It is hard to believe that we are at the end of Term 3. I have been talking to some of our staff who spend the day-to-day part of our relational and operational model within the two houses with your child and they feel like this is the best they have seen our staffing model operate. We always try and get the balance right between continuity and downtime for our staff, so that they don’t get fatigued and drained while operating in this space.
We have been slowly building our staffing numbers so we can accommodate the times when our staff have teaching ‘pracs’ on at university or happen to be umpiring the state AFL grand final game, like Will Robertson, or, playing in the musical Jersey Boys coming to Launceston, Will Robertson again, or are sick and need to be covered. Unlike schools, we can’t just get a relief person in, they need to be adequately qualified in our boarding space and the students need to know them for safety reasons. So, every time we get a new staff member in, we need to work through a process of getting them up to speed within the duty of care role they perform.
Next term, Ms Vandervelde will be leaving us after almost two years of service in the Boarding House. Zoe herself would say her knowledge and understanding have significantly changed from her initial expectations of taking on the role. It is always hard to say goodbye when staff physically and emotionally put time into getting to know and support your child. I have met with our People and Culture team to reset our staffing model and although we haven’t yet entirely completed our team, we have made significant inroads this year and we are closer to achieving our goal by the start of Term 1 2023.
The nature of boarding and particularly co-educational boarding requires a strong female presence to support me as Head of Boarding. In running the Girls’ House next term until we recruit a suitable replacement for Zoe, I have asked a friend Denise Hales to step in. I had the pleasure of working with Denise back in WA and she has significant boarding experience, in particular girls boarding, having been the Director of Boarding PLC WA with 160 boarding girls under her care. I also worked alongside her husband Richard Hales back at Scotch College Boarding in WA and we had 174 boarders.
Denise lives locally and is the owner/operator of Tamar House. She knows our boarding space having worked as part of the boarding team with precious Heads of Boarding Craig and Nadine Slavin.
I am excited to have Denise here to support me and the rest of the team. We took time over a coffee to discuss the current climate of the Girl’s House which gave me the opportunity to be reminded of her expansive knowledge and understanding of managing a boarding environment. I look forward to welcoming her next term and introducing you all as we return to boarding on Sunday 16 October.
Enjoy your break together and I hope you get some quality family time with your children.