FAREWELL: Beloved child care director retires
IT WAS a bittersweet day for one childcare centre last week as a beloved local employee said goodbye to the children for one last time.
Leeann Inmon, director of Bowen Childcare and Early Education Centre, stepped down from her position on Friday to enjoy retirement with her husband.
Mrs Inmon has been with the centre for 18 years, with the past two years spent in the role of centre director, and in that time has become an integral part of the community to many.
"This centre has become like my second family, I have supported them and they have supported me in some of the toughest times," Mrs Inmon said.
"It's been so humbling over the last 18 years to watch children that I looked after when they were young come back and bring their own children back to the centre."
Mrs Inmon, a self-confessed late bloomer to the career, said she has seen a dramatic change in the way childcare is approached since she first began in the industry.
"These days our jobs are more reminiscent of teachers," Mrs Inmon said.
"We know that the most important time in a child's development is the 0-5 years old stage, and we're here to foster that," she said.
When asked what the greatest challenge she had to overcome in the job was, Mrs Inmon said "without a doubt Tropical Cyclone Debbie".
"There was just so much happening then. The place was an absolute mess and we didn't know where to begin to rebuild," she said.
"Luckily the community got behind us, and helped us to begin to rebuild the centre.
" Now I believe, moving into the future, the centre is better than ever."
Mrs Inmon said she was looking forward to travelling and spending more time with her family in retirement.
She plans to remain active in the community, with hopes of continuing to volunteer where needed at the centre