Page 999 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 29 March 2011

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Mrs Margaret Sargeant

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.32): As members will recall last year, Brindabella Christian College celebrated its 30th year, and at its annual awards night in December Brindabella paid tribute to one of its retiring teachers. On 18 March I had the honour of attending the formal farewell dinner from Brindabella Christian College for that teacher, their deputy principal, Mrs Margaret Sargeant.

It is clear from these three celebrations how highly Margaret Sargeant is regarded at Brindabella Christian College. Margaret was involved with Brindabella Christian College even before it came into being. I know that Margaret is something of a biblical scholar and I hope she will not be offended by my toying with a biblical quote. When we think about Brindabella Christian College we can say, “Before BCC was, Margaret Sargeant is.”

Margaret was involved with the group which established the then O’Connor Christian School 30 years ago, and 24 years ago she joined the staff as the school’s maths teacher. During the years at Brindabella, in addition to being a well regarded maths teacher, Margaret has been the assistant principal, a sometime acting principal and more lately deputy principal under the leadership of Elizabeth Hutton.

It is a testament to Margaret that her farewell dinner was so well attended, with former colleagues travelling from as far afield as South Australia to be there. The tributes paid to her were extraordinary in their generosity and their fulsomeness. It is the sort of thing that sometimes from time to time you think: what will people say about you when you retire? In many ways, the comments made about Margaret and the warmth with which they were made make you somewhat jealous of the regard that she is held in.

At that farewell, Ms Elizabeth Hutton, the principal, spoke about Margaret as an inspirational leader and mentor. Margaret’s work is recognised by students, staff and parents as astute and innovative. Those students lucky enough to have been taught by Margaret have enjoyed a mathematician par excellence.

In this day and age of i-things—iPhones, i-Pads et cetera—Elizabeth Hutton went on to talk about Margaret as an i-woman; Margaret as a leader who has displayed innovation; the person who got the timetables working and was the coordinator for the curriculum. Margaret has a clever and fine mind. Margaret was an inspiration to all in the community—students, staff, parents and carers. She was a woman of influence over 30 years and has left a legacy for the future in curriculum and the spiritual heart and community of Brindabella Christian College. Margaret’s other i-attribute is integrity. Elizabeth Hutton said of her, “She is a rare and wonderful person whose word is her bond—trustworthy above reproach.”

It is interesting to see how wonderfully Margaret Sargeant is regarded at Brindabella Christian College and I think that when the history of Brindabella is written it will be written in terms of AM, anno Margareta—or, for the non-Latin studiers, the Margaret

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