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Jeffreys’ family grows up in bush setting of Bunbury Boarding School

As a School family and residential boarding staff, the Jeffreys ‘lived and breathed’ life at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School from 1975 to 1988.

It was a unique experience for the family of four and provided an abundance of benefits for the two children growing up in the bushland setting and School environment.

Kerry and John Jeffreys joined the School in 1975 with dual roles as boarding and teaching staff- a unique aspect of Bunbury Boarding that continues today. John taught multiple subjects while Kerry worked as a teacher’s aide and taught Typing.

Reflecting on their life in the School, Kerry cites a variety of benefits including the bush setting; the small and intimate size of the School; personal relationships with staff; and the quality of education and pastoral care.

According to Kerry, adjusting to living on School grounds was challenging for the family at first.

“Initially it was really difficult. There was little privacy,” Kerry said.

However, life on School grounds offered freedom for her children and a small community atmosphere.

“My two children, Sharon and Paul both grew up in the Boarding School and the whole school was their back yard,” she explained.

“They loved being at School and had a freedom which was rare – they would go camping overnight somewhere on School grounds with a tent and food,” she said.

This enjoyment waned when the children, Sharon (86) and Paul (87) reached the later years of high school.

“I knew it was time for a change when Sharon asked to live in an ordinary house on a normal street with a postman,” she said.

One of the characteristics which define Kerry and John is the dedication to helping others, their community service and Christian values.

These principles were the driving force in their commitment to Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School but also to a small community school in Papua New Guinea. The Jeffreys family moved from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School to a remote Papua New Guinea school for 1980 and 1981 before returning in 1982.

Kerry and John are also known for their hands-on approach, dedication, industriousness and integrity.

While working and living at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Kerry studied a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Library and Information Studies while juggling her roles as a mother and working in the School.

The Jeffreys have continued their connection to the School over the years, attending Reunions to catch up with students, and having their grandchildren benefit from an education at the School. Last year, Kate Peacock graduated as the third generation from the Jeffreys’ family to be part of the School. Kate is one of Kerry’s two grandchildren who have attended Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School with Brendan Peacock graduating in 2019.

“I was very proud to have three generations of my family at the School but was also sad when Kate graduated,” she reflected.

Kerry’s overall contribution to the School was recognised when she was presented with Special Life Membership of the Old Grammarians’ Association in 2007.

For Kerry and John, their School family is extensive and includes boarding students from their time as boarding house parents.

“The School has been a major component of our whole life and we now have family all around the world,” Kerry said.

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