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16 December, 2020

Heather retires after 41 years in education

FROM teachers aide to admin officer Heather Martin has spent 41 years working at Malanda State High School (MSHS) without ever changing careers or schools and last Wednesday, December 9 she said her final farewells.

By Rhys Thomas

Heather Martin celebrated her last day at Malanda State High School after 41 years of work and watching generations of students grow up in front of her very own eyes.

FROM teachers aide to admin officer Heather Martin has spent 41 years working at Malanda State High School (MSHS) without ever changing careers or schools and last Wednesday, December 9 she said her final farewells. 

Growing up on her parent’s dairy farm in Malanda, Heather started working at MSHS in 1979 as a teachers aid as a way to get money, since then she moved into the admin side of the school where she remained before her retirement. 

She has witnessed three generations pass through the school with her seeing a grandmother, mother and daughter all grow up in front of her own eyes. 

When speaking about her time at MSHS Heather believed that out of all her time working there she couldn’t pick one special moment, as to her, they were all special. 

“I don’t know that I would put it down to one moment but seeing the progression of the students going through their lives is certainly special,” she said. 

“I will miss the people here and the friendships I have made the most.” 

Starting off as a part time teachers aid and only working 19 hours a week, Heather used her musical skills as an alternative source of income. 

As the years went by the hours at MSHS increased and the conditions changed before long she found herself in a permanent full time position.

“I was not planning to be here when I got a full-time job but there were good things about the school and I like the work and the people and it’s not far from home so I stayed,” Heather said. 

“I have been very lucky in this office I have worked with a lot of good people who like to laugh all the time. 

“If you’re not happy at work there isn’t any point in being there and we laugh a lot here.” 

Since retiring Heather will now be turning her efforts to her hobby of crocheting and tending to her small vegetable garden at her home in Malanda while waiting for her chance to travel and see the rest of Australia.


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