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07 February 2024
A teaching duo with international experience has stepped up to the plate to fill crucial vacancies at Minyip Primary School.
David Plant’s most recent teaching post was in Japan, while Isobelle Cameron has returned to the Wimmera after working in the United Kingdom.
Principal Julie Powell said the two teaching positions attracted five applicants, which allowed the school to pick the best candidates.
“We started looking for new staff in April last year and it took up until December for it to finally happen,” Ms Powell said.
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“It’s a huge relief the school is settled, and we have a plan in place that we know is going to continue for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Plant said he was living in Bendigo when he read an article that mentioned the struggles the Minyip school was experiencing in finding new staff.
“The article was broadly about schools in regional Victoria that were struggling to be staffed and faced closure, Minyip was a particular example,” he said.
“I happened to be looking for teaching jobs, but also the story struck a chord with me because I went to country schools when I was a kid and my dad was a teacher at really small country schools.”
Mr Plant said after reaching out to the school via email, he travelled to Minyip for an interview, which was quite a change from his previous teaching position.
“The last school I taught at was in Tokyo, Japan. That was a few years ago,” Mr Plant said.
“It was quite the opposite – there are many, many schools for that population and most of the classes are about 30 students each.”
Miss Cameron, who is originally from Goroke, said she also taught overseas prior to beginning at the school.
“I’ve been away for a year, teaching in London,” Miss Cameron said.
“I’ve always wanted to come back to a small school, I just didn’t know when it would be.”
Miss Cameron said she had received some help from the school community to secure housing in the area and was settling in well.
“People are starting to work out who I am,” she said.
“I walk here each day and I get a few hellos each morning.
“More people know my name each day, which is lovely.”
– Sean O’Connell
The entire February 7, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!