The Bastow team has recently celebrated it’s first birthday in the historic North Melbourne facility, with a record of 200 participants attending workshops at the facility on the same day. The Bastow staff work collaboratively and cooperatively to ensure the learning experience of all participants is successful.
During the past 12 months, many participants have asked various staff members what it is like to work in such an inspiring and modern facility pursuing Bastow’s mission. This article provides insights from the Bastow team on working at Bastow and what they believe has contributed to its success.
The Bastow team is motivated by the need to provide high quality leadership courses and events that have a positive impact on the lives of children and young people in early childhood and school settings. “It’s great to work with a diverse range of educational leaders and have the opportunity to support current and aspiring leaders”, says Chris, one of Bastow’s Learning Designers in the research and development team. Fiona, who develops and manages courses primarily for the early childhood sector, says she loves to “meet participants, re-connect with them as they progress through their course, and hear about the impact of the course on their practice at school or in their early childhood setting”.
Bastow, part of the Department of Education and early Childhood Development, partners with a number of leading academics, internationally recognised organisations and Melbourne universities to design and deliver courses, workshops and seminars.
An independent evaluation of Bastow’s 2012 courses shows that 96 per cent of participants indicated that they had improved their leadership capabilities as a result of participating in a Bastow course and had used their improved capabilities in the workplace. “The work we are doing here is having a direct impact on the ability of schools to support the development of young people and to help lift our education system to the next level, and I think this is one of our greatest and most rewarding achievements so far”, said Matt, Bastow’s acting Marketing and stakeholder Communications Manager.
Both past and present staff have worked hard to make Bastow a world-class institute. Cory, one of our front-of-house staff, makes sure participants are looked after every day, and says Bastow’s success can be attributed to the staff who “ensure all levels of the institute run smoothly”. Luke, Bastow’s online learning expert, enjoys coming to work with a “high achieving and collaborative” team. Former staff member Debbie, who played a significant role in setting up the institute’s learning facilities, says one of the reasons she enjoyed working at Bastow was “engaging regularly with course facilitators and participants”, which kept her “in touch with the realities of schools and early childhood settings”.
Bastow courses are currently provided at the historical state school number 307 in North Melbourne. The school, over 130 years old, was designed by Henry Bastow, an ambitious architect who oversaw the building of 615 schools in five years from 1873-1878. The new facility unites the original historical building with modern digital learning facilities that support participants’ professional learning.
Bastow’s Operations Manager, Neil, is responsible for ensuring every aspect of the heritage-listed building is safe and operates efficiently for everyone in the building. “The vibe at Bastow and the excited chatter as people arrive, and the manner in which participants engage in the different learning spaces, brings the place to life” says Neil. Val, our other front-of-house staff member adds to this, saying it is very gratifying to “hear the positive comments that participants make about their courses and the modern and vibrant environment at Bastow”.
Vincent, Bastow’s savvy specialist in websites and social media, says working at Bastow is exciting because he is able to “learn something every day with all the technology that is available – and that’s with having a background in IT”. Course Manager and resident Bastow Cake Baker Silvana also admits to being inspired by the positive and can-do attitude of the team, saying “we are all very appreciative of the incredible building we get to work at every day and this helps keep us focused on the important work we do in supporting the school and early childhood sector to become the best leaders that they can be”.
Thanks to enthusiastic participants, committed partners and the dedicated staff, Bastow has enjoyed supporting educational leaders since the institute was formed in 2009. The team is very proud of Bastow’s achievements and look forward to providing a wider range of learning opportunities to develop capable and confident education leaders to help lift Victoria’s education system to the global top tier.