Jess Gallagher, Graduate Year: 2007

After Clonard I studied a Bachelor of Law/Arts at Deakin University but after my first year, I realised law wasn’t my passion (despite absolutely loving VCE Legal Studies with Mr McCallum). I moved to Victoria University and began studying a Bachelor of Education, I even did one of my placements at Clonard! After graduating I spent a few years teaching in Victoria before I craved something different, packed up, and headed off to the Northern Territory in 2015. I spent 5 years as a teacher and principal in the remote community, Ampilatwatja.

I’m currently living in Darwin and completing a Master of Education in TESOL through Australian Catholic University. Next semester I’ll be working in the DoE office as a Wellbeing & Behaviour Advisor.

At Clonard, it wasn’t so much the subjects, but rather the teachers and the experiences at Clonard that led me to where I am now. The opportunity to visit Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) in Year 9 certainly had a significant impact on my life, as did Megan Evans and Michelle Brodrick’s passion for Indigenous Education.

Advice for Clonard students: Make the most of all that comes your way and truly cherish your Clonard years, you are so lucky to be a part of such a supportive and nurturing environment.

Photo: Rhonda (Ampilatwatja School) and Jess.

 

National Reconciliation Week message:
Always seek knowledge, educate yourself and get out there. Build relationships with your local co-op and share what you learn with your friends and family. Reconciliation is everyone’s business. This week I encourage you to read Stan Grant, watch In My Blood It Runs, listen to Thelma Plum, follow Brooke Blurton, buy from Clothing the Gap and explore https://ampilatwatja.com/.

 

Kellie Mayne, Graduate Year: 2007

After Clonard I took a gap year from Victoria University, packed my bags and went to work at Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School in the remote community of Santa Teresa, 80km south each of Alice Springs on Arrernte country. After a little while, I completed my Bachelor of Teaching degree through Charles Darwin University while working in the classroom in Santa Teresa. I moved into Alice Springs and began teaching at Yirara College which is a boarding school for Aboriginal students who come from all over Nothern Territory, some from Western Australia.

Currently, I am back working and living on Arrernte country at Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School in Santa Teresa. I am the Aboriginal Workforce Development Coordinator and Student Wellbeing Coordinator. I am also studying a Diploma in Early Childhood. I juggle my work part-time as well as family life – 2 beautiful Arrernte daughters.

The opportunity to visit Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) in Year 9, and again in Year 10 for Work Experience certainly had a significant impact on my life, as did Megan Evans and Michelle Brodrick and their passion for Indigenous Education. One subject that comes to mind is Black Tracks – which was an elective in Year 10 ran by these 2 amazing teachers. I think our year level was the first year that the subject ran.

Advice for Clonard students: Always be willing to try new things, step outside your comfort zone. You can do anything you want – you just have to put your mind and heart to it

National Reconciliation Week message:

Don’t just listen to the negative stories you hear about Aboriginal people. There are truly some amazing Aboriginal people doing wonderful things all over Australia. Educate yourself- if you want to know something, find out for yourself. If you’re interested in buying some traditional craft made by local men from Santa Teresa, jump onto https://traditionalcraft.com.au/ or some painted crosses painted by the ladies run by the Catholic Church, check out Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre Facebook page.

Photo: Delphina & Kellie, Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School.