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In profile: Claire Darwell (OA 2015)

June 3, 2018

Since graduating from Year 12 in 2015, Claire has held various part-time roles at SACS while travelling, working and studying veterinary science and animal bioscience at university.

What part-time work roles have you had at SACS?

My first role was coaching basketball for the Junior Girls in 2015, followed by administrative assistance and a gig set-up role in the Music Department in 2016. I worked regularly in those two positions until 2017 when I was offered a position in the Facilities Department.

What is your current role?

I look after the school’s two chickens living on the rooftop of SAH, and tend to the plants in the school.

What do you do for the chickens?

The facilities team and I have decided to name the chooks Magda and Beryl. I look after the coup weekly, making up and changing their feed, water, litter, bedding and dust bowl. I help with their worming or insect treatments, and the whole facilities team collects their eggs daily. The students love to ask questions and watch as I look after the chooks and are always disappointed when I tell them I am not allowed to let them out when they’re on recess and lunch. However the chooks are always eager to go for a wander and run around on the roof when the students have gone home.

We understand the eggs you collected were used in the silent auction at the Gala Dinner this year. Tell us about that.

Yes! The facilities team donated eggs for the Gala Dinner silent auction which started bidding at $5. We had to set up a pretty rigorous routine for the chooks to ensure we were producing clean, safe eggs for the donation. We had one of the facilities staff build a wooden egg tray to display the eggs and it ended up with a generous donation of $270.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I love making new relationships with current students through coaching and even by talking to them in the playground. These students are a whole new gneration that I would not have interacted with or had the pleasure to mentor if I had not taken these roles at SACS. It’s also very comfortable and familiar. It’s like coming home to work with your family. Cheesy! But True.

Has SACS changed much since you were a student?

Very much so. Not only have there been staff changes, but new academic programs have been put in place as well. We’ve also acquired more levels and had several departments move around the school in that time. There have been a lot of changes but I can still appreciate SACS for what has always made it a great school, which are the genuine connections that teachers and students have.

We understand you are also a volunteer at SACS, performing in “The Second Act” and being a member of the OAA Council.  Why do you come back and help?

For me, there were extremely significant people at SACS who dedicated so much of their time and effort into creating the incredible schooling experience that I had. I am forever grateful for these teachers, staff and students who allowed me to have such an enjoyable time. Ultimately, I want to be able to give back to current students, teachers and staff to hopefully create a similar experience for others. There was no second thought in performing in The Second Act. Being involved in a tribute concert for Head of Music Ralph Wilcock was an absolute pleasure. Being on the OAA Council gives me a chance to engage with students I work with to have a great school experience and encourage them to return to St Andrew’s with familiarity. SACS is very interactive between year groups and I want to encourage the multi-dimensional relationships between graduates and current students to continue past their departure from high school. I think my love of giving back to the SACS community came about from being Music Captain in 2015 and ever since then, I have found it difficult to decline any opportunity offered to me at SACS.

What else are you doing outside of SACS?

I am currently a full-time student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Bioscience. I hold another part-time position at a local restaurant, and fill up as much of my spare time with placement for university, sport, training and study!

– Lyn Jarvis