Linda Rolland – ECIA Board ‘getting to know you’

1. Favourite book, film, quote and song?
Book- To Kill a Mockingbird, Film- As Good as it Gets, Quote- “she Believed she Could so she Did”, Song- Led Zeppelin- Stairway to Heaven

2. Who inspires you and why?
The families we support. I see so much resilience, strength, sacrifice and resourcefulness in all families but more so in families of children with disability and delay. They truly inspire me.

3. What drew you to work in the early childhood intervention sector? 
The whole area of early childhood intervention excites me.  In terms of history I see it as an area where the world is finally catching up with what those working in the early intervention sector already knew. We know that a child’s brain learns rapidly in the first 5 years and it is critical as an early interventionist that we invest time and resources into their development in these years.

4. What motivated you to nominate for the ECIA Board?
I have a passion to see the interests of Early Childhood Intervention at the forefront of national policy and an understanding of the importance of a well-constructed, experienced and skilled board to reflect this passion. I bring over 13 years of Early Childhood Intervention sector experience and have worked for 9 1/2 years in my current role at Firstchance located in the Hunter region of NSW. I would like to bring the voice of regional and rural service provision to the board. Firstchance was the first EI provider to be part of the NDIS trial in NSW. I have seen and experienced the funding changes for children and their families supported at a state level through ADHC funding, FaHCSIA funding and now nationally with NDIS funding.
Since the introduction of the NDIS these changes have required a response to service delivery which were timely, responsive and based on best practice. It required decisions which were tenacious and courageous. This has included policy change, collaboration with other organisations, developing new models of funding and delivering innovative services. I
 am proud to say that during these transitions our sector have been able to lean on the support of ECIA. As a board member I would like to see ECIA maintain its relevance as the peak body in the space of Early Childhood Intervention. I would like to see it be an active voice and advocate for Early Childhood Intervention Service Providers and families and their children they support.
I
 know I have the experience, skills and passion to be part of this board to lead ECIA into a strong position as a national peak body. My ability to make level headed and informed decisions, listen deeply and work hard, allows me to leverage my value based work ethics around integrity, respect, inclusion and commitment. My broad diverse leadership experience have helped position my organisation to be a respected member in the early childhood intervention space.

5. What is your vision for the early childhood intervention sector into the future?    
I would like to see:
- Policy makers lean into and learn from our sector
- ECIA provide a voice and be an advocate for best practice to policy makers
- Continued collaboration and consultation between NDIS, Health and Education
- Respectful acknowledgement of people from and ATSI background and an inclusion of their voice within ECIA
- ECIA be responsive to rapid changes especially to emerging technologies
- Inclusion as a word that won’t be required to be used into the future as it will be already happening
- The sector to identify ways to leverage supports when children aren’t funded by NDIS