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Teacher Tuesday: Ms Maxine Williams

Ms Maxine Williams joined our community this Term as the new Aboriginal Cultural/Language Co-ordinator. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge working with aboriginal students at schools all over regional WA. We are excited to have Ms Williams as part of our BCGS community as we continue to support our students and build our community knowledge around Indigenous culture and language.

Kaya, my education journey began when I worked with my dearest Aunty who was a stalwart in the local Bunbury community. I was born and bred in Bunbury and attended Carey Park Primary School and Newton Moore Senior High School.

When I left school, I worked as a teacher-aid at Koala Pre-Primary School (now known as Djidji Djiji Aboriginal School). That school has a special place in my heart due to the dedication of my Aunty Phyllis McGuire. I was also an actress in my earlier years, performing with mum, Dr Lynette Narkle on stage. A standout was a performance at the Sydney Opera House, which is a highlight of my earlier life memories.

The women in my family are my role models. They have all been involved in education one way or another with many earning PhD or Degrees and some owning their own businesses.

I have worked in the Public Education system for 27 years, in different roles from Aboriginal Education Officer to Co-ordinator of Aboriginal Education for the Esperance Region. I then decided to complete my studies to become a teacher. Once I successfully completed my Bachelor of Education, I worked at my local school, Nulsen Primary School in Esperance, for over 10 years.

Due to a family tragedy, I took time off work. I was given the opportunity to work in the Pilbara for six weeks at Baler Primary School in South Hedland. What a great school! There are so many different cultures within the school. That six weeks turned into nearly two years as I was appointed to a teaching role at Cassia Primary School in South Hedland.

Whilst in South Hedland, I worked as the Learning Co-ordinator for the Polly Farmer Foundation at Baler Primary School and Cassia Primary School. I thoroughly enjoyed my stint in the Pilbara with its vast open spaces and the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets that I have ever seen. There is something about the Pilbara – it is a special place!

I was then fortunate to successfully obtain a Deputy Principal role in Laverton in the Goldfields. It is the last remote town before heading across the plains to Alice Springs.

Whilst there I witnessed floods, twice, where the town was blocked off due to the rain. The school had a population of 100 student from Kindergarten to Year 12, a great undercover basketball court, access to the greenest oval I have ever seen and a swimming pool just a stone throw from the school.

I then applied for the position at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. I am so greatful to have been given this position and for the opportunity to work alongside the wonderful staff who have been so supportive. The students have been so courteous and respectful and I appreciate the sense of belonging I get when walking throughout the School.

I look forward to working within the school community and sharing my wealth of knowledge of Aboriginal culture, my culture. I love the peaceful serenity on Noongar Boodjar (country) here at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.


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