Farewell, but not goodbye to long standing team member, Paula
Photo: Snapshots from Paula’s farewell party. In the top image, MCC staff members and LSI tutors lined up according to how long they had been with the College. On the far right was a tutor who had been with the College for 31 years all the way to the staff member on the far left who had been with the College for 3 months.
A few months ago, we farewelled one of our longest serving team members, Paula Sheehan. Paula had worked tirelessly for Macquarie Community College since January 1991, marking her tenure with the College at 27 years!
As the Leisure and Self Improvement (LSI) Program Coordinator, Paula worked with around 1500 tutors and organised over 20,000 courses during her time here. After a much deserved holiday in Noosa with her family, we caught up with Paula.
When did you start at the College?
I commenced at Macquarie Community College in January 1991. When I first started, I could never have envisaged at the time that I would be privileged to work with such a wonderful organisation, inspirational teachers and staff, and for the College to be an integral part of my life for so many years.
Initially it was a smaller LSI Program Coordinator role and involved coordinating the evening program at Cumberland High School, Carlingford and a few community halls within the Carlingford and Ryde area. As the LSI program grew in popularity, my responsibilities also increased within the team.
What were some of your most memorable and favourites moments at the College?
There’s too many! From being involved in numerous marketing days at shopping centres; attending a Community Colleges Australia (CCA) Weekend Conference in Canberra with other community colleges; organising and being part of Open Days at the College; completing a Diploma in HR; being awarded a Staff Excellence Award by Epping Rotary (a significant highlight for me) and receiving a MCC Staff Recognition Award.
I also enjoyed organising numerous social committee events including the annual Christmas party and charity events such as Daffodil Day, Cancer Council and The Exodus Foundation. All fun tasks!
What have been the biggest challenges at the College?
Keeping up with the huge changes in technology over the years. In 1991, when I first commenced at MCC, mobile phones were virtually non-existent. Enrolments were taken over the phone and recorded on large sheets of paper. Technology was very limited. The introduction of a new enrolment system, changed the face of the College – and adapting to these changes, affected all staff (in a positive way!).
What will you miss most at MCC?
I will definitely miss the wonderful people I have worked with over many years. The friendships I have made with both staff and teachers, many of whom have become life-long friends, are very special to me. I will also miss the regular interaction with tutors and students, the responsibility that came with the position, the challenges of finding and organising new courses, inspiring teachers to perform to the best of their ability, and the commitment to ensuring that both students and teachers were satisfied with their courses.
The question we are all wanting to know is, what are your plans now?
Travel - of course! I am off to Copenhagen, Iceland, Greenland, Boston, New York, San Francisco, LA and Hawaii in August/September. I also plan to work within the community as a volunteer.
I can’t wait to spend more time my two beautiful grandchildren. You have probably noticed that I like to keep busy!!
Any final thoughts?
I would like to wish the College, all staff, teachers and students continued success at MCC. Thank you to everyone for the wonderful support you have given me in my final few months. I feel very honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity to have worked at MCC for so many years. Good luck to you all!