THREE DECADES STRONG: Rowena Doherty receives thanks for her service.
THREE DECADES STRONG: Rowena Doherty receives thanks for her service. Georgie Hewson

Beloved employee reveals secret to longterm career success

FOR the last 33 years Rowena Doherty has had a huge hand in raising the community of Allora.

But the kindergarten assistant said for her, it's never felt like work.

"It's now become part of me. The day I retire will be very hard, like a part of my life has gone," she said.

Currently, half of Mrs Doherty's group of 16 kids this year are children of parents she cared for previously.

"I feel very privileged to have seen second-generation families through the centre," she said.

"I have full-grown adults coming up to me at the shops saying hello and do I remember them and I have to think for a minute because I look the same, but they definitely don't."

Mrs Doherty said she was overcome when Jane Bourne, CEO of the Creche and Kindergarten Association, visited to recognise her service.

"The last time a CEO visited it was 1989 and I was here, so I knew it was a pretty big deal and when they came out with flowers I was just speechless."

Before the building was a kindergarten it was the principal's residence for the local state school.

"I actually lived there before it was the kindergarten because my husband was the principal for 23 years," she said.

"So, when I come to work, this building and the families I've become so attached to, it actually feels like coming home in a way."

Mrs Doherty now lives in Toowoomba but makes the commute five days a fortnight.

"There's nowhere better to work and I will continue to motor out here because I think so much of this community and their families."



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