All posts by Tobias B

***JOB VACANCIES AT GAP***

Job Vacancies at the German Australian Playschool (GAP) in Turner, ACT! 

The GAP offers a fantastic program for 3-5 year olds in German in a loving , safe and caring environment.  

Playschools are wonderful community-led not-for-profit organisations, where staff, children and families feel welcome, supported and included. Come join our community, and feel the love!  

We are looking for

  1. Director
  2. German-speaking Educator (Diploma or above)
  3. Administration and Enrolments Officer

The roles could be combined by the right candidate. 

Playschool Director

If you love working with children and families, and supporting educators – with some office work and some in-room education with the children – and you have a sunny disposition, you’ll love this role. 

2-4 days/week (depending on the candidate) with some flexibility to work from home.

This is a CSE Level 6 role, requiring a Diploma or Degree qualification in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Children’s Services, Sozialpädagogik, or similar.

German speaker preferred, but all candidates considered. 

German-speaking Educator (Diploma or above)

If you enjoy working with children with love and care, heart and soul, and want a whole lot less paperwork than big childcare centres require (and therefore more time to dedicate quality time to the children), Playschools are for you! 

2 days/week: Mondays and Tuesdays, 9:05am to 3:45pm

You will be working in a small team of dedicated professionals. We have three educators and 22 delightful children in our class who will fill your heart with joy every day. 

This is a CSE level 3 or 4 role, as you’ll be working as an assistant teacher or teacher in the Playschool class. 

Impress us with an inspiring session delivered at our morning circle (as part of your interview process).

You must hold a Diploma or Degree qualification in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Children’s services, Sozialpädagogik, or similar.

Ideally, you have prior children’s services or early childhood teaching experience.

Your spoken German should be fluent enough to work with children and families. 

Administration and Enrolments Officer

We would love to welcome an experienced administration officer to our team, to support our teachers, handle our Playschool administration and look after enrolments. 

You’ll work closely with our delightful and amazing bookkeeper, and our awesome committee president. 

No prior children’s services experience or qualifications are necessary, but previous administration experience is necessary. You’ll be the sunshine of our organisation, welcoming new families and helping them join our community. 

The job is 13 hours per week, ideally Mondays and Tuesdays but options are open; and some work from home will be possible. 

No need to speak German for this role, but bonus points if you know a few fun German words!  

What we offer: 

  • Great work-life balance with hours from 9:05am to 3:45pm for 48 weeks per year, during ACT school terms and limited days during school term breaks. 
  • Spielwelt pays above Award rates and is an exceptionally supportive employer.
  • For the Director / Teacher / Educator role:  A uniform and laundry allowance is provided.
  • You get all the regulated entitlements such as Superannuation 10.5%, Long Service Leave, 17.5% Annual Leave Loading, and Personal/Carers Leave. 
  • Free onsite parking.
  • We are a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, sun smart, healthy-habits playschool, where children and staff enjoy their activities and experience joy in learning.

The minimum requirements:

  • Have or be eligible for a Working with Vulnerable People Card
  • Have a valid work permit, Permanent Residency or Australian Citizenship

If you would like to be part of our wonderful team, please send all enquiries and CVs to Lisa on gap.director@spielwelt.org.au or call us on 0422 525 646

A-Z of Spielwelt in 2022

Herzliche Grüße liebe Spielwelter und Spielwelterinnen,

Mensch, it has been a very busy year for Spielwelt! Thank you to everyone who contributed in ways both large and small, it is your efforts that make our wonderful organisation possible.

To celebrate 2022, we have collated a bit of an A-Z of Spielwelt below.

A is for Administration, and all the people who make sure the website operates, the emails get sent and the invoices get paid. Particular thanks to Margie, our amazing bookkeeper and administrator extraordinaire, who is always cheerful and willing to help on matters small and large.

B is for Budget. As a not-for-profit organisation, we take financial responsibility very seriously. The committee had to make some hard decisions this year, but we have achieved a broadly balanced budget for the year and made sure that we remain in a strong position for years to come. Particular thanks to Salim, who is stepping down after a number of years of service as Finance Adviser (2020-2022), and before that Public Officer (2017-2018).

C is for Committee. The Committee has contributed a lot this year, including a number of extra meetings after Lisa’s resignation. They also put up with me being in a different time zone (there may have been more than one occasion where I would have been an hour late, were it not for prompts!). I am very grateful to the whole committee (Christiane, Emily, Janne, Jensen, Lisa, Minh-Tam and Salim). Particular thanks to Salim (see B above) and Emily, who is stepping down after two years as our Keen to Be Green / Enrolment Secretary.

D is for the Delightful Story Night, where the Pfadfinder put on a fantastic evening’s entertainment for Spielwelt families. There are some graduating GAP children who are now very excited about getting to join Pfadfinder and join the concert in years to come!

E is for End-of-Year Concert, where GAP children showcased some of the songs they have been learning at playschool, to rapturous applause. Of course, they finished with the ever-popular Tschu Tschu Wa!

F is for Federweißer. Particular thanks to our special events coordinators Gerda, Gerald, Christian and Uli for organising all of our events this year, and Alex from Collector Wines (and Pfadfinder Papa) for making the delicious Federweißer.

G is for GAP (ist meine Schule), where children’s dreams come true.

H is for Haig Park, the lovely park where the Turner Scout Hall is located. It is such a great location to practice setting up Pfadfinder tents, and little excursions for Spiel und Spaß and GAP, including to the Nature Playground. 

I is for Interesting Books, which you will find in the Spielwelt Library. We have an extensive collection of German language children’s books available for all ages and skill levels, as well as books on raising multilingual children. Particular thanks to Martine for keeping the Library ordentlich and updated!

J is for Janitors, our wonderful cleaning staff who keep the place spick-and-span and COVID safe.  

K is for Katrin, who took over as GAP Director from May to December. She did a great job over this time, hiring new staff, learning the ropes, keeping our children’s services licence up to date, stepping in to cover when teachers were absent, and even representing GAP on ABC Canberra!

L is for Lisa S, who stepped down as GAP Director, after 15 years helping to build up Spielwelt to what it is today. She has been incredibly helpful throughout the transition to a new director. We are very grateful to still have her wisdom and guidance on the Committee, as well as for continuing to be Tschil / chill at Pfadfinder throughout.

M is for Martinstag (in June!). A particular shout-out to the recipients of Presidential Certificates of Awesomeness after the night (the Pfadfinder Cubs, for their inspirational play, and Richard K, for his finesse at perfectly frying Würstchen and commitment to clean BBQs).

N is for Nikolaus, who again graced GAP, Spiel und Spass and Pfadfinder with his presence and presents! Special thanks to Jens and Andi for assuming the Mantel this year. 

O is for Oktoberfest (in November!), when Spielwelt families were transported straight to München thanks to the wonderful live brass band, delicious German foods, tasty home-brewed beer and the sounds of children running around happily while the adults chatted away. 

P is for Pfadfinder, where (slightly older) children’s dreams come true. Special thanks to our leaders (Alice, Jens, Lisa, Melanie, Stephanie, Struppi, Swantje and Wolfgang), and all of the Adult Helpers (Andi, Byrd Esther, Hanna, Ivo and Tatjana) who make this such a great program. 

Q is for Quatsch😎

R is for Renovations:This year the eastern mural was completed, the sandbox renovated, new colourful carpets were purchased for the eastern foyer and a new bench installed for the comfort of those waiting outside.

S is for Spielgruppen: Spiel und Spaß / Spiel und Spannung / Schlaumäuse, where (slightly younger) childrens’ dreams come true. Particular thanks to Seyhan, Meike, Doris and Stephanie for all of their contributions to these fun groups over the year. Play and socialising is such an important part of children’s development – and adults’ too! 

T is for Teachers. Our GAP Teachers have gone well and truly above and beyond this year, managing despite staff shortages and sickness. Special thanks to our teachers, Gerda, Lisa (Third of Her Name) and Toby, and our casual staff and volunteers, Barbara, Cristina, Eli, Friederike, Jasmine, Nic and Ulrike.

U is for Used Clothes. This year we organised two very successful used clothes exchanges. Look out for the next editions in 2023, in the two weeks leading up to Lantern Walk (in June) and Oktoberfest (in November).

V is for Volunteers, without whom Spielwelt wouldn’t exist. We celebrated this year over 3000 volunteer hours put in since 2008 to improve the Scout Hall. We really appreciate all of your contributions, whether you bring delicious food to one of our events, help maintain the library, get sweaty at the working bees, keep the hall maintained or wash towels. The Committee this year also awarded Life Membership to those volunteers who have gone above and beyond over a significant number of years. Congratulations and thanks to Christian, Gerald, Gerda, Jens, Lisa, Stephanie, Steven and Uli. We welcome further suggestions of those deserving of this recognition!

W is for Wandel des Klimas. The voices of Spielwelt children and young people were heard as part of Spielwelt’s submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communication, for the Climate Change Bill 2022.

X is for eXcursions, which eXtended our children’s horizons as they eXcitedly eXplored the National Portrait Gallery and the Arboretum.

Y is for Yummy Mangoes, with over 100 trays sold, $648 raised and many tummies filled with sweet yellow deliciousness! 

Z is for Zweitausend Dreiundzwanzig! We can’t wait to have more fun with you all next year, whatever comes our way!

Macht’s gut zusammen!

Spielwelt celebrates Nikolaus in 2022

Lustig, lustig, tralalalala!

An article from our President Tobias.

December is an exciting time when you are a child, what with end-of-year celebrations, long summer days and, of course, the promise of Christmas presents. But the children at Spielwelt are doubly lucky, because they can expect a visit from not just one, but two jolly men this season!

Spielwelt, which runs German-speaking playgroups, the German Australian Playschool and a German-speaking Scouts group, commemorates every year the good St Nikolaus. Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other German-speaking communities traditionally celebrate the feast of St Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, on the 6th December. But in Canberra, Spielwelt celebrates with delicious Plätzchen (biscuits), Lieder (carols) and a visit from the good Saint himself throughout the week, to make sure no-one misses out.

The hot Canberra summer is a sudden shock from the depths of a European winter for Nikolaus, and to make things worse he doesn’t speak a word of English. But luckily he has landed at the scout hall in Turner, where the fun bilingual programs teach his native tongue to children raised with English and German alike. The children make Nikolaus – complete with bishop’s mitre, cloak and staff – feel immediately at home by singing Lasst uns froh und munter sein (Let us be happy and cheerful), which tells of the upcoming celebration of Nikolaus.

Santa Claus and St Nikolaus share a similar cultural heritage: indeed, the name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch word for St Nicholas, Sinterklaas. It is no surprise then, that Nikolaus brings presents for children who have been good this year. Luckily, all of the Spielwelt children – and their teachers too – have their names written in Nikolaus’ Golden Book this year!

Before they receive their present, the children proudly show off what they have mastered that year. They sing loudly, run quickly, read German poems or dance. Sometimes, Nikolaus shows off what he can do too! He then rewards the proud children with a mandarin and a chocolate.

After a photo and a final song, the good Saint with his bishop’s mitre and staff bids farewell to the children for another year. But there is still one more surprise in store! When they check their shoes, dutifully left by the front door, they find a little chocolate coin left in each pair of shoes.

The Spielwelt German Parents Association runs a variety of fun and supportive programs to develop German language skills for children and young people aged 0 to 26. It also builds a strong community that celebrates the cultures of German-speaking countries. It welcomes children, young people and their families with all levels of German language ability. The programs are centred around the Scout Hall in Haig Park, Turner, and include:

  • Spiel und Spass (Play and Fun), a playgroup for children aged 0-5 and their families that meets 9:30-11:30am every Wednesday.
  • German Australian Playschool, which offers a play-based educational program for children aged 3-5 during school hours. There is a German immersion class on Mondays and Tuesdays, and a bilingual class on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Pfadfinder, a Scout group for children aged 6-26. The Pfadfinder meet on Monday nights (for young people in high school and above) or Tuesday nights (for primary school aged children), between 6-7:30pm.

“We are welcoming enrolments for 2023 and beyond, and cater for children who are fluent speakers and those who are learning German as a second or third language”, says Spielwelt Committee President Tobias Beckmann.

Nikolaus will visit Spielwelt programs on Tuesday 6 December, Wednesday 7 December and Friday 9 December. The German Australian Playschool is currently taking enrolments for 2023 and beyond; and Spiel und Spass and Pfadfinder always welcome new friends. For more information, see www.spielwelt.org.au, or contact the Director, Katrin, on gap.director@spielwelt.org.au.