Allan Fazldeen has ben awarded an OAM for his work in early childhood ahead of Australia Day. Allan and his wife Trish at home in Buddina. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Allan Fazldeen has ben awarded an OAM for his work in early childhood ahead of Australia Day. Allan and his wife Trish at home in Buddina. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily Che Chapman

Pioneer of the Kindy movement honoured

MOVING to the Sunshine Coast wasn't going to slow down volunteer and community service worker Allan Fazldeen.

After a long career in childcare and kindergarten administration, years of volunteer service and raising his children with wife Trish, he left the hustle and bustle of Brisbane for quiet life on the Coast in 2000. But it didn't take long before Allan was entrenching himself in the community just as he'd done for more than 50 years.

It was his tireless charity work, dedication to community groups such as Apex and service to the childcare and kindergarten industry that led to Allan being awarded an OAM in the general division this year.

"There was an ad in one of our local accountancy magazines about a group up here called the Sunshine Coast Children's Therapy Centre," he said.

"I joined them ... and helped them to get accreditation and helped them with financing.

"It was rewarding. I met a lot of wonderful people who were really struggling."

Allan was born in Brisbane in 1945. After graduating school he went to work then decided to do his first diploma of accountancy.

He married his wife Trish in 1967 and they had two children together.

During this time, Allan was a dedicated member of the Apex club, a group for people under 40.

"Apex has gone through the same thing as many voluntary organisations and numbers continue to go down," Allan said.

"I remember in 1980 there was more than 20,000 young men involved.

"These days it's about 5000.

"It's sad in some respects because I think people don't realise what they're capable of until they're given an opportunity."

Allan was partly responsible for getting what he called the "kindergarten movement" off the ground.

He said before the 1960s, early childhood education wasn't common practice and new centres were run by the community and willing parents.

"They had no knowledge - they were just ordinary people," he said.

Allan was appointed the honorary vice-president of Early Childhood Australia from 1983-87, was a board member from 1972-95 and was later named a life member.

He has also been the honorary foundation secretary of Community Management Solutions since 1973, treasurer from 1973-2008 and is a "proud" life member.

"This little organisation that occasionally worked with the unions on awards ... is now an organisation that employs 10 people," he said.