photo of Wendy Clarke (Jordan)

Wendy Clarke (Jordan)

Past Parent (1996-2000) and Past Staff Member (1985-2002) recently shared her KU Experience and Memories with us.

I have wonderful memories of staff and families who attended both KU Wombarra and KU Bulli centres. It was a no brainer I wanted my girls to go to a KU centre to experience the same level of care and commitment from staff.

What are some of the highlights from your KU Experience...
As a parent?

Parents were always involved in the centre. We were welcomed as much as we wanted to be involved whether that was to help with the monthly morning tea, or using our skills to help out.

My daughters loved seeing other parents at the centre and getting involved in cooking with the children. One parent who was a midwife, had just had a baby. She brought her baby in for bath time. My girls loved this.

We didn’t just drop off the children. As a parent, I felt like part of family, especially the little community we lived within.

One of my daughters has recently started her new job in early childhood education. She was telling me how different it is today. She said, sadly, she hasn’t really been able to get to know the parents because of COVID-19. Children are dropped off and picked up at the door and they don’t get the chance to get to know a lot about the families.

However, the children manage to tell stories at home and recently one of the children said to my daughter, “my Dad knows your Dad”. They discovered the two Dads go fishing together. So the connections are made very differently these days.

As a staff member?

We have lived in the same house for 25 years. When we moved in, I discovered I knew the neighbours whose children had attended KU Bulli when I worked there. The eldest grandson of those same neighbours has just started at KU Bulli.

“Families just keep going back to KU.”

I worked with children with autism and additional needs for a period of time. At that time, special needs focus was mainly on language delay or physical disability, probably not as great an impact as what KU has today.

When working at KU Bulli, sometimes Wombarra and Corrimal, felt like a long way away back then. We were a very close group and going to the City for inservice was a big deal. We connected with staff from other centres about four times a year professionally, but we also had social get togethers.


Thanks to social media I’ve recently reconnected with four fellow staff friends from my teaching days. Our lives have all taken twists and turns but it is lovely to rekindle our friendship once more.

Wendy has recently reconnected with a couple of KU Bulli past parents and past staff. She said they all had the same happy memories - it’s not just staff, it’s also the parents who loved the place.

Living in Wollongong makes for a very small world and reconnecting with people made us see how we are part of the KU history.

Claim to fame

Robbie Maddison was a former child at KU Bulli. When he became famous as a motor cyclist and now a stunt worker, everyone loved to claim him as their own.