Dr Emma O’Rielly

Life before Girton
Before coming to Girton in 2007, I received a scholarship from LaTrobe University in Bendigo for discovering 7 new species of bacteria.

It was while I worked as a postdoctoral, and fellow manager of a project involving Latrobe University and South East Water in Melbourne, that I realised I missed teaching. I had taught undergraduate students during my PHD, and I truly did miss being in the classroom.

So I moved to NSW and completed my Diploma of Education. There I taught senior biology students at Armidale High School and O’Connor Catholic College, also in Armidale.

I came to Girton in 2007, and was appointed Head of Science in 2010.

What I Love about Teaching
I love the light bulb moments when a young person understands something for the first time.

Girton has a truly caring culture and everyone who works there cares about the students and each other, as well as working incredibly hard, and going above and beyond teaching expectations.

We understand that working with young people, is more than just a job. We are in the business of shaping and nurturing young lives.

What do you like best about the subject/s you teach?
I have a tremendous love for science, and I thrive on being involved in fostering and inspiring the next generation of scientists.

It’s so satisfying being involved with young people who are on their way to achieving their goals and I love helping to get them there.

I think working with young people keeps you young. I loved being a research scientist, but the classroom is the place for me.

What is the best thing about teaching at Girton?
I can clearly see that students know they are cared for at Girton, and in return, they respond positively towards us teachers. I believe that Girton really has a positive vibe and is so nice to be around.

Teaching is about forming meaningful relationships with students to help them in all aspects of their lives. A caring, inspiring and passionate teacher who really knows their students can get the best out of them.

I would go so far as to say that in Senior School, the students even choose teachers, not just subjects, so teaching is much more than just classroom instruction.

What difference can good teaching make?
A teacher who is passionate about their subject inspires students to want to know more.

The ability to communicate to a student in the class that you genuinely like them, and want what’s best for them, will open the doors of their mind to learning.

Other Hats
Outside of Girton, I enjoy singing, playing piano, and keeping up with my physical fitness. I’m currently involved with the Bendigo Inventors Awards and I’m loving the community’s involvement with this event.

Within my busy schedule I love coming home to my husband and two gorgeous children.