Mrs Juliet McCauley's Retirement

Staff News Monday, 04 Jul 2022

Our last week of Term for Semester One saw current and past staff come together to celebrate Mrs McCauley's retirement after an amazing 30 years at Frederick Irwin.

Thank you for everything you have done for our school, staff, families and students since 1992!

1992-2022 - From little things big things grow!

I was interviewed by Mr Arnold in a small office, in a space that now holds the huge saw in the middle of the D&T rooms. The whole of ‘E’ block and all of the D&T rooms was actually the whole primary school! During the interview Mr Arnold drove me around to the building site to look at the progress of the build. There was a concrete pad and walls, but not much else.

I guess that I actually started at Frederick Irwin Anglican School in 1991 because as soon as I was appointed as a Home Economics, Art and Health Education teacher, I was tasked with the job of ordering stock and filling the rooms with equipment ready to use. 

Back in 1992 there was, from memory about 80 students. There were five secondary teaching staff and there are still, up until now, two of us ‘originals’ left. I am still significantly in awe of Mr Arnold’s amazing ability to recall the name of every student in the school, a talent that he hasn’t lost. It goes without saying that I fondly remember those trademark red socks.

We saw quite a lot of our first Year 8 students and we knew them very well. The memories of those students have lived on through the years. There was a solid group of very academically competitive students. They would actively try and get better marks than their friends and the chase for the extra half mark here and there was intense. They were very good students, great fun and I still enjoy bumping in to them, or their parents, usually in the supermarket and having really interesting ‘catch up chats’. 

There were also the students who provided us with a few challenges along the way, combined with some antics and some practical jokes, they too have left me with lasting memories and I am left with a smile on my face when I remember them too! 

There have been so many changes to the buildings. The library was initially in the ‘J’ block rooms. The Art block was pretty much in the middle of the space that now holds the Performing Arts block, there was no Gymnasium and no Chapel at all and the staff room was in what is now one of the Science rooms. 

The Home Economics rooms are still where they were back then although now we have ‘taken over’ what used to be the computer room, the uniform shop and the music room. 

Back in the day there were four Houses and those students in Ellis wore a gold T shirt. That was later changed to grey and there was certainly gossip at the time, between both students and staff as to whether that colour was picked to match the then Deputy Principal’s hair colour, he was an Ellis man after all. 

Staff and students all learned together ‘the Freddies Way’ and the camps, excursions, discos, dinner dances and school balls of the past have paved the way for the 'Freddies' that we know and love today and I was privileged to be there from the start. There are many opportunities here at school and I personally believe that students should make the most of every chance they get. 

I have been lucky enough to be able to spend the bulk of my teaching career at a beautifully landscaped and maintained school where all of the staff work together for the very best for each of our students. There are now nearly 200 staff and approximately 1500 students over two campuses! Now that is huge! 

As I leave the ‘Big Green School’, I am feeling excited for what the future will bring. I am looking forward to spending extra time with my family as we initially head for the red dust of the Queensland outback.

I will indeed have a tear or two in my eye, however I know that it is not really goodbye, just see you later.

Juliet McCauley
Retiring Home Economics Teacher 

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