Northern Bay College started 2019 with a new principal following the retirement of Fred Clarke, who was the inaugural Principal of Victoria’s newest school when it opened in 2011.
Mr Clarke told Northerly Aspects:
“It has been a very long and very eventful roller coaster career which has seen unbelievable changes in our lives.
“When I moved to Geelong, I had the chance to work with a large number of schools through the Regional Office. This was one of the important reasons why I wanted to work on the emerging plans for a great new school in the northern suburbs.
“Between 2006 and 2009 the state schools in the north desperately needed to be revitalised in many ways, but mainly in the infrastructure. Each school needed extensive renovation and so did Corio and Norlane.
“Some fantastic community members, businesses, services, the council and education sites came together in a regeneration project for the north, which is still going on. The nine local schools merged into one school with five campuses.
“The plans were still to have local schools for younger students and a central senior campus. So, the five current sites were selected and all were to be totally redeveloped and up graded.
“I’m very happy to have been the first College Principal and have been really pleased with the new facilities which provide modern, attractive learning spaces for our students and young people.
“My big disappointment is that we’ve never had funding to change the senior campus and the buildings look very much as they did many years ago. Perhaps the next budget will provide the elusive funding for construction of a state-of-the-art Senior School.
“It will be difficult for a while to sleep in on a weekday this year because for 50 years my work has been centred on putting things in place so that children can learn to their fullest potential.
However, I’ll think about how technology is changing the way children learn, that our new Australian families are so welcome in this country and their children have amazing potential for success.
“I’ll think of the extraordinary opportunities that Northern Bay College gives to families who don’t have the kind of resources that more affluent communities have. I hope the children attending Northern Bay College now and for many years in the future will be learning in a safe, nurturing, positive and exciting school.
“I have selected this picture as perhaps my last picture in Northerly Aspects because I think it represents very well what I value. I met Chantelle at the old Corio Primary and have watched her success, challenges and resolve to be the best person she can be with a strong vision of knowing that study and commitment will bring her a future.