From the Class of 1989, Wendy Dukes (nee Lee-Steere) describes herself as an all-rounder.
Since leaving School more than 30 years ago, Wendy has completed a degree in Economics and has tried her hand at a variety of jobs.
Her jobs have spanned different industries from banking, teaching, painting glassware, picking fruit and most recently, the wine industry. After her experience in the vastly different careers, her most significant achievement according to Wendy, was surviving motherhood.
“I know this is a cliché but surviving motherhood to date is pretty significant,” Wendy said.
Wendy also lists travel and work in a foreign country as well as completing a degree as some of her personal highlights since leaving Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.
She is now based in Dunsborough where she runs a winery business with her husband and is still fulfilling her life-long job as a mum, to her two boys.
Wendy’s recent success in the wine industry is tempered by her modesty.
“While I would like to take the credit for establishing and running a wine business for the last 18 years, it’s my husband, Bruce, who is the driving force behind that. I would like to think though, that I’ve made a valuable contribution,” she said.
According to Wendy, her strongest personal attribute is her ability to be an all-rounder.
“I’m an all-rounder: If something needs to be done, I don’t mind doing it. I have cooked meals for vintage crews, conducted wine tastings at trade days, done administration, lab work and cellar work when necessary. I don’t have a specific role or talent but generally have the ability to do what is required to keep the wheels from falling off,” she explained.
From her School years, Wendy remembers her favourite teacher Mr Gibbs for his story telling and credits her maths teachers with laying the foundations for her university studies.
“Without completing Maths 2, 3 at school I would have found university a bit harder so I am forever grateful to my maths teachers, Mr McVeigh and Mr Johnson, for getting me through two very difficult subjects. The thing I remember most about them was their sense of humour. To bring humour to maths takes a special kind of person!” she said.
Her two children are now following in her footsteps as secondary students at Bunbury Grammar.
“Both Bruce and I were educated in the private school system and we felt this was a good fit for the boys. However, we didn’t want to send them to boarding school. We also like the fact that Bunbury Grammar is co-ed,” she said.
As a parent, Wendy has a different perspective of the School compared to her time as a student and recognises the aspects she took for granted.
“I think high school is a pretty challenging time for everyone and perhaps things I didn’t appreciate as a student, I have much more appreciation of now,” she elaborated.
The School’s unique bush setting is something Wendy has always enjoyed and for the next generation of her family, this can be enjoyed alongside the improved facilities in what Wendy described as ‘amazing’.