The Aspires Awards

Celebrating the positive, brave, thoughtful, and professional.

The Aspires Awards are back for 2024, generating anticipation and excitement as we celebrate the amazing work teams are doing across the network.

Will you be among the stars this year? The Aspires Awards are an opportunity to pause and reflect on the incredible work being done supporting children, families, and each other.  Nominations for the 15 awards in two categories are based on living our mindsets and showing how being brave, positive, professional, and thoughtful makes our Centres a delight for everyone.

The awards are again by teams and for teams. You decide who to nominate, and our expert panel comprising Sharon Whiteman (Chief Network Officer), Kathryn Waugh (Chief Quality and Curriculum Officer), Louisa Rinaldi (Chief People and Culture Officer) and Warren Bright (CEO) will determine the winners. We will share with you their criteria for each category.

So, roll out the red carpet and cue the lights, it’s show time!

Nominations have now closed. Check back soon when our Top 10 Finalists will be revealed!


Two HUGE Categories

The awards feature two categories, The Aspires STARS and The Aspires People, with 15 awards in total. This year’s awards will also feature North (QLD, NSW, and ACT Centres) and South (VIC and SA Centres) regions, giving teams loads of opportunities to win. Scroll down to learn more about the awards in each category.

 Shortlisting Finalists

An expert panel of leaders from the Guardian will review entries and create a shortlist of finalists for each category. What are they looking for? Standout entries will:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to our purpose, mindsets, and guiding principles.
  • Be people who have been with Guardian long enough to display our mindsets in action regularly, including in the role associated with their nomination.
  • Demonstrate excellence in everyday performance.
  • Highlight leadership qualities.
  • Be closely aligned with the award description of the role.
  • Highlight team accomplishments (for the Team of the Year award).


The Top 2 finalists of each award category will receive an all-expenses paid ticket to our Awards evening in Melbourne on 29 August 2024!




The most important question, what can you win?

Winners will receive…

  • A Trophy
  • 500 GStar points worth a $500 gift card
  • An all-expenses paid ticket to attend a national ECE conference of your choice
  • Flown to Melbourne for the Awards dinner – all expenses ticket!

Centre of the year will receive…

  • ​​​​​​​A Trophy
  • $150 per permanent team member for a team celebration of your choice
  • $200 per permanent team member for professional development
  • BONUS Centre resource blitz

Runners-up will receive…

  • A Commemorative Plaque
  • 250 GStar points worth a $250 gift card
  • Flown to Melbourne for the Awards dinner – all expenses ticket!



The Aspires Star Categories

The Aspires Stars are the pinnacle of achievement. They have been created to recognise those people who shine. There are six categories.

Centre Team Of The Year

Awarded to the Centre team that exemplifies most or all of the Guardian mindsets and works tirelessly to achieve each and every one of our guiding principles.

The Aspires Mate

The Aspires Mate is the person or team that has been your greatest ally, team player or support network in achieving one of the Guardian guiding principles.

The Aspires Innovator

The Aspires Innovator is the person or team that has introduced a new initiative or innovative thinking approach for the good of the company and its people.

The Aspires Star

The Aspires Star Award recognises the people that embody all the Guardian mindsets and are set to be stars of the future!

Support Office Star

The Support Office Star Award recognises excellence in a Support Office Role. It is someone who is amazing in supporting Centres and Teams to deliver fantastic experiences for families.

The Reconciliation Award

This team values indigenous cultural connection and has experiences and/or programs that connect their Centre community with relevant indigenous cultures. They have commenced a journey of real and lasting positive change based on reflection, cultural understanding, respect, and improvement.


The Aspires People Categories

The Aspires People category recognises excellence in each role in our Centres, the people who make Guardian a great place for all of us. 

Centre Manager Of The Year

​​​​​​​Your leadership skills support a high performing team that maintains high-quality practice, awesome team and family experience, a safety first culture, and strong business discipline.

Educator Of The Year

You are a connector of children, teams, families and community. You go above and beyond, and others look to learn from and are inspired by you.

Educational Leader Of The Year

You are a motivator and innovator, demonstrating great practice, or contributing to our Educational Leader network. Your leadership is felt, seen and heard.

Assistant Centre Manager Of The Year

You are a listener, collaborator, problem solver, and you empower those around you. You build strong trusted relationships with teams, families, children, and the community.

Teacher Of The Year

You create opportunities and connections within your community, contribute to our Teachers network, are a leader and mentor, and you have a passion to share, learn and improve.

Student Of The Year

You are an exceptional learner who has shown this in practice, your academic results and commitment to your studies. Your future is bright!

Cook/Chef Of The Year

You are a leader, an educator, communicator, and innovator who promotes great food and nutrition ideas. Your kitchen is the heart of your Centre.

Lead Educator / Teacher of the Year

You lead an individual learning space and mentor the Teachers and Educators in that room, supporting them to develop their practice.

Casual of the Year

You’re ready, willing and adaptable. You could be in any role with Guardian, but you always deliver.