Design and Technology subjects are a popular choice for students, covering wood and metal work, along with graphic design, photography, media, textiles and food. Head of Technologies and Creative Industries, Mr John Poller started his journey with the School 15 years ago. Mr Poller has been instrumental in expanding the School’s Technologies workshop, and is a great inspiration to students.
“I take pride in the work I have done to refurbish the School Workshop and machinery, creating a space where students can enjoy spending time and developing their skills.”
Mr Poller has a remarkable background. Before commencing a career at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, he spent many years dedicated to his studies and military service.
“After school, I joined the British Army and, on completion of my military service I studied Civil Engineering. As a Civil Engineer, I worked on several high-profile projects in the UK before returning to university to study a joint honours degree in Material Science and Clinical Engineering. After completing these studies, I accepted a Post Graduate certificate in Education and started my teaching journey that eventually helped me obtain enough points to emigrate to Australia.
In 2008, along with my twin sons Jacob and Joshua I joined Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School as a Mathematics and Technology Teacher. My career path has evolved over many years, leading me to where I am today. My diverse experiences and knowledge bring a unique perspective to the classroom and to my work at the School,” said Mr Poller.
During his spare time, Mr Poller enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family, “I love taking my three cocker spaniels – Zara, Teddy, and Korra – for a walk on Dalyellup beach every morning before work. I also enjoy getting out on my boat, even though I am not very good at fishing. Spending time with my wife Amanda is also a priority, and I enjoy watching my twin boys Joshua and Jacob play soccer – even though they are now 30 years old! Jacob still plays for a local team in Bunbury and Joshua plays for a Perth based team”.
The enthusiastic approach Mr Poller brings when collaborating with students has encouraged many to challenge themselves and learn new skills within design and technology fields.
“I have had the pleasure of working on a few projects that I have found particularly enjoyable. One that stands out was the first epoxy river resin table that I made with Logan, a Year 11 student at the time. Despite making several mistakes, we learned many new techniques and the end result was fantastic – the table even won a prize at the annual Art and Technology Exhibition. That project inspired many more students to make epoxy river resin tables,” he said.
“I usually arrive at work between 7.30am and 8.00am, and often find some eager students already waiting before the start of the school day. During class time, I spend my time teaching, supervising, and assisting students as they bring their designs to life through woodworking and metalworking. After school hours, I often keep the workshop open for at least another hour so that students who missed their regular workshop time can catch up on their projects,” explained Mr Poller.
Mr Poller is supervising as much as partaking in the projects of his students and this year, Year 10 Engineering students and Mr Poller created something extra special which the School will benefit from during sporting competitions.
“My personal favourite project this year has been the Sword of Champions, which was made by our Year 10 Engineering students. The Sword of Champions is now on display in the Goldsmith House area garden. Who knows where it might pop up after the School Cross Country Carnival?”