Life before Girton:
1995 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
Certificate in Engineering, Electrical & Electronics Refrigeration
Trade Qualified Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Mechanic
2001 Holmesglen Institute of Tafe
Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape Gardening)
Trade Qualified Landscape Gardener
2003 Bendigo Regional Institute of Tafe (BRIT)
Certificate III Fitness
Certificate IV in Fitness
Qualified Personal Trainer, Children’s Trainer & Gym Instructor
Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment
Qualified Workplace Trainer & Assessor
2006 – 2009 La Trobe University, Bendigo
Bachelor of Physical and Health Education
My life before Girton is many and varied having worked in Bendigo and Perth as a Refrigeration Mechanic, Landscape Gardener and then as a Gymnastics Teacher with John Palmer. It was through this work with John that I developed a real passion for Physical Education and Movement. I was given the opportunity to design and implement fitness/strength programs for children and adolescents ranging from those with special needs through to elite level gymnasts, cyclists, runners and ballet dancers.
What I Love about Teaching
The things I love most about teaching are the positive relationships you are able to build with students and their families. I enjoy being able to pass on my knowledge and skills that I have accumulated over the years to help the young people under my care develop into the best person they can be. The best thing about teaching at Girton is the sense of belonging. It does not matter if you are a teacher, a student or support staff. We are all part of the one team and care equally about one another.
What I love about teaching Physical Education
I believe a Physical Educator has one of the most influential and responsible jobs within a school. A good Physical Educator will cater for students of all abilities and needs allowing them time, opportunity and correct progression of skills to experience success. Physical Education plays a critical role in educating the whole student as it encompasses both mind and body. It contributes directly to the development of physical competence and fitness. It also helps students to make informed choices and understand the value of leading a physically active lifestyle. It comes as no surprise that students who are healthy and physically active seem to be happier, more academically motivated and have a greater sense of self.
My favourite classroom activity
I really love teaching the activity of gymnastics and seeing young people enjoy the freedom of movement and revel in what their bodies can do. Through creating a learning environment that is fun but disciplined allows the students to learn comfortably without the fear of failure or judgment. I try to help students believe that there is no such thing as a difficult skill. The skill needs to be broken down into achievable chunks and then put together in sequence. For example, if a child can perform a forward roll on the ground they are capable of doing a front somersault in the air!! You just need to add two elements; height and speed. The joy in a child’s eyes when they land their first somersault is pure gold.
What difference can good teaching make?
The ability of a teacher to build a positive rapport with students is a must. There has to be a level of trust and mutual respect between teacher and student for any learning to occur. The student must understand that learning is a responsibility that cannot be shared and it requires effort. To be successful at anything requires an individual to possess and utilise the character traits of discipline, determination, dedication and diligence. Nothing is achieved without sheer hard work. If a student can take this on board, they will be able to handle the ‘knocks’ that life hands out much better than a student who expects things to be handed to them on a platter.
My other passions at Girton include my role in HQ working as a Case Manager for students who need extra support, especially with their physical, social or emotional wellbeing. The role is varied and challenging but extremely rewarding.
I am also MiC of the Co-curriculum program called ‘A Sporting Chance Program’. This is an inclusive Sport and Physical Education program aimed specifically at young individuals aged 7-13 who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Again, this role is varied and challenging but extremely rewarding.
Outside of school I enjoy running, mountain biking, road cycling, walking my dog and completing small residential landscaping projects.