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www.mn.catholic.org.au | Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle |
SOME 30 YEARS ago, young mother
of four Trish Scullard was busy with
school canteen, mothers’ club meetings,
taxiing children, covering library books,
making concert costumes – and running
Principal of St Joseph’s Primary, Sr Marie
Pius RSJ, discovered that Trish had
excellent stenographic skills, and soon
typing tasks like programs and recording
sheets for athletics and swimming
carnivals, classroom worksheets and
minutes of meetings began arriving at
It wasn’t long before Trish was employed
at St Joseph’s, and in no time she
It’s hard to comprehend the changes that
Trish has seen during her time ‘in office’,
originally a pokey little room shared
with the Principal. When an interview
occurred Trish would pick up her desk
and typewriter (one of those chunky
click, click bell and slide creatures) and
find a space where she could work - in
a storeroom, the sick bay or even under
Eventually Trish had her own space. An
electric typewriter arrived, so her fingers
now danced across the keyboard.
Father Geoff Mulhearn, a tech-head
before his time, trained her to use a
computer. Life became easier as fees,
receipting and other operations could
now be computerised. An overhead
projector arrived, followed by a fax
machine and a photocopier. It didn’t
enlarge or decrease, print back to back,
or make and staple books but this was
the beginning of ‘the future’.
Once the worldwide web appeared,
communication became almost
instantaneous. Trish completed many
courses to develop her competence and
has trained many others.
Trish Scullard is usually the first person
visitors, parents, families seeking
enrolment, tradesmen and many others
meet at St Joseph’s. She is always warm
and welcoming, treating everyone with
equality, dignity and respect. She knows
each school family, grandparents and
carers. Struggling parents are helped;
hungry children are fed and ill children
are cared for with compassion.
Trish’s extra-curricular roles have
included chief paramedic, keeper and
distributor of the ice-packs, defroster
of the fridge, discoverer of scientific
cultures in the fridge, dispenser
of medication and consoler of
Years ago we had a farm in the back
corner of the playground. The farm had
small animals like rabbits and guinea
pigs but there was always a calf or two
which tested the boundaries. It was not
unusual for Trish to receive a phone call
from the police station:
“St Joseph’s Primar y, this is Trish.”
“Have you lost a pupil?” growled
“I don’t think so, but I’ll check,”
“Well, there’s a four-footed pupil
clattering up the front steps of the
station and we’d like you to rescue
So Trish gathered up a few of the older
children and went to rescue the bull!
This was not an isolated escape - on one
occasion he nearly admitted himself into
the old Mayo Hospital. Off went Trish and
her pack of bull runners to the rescue.
Trish’s recent retirement was the end of
an era. She came to us as a mother of
four and leaves as mother of thousands.
Trish Scullard, secretar y, has always
been more than a secretar y. She has
been the face of God in one little corner
of the world – St Joseph’s Taree.
When is a secretary
more than a
Merri Rumble reflects on a
sterling contribution to life at
a Taree school.
Our Lady Of Lourdes TARRO
A: Anderson Drive, Tarro 2322
T: 4966 1302 F: 4966 1322
Children from a variety of grades with the Statue of Our Lady which is situated in the school grounds.
This statue was a gift from our previous Parish Priest: Fr Ron Picken before his retirement.
Our Lady of Lourdes is a K-6 systemic, Catholic Primary School in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. The school has
an enrolment of over 300 children feeding mainly from the Tarro, Woodberry, Beresfield, Thornton, Tenambit and
Our Mercy tradition of service to the poor and marginalised is evident through our Social Justice Programmes. Our
school motto, “For the Greater Glory of God”, expresses the values of Christ in our school life, our community and
throughout the curriculum. This is evident in the high standing the school enjoys in the local area. The school values its
partnerships with our local communities. Schools by their nature must be learning environments. OLOL works hard to
achieve this so that the very best student outcomes can achieved by all students regardless of their needs. Currently
we celebrate the inclusion of two Satellite Classes K – 6 through the Shortland School for Autism, and have many
students with disabilities enrolled in our mainstream classes. The school has several successful sporting teams,
participates regularly in enrichment activities and in 2011 will be developing a school choir. We believe Our Lady of
Lourdes is the best school in the Diocese because of our families’ commitment and the quality of our teachers.
The school continues to thrive through the sustained efforts of the P&F and the local community.
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