba Cottage would benefit from more than the $450 of equipment, which was one of the prizes.
“It was a rewarding experience, and it gave me the chance to network with other directors around Australia from which we will talk extensively with over the coming months.”
Mrs O’Brien, who won a trip for two to Los Angeles for being the Port Macquarie News Employee of the Year, has been in the childcare industry since 1996,
She worked at Columba Cottage before being promoted to director.
“I really love working with kids - that’s a really fun part of my job,” she said. “But I also love to see the staff grow and help them go as far as they can in their careers.”