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21 November 2017

Teaching career inspires unique opportunities

Who said you need to travel before settling down to focus on your career?

Lynnette Macauley

Lynnette Macauley, finalist for WA Primary Principal of the Year in the WA Education Awards 2017.

Lynette Macauley has proven otherwise with her career in education taking her to some of the most remote towns in Western Australia and to the opposite side of the world.

The principal of Bannister Creek Primary School in Lynwood says she can’t believe she’s paid to do something she loves.

“My family and I have had unique opportunities to live in a range of diverse communities,” she says.

Her journey began at a district high school in the closed mining town of Paraburdoo.

“It was a shock when I had my first meal at the town mess,” she explains.

The fresh-faced teacher was one of 10 women living in the single women’s quarters.

“As I entered the dining room, the clatter of 400 men chatting and eating stopped. The new teacher was in town!” she says.

Before long Mrs Macauley met her husband-to-be, a fellow teacher, and the pair moved to Yandeyarra Station which was run by the Mugarinya Aboriginal Community.

The community set up a school with 72 students – Mrs Macauley taught Kindergarten to Year 3 and her husband taught Years 4 to 10.

While living in the community had its challenges, the students left a lasting impression on her.

“The community was very proud of the local school and valued their children having a stable education,” she says.

“They had a keen sense of humour, amazing memories and so much potential, but their opportunities were limited.”

Mrs Macauley went on to teach in Karratha, Cocos Island, Laverton, Tom Price and Canada. Now she has brought her wealth of experience to Bannister Creek Primary School.

Since joining the school she has developed an inclusive, supportive and progressive culture relished by students, parents and teachers.

Introducing a range of innovative programs, services and activities, her approach to building strong relationships has had a significant impact on the school community.

Her commitment to making a positive difference in not only students’ lives, but also her staff, led to her being recognised in the 2017 WA Education Awards.

Lynette Macauley is a finalist in the WA Primary Principal of the Year. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner this Friday 24 November.

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