Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — I proudly rise to speak about Vicki Walters, the outstanding former principal of Fountain Gate Secondary College, who has recently retired after 33 years of educating our young people. Vicki’s long career began in 1982, when she began her diploma of education and worked at Boronia Technical School as a technical outside assistant.
In what is an extraordinary feat Vicki began her career with two boys under the age of three. She is well aware of the struggle many new mothers face when they return to work, yet in spite of all the challenges she faced, Vicki thrived. In 1983 Vicki moved to the former Cranbourne Meadows Technical School, and I am told that Vicki’s cake decorating electives were always full of students and their delicious cakes.
During her time at Cranbourne Vicki was appointed year level coordinator, a unique appointment as at the time few women held leading teacher positions. Vicki was also the president of the Technical Teachers Union of Victoria, and at one point she had staff out on the South Gippsland Highway with placards.
After 10 years at Cranbourne Vicki moved to the former Noble Park Technical College to work as an advanced skills teacher just prior to the school’s merger with Noble Park Secondary College. She then moved to Gleneagles Secondary College and within three years was promoted to assistant principal. Finally, she took up the position of campus principal of Eumemmering College’s Fountain Gate campus, which eventually became Fountain Gate Secondary College.
Such has been Vicki’s impact on our local community that following her retirement she featured on the front page of the Berwick News. It has been a great privilege to work with Vicki, who is a tireless advocate for not only her students and staff but also state education. There was nothing Vicki would not do to ensure that her students had the opportunities they needed to get the very best start in life. I wish Vicki and her husband, Charles, all the best as they set out exploring Australia in their caravan.