Deb­o­rah’s prin­ci­pal path

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

The Lloyd fam­ily have left their mark on the dis­trict’s his­tory, not least in the form of Deb­o­rah, a stu­dent and then prin­ci­pal of the high school. Pam Wil­lis Bur­den sat down to hear the story.

One of the best-known peo­ple in Dou­glas Shire must surely be Deb­o­rah Kachel. As well as be­ing prin­ci­pal of Moss­man High School, Deb­o­rah was born in Moss­man Hospi­tal and grew up here.

Her grand­fa­ther Wil­liam Charles ar­rived in Dain­tree in 1935, and in later years her “Nanny” Amelia Lloyd and grand­fa­ther op­er­ated the post of­fice and phone ex­change in Miallo, across the road from the school.

Deb­o­rah re­mem­bers “Nanny” plug­ging cords into the switch­board to join caller to re­ceiver, say­ing ‘Con­nect­ing you now’ and af­ter one minute ask­ing ‘Do you want to ex­tend?’

Deb­o­rah and her older brother War­ren rode bikes all the way from their Som­er­set cane farm to Miallo School, and later trav­elled to school by car with their sis­ters Karen, Avril and Des­ley. They all played on the clay bank at Miallo School, slid­ing into the river and munch­ing on lilyp­illy, quan­dongs and wild hibis­cus that grew along the banks.

Marano’s had a gen­eral store where the fuel sta­tion is at the turn­ing to Miallo, and fam­i­lies could ‘book up’ their gro­ceries un­til they could pay. Bread and meat were de­liv­ered to the farms.

When Deb­o­rah started at Moss­man High School she was al­lowed to go to the pic­ture theatre which is now Pin­jara Place in Mill Street, but Mr Ple­menuk the man­ager was very strict and shone his torch on the naughty ones and made them sit on a stool up the back.

All the daugh­ters shared a room at home and they all got the mumps at the same time. Un­for­tu­nately for sis­ter Karen, it made her deaf at the age of nine. She was sent to a school for the deaf in Bris­bane to learn to lip read and has made a ca­reer work­ing with deaf peo­ple, be­com­ing CEO of Deaf Aus­tralia. The fam­ily joked that she shut her eyes if she didn’t want to hear some­thing.

Deb­o­rah went to board­ing school at St Anne’s in Townsville for Grades 11 and 12, be­fore at­tend­ing Kelvin Grove Teach­ers’ Col­lege in Bris­bane.

Ful­fill­ing a three year bond to the gov­ern­ment, sin­gle teach­ers could be sent any­where and a short while af­ter grad­u­at­ing Deb­o­rah was trans­ferred to Ba­m­aga and later Kilki­van, where she met her fu­ture hus­band Brian.

They mar­ried at St David’s in Moss­man, where she was bap­tised, con­firmed and was or­dained as a Dea­con in 2013.

Deb­o­rah took time off from teach­ing to have sons Bradley and Clint, while study­ing for her Bach­e­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion de­gree.

She worked in the fam­ily’s busi­nesses at the Top End Restau­rant above the newsagency and in the South Moss­man Cal­tex and Rain­trees ser­vice sta­tions.

Then she be­gan a ce­ram­ics busi­ness, mak­ing and teach­ing ce­ram­ics as well as sell­ing din­ner­ware and casse­role dishes.

In 1986 the Home Eco­nomics teacher at Moss­man re­signed, and Deb­o­rah went back into the class­room, teach­ing. Be­fore long she was asked to be­come Se­nior Mis­tress. Few women were in ad­min­is­tra­tion and she en­joyed the lead­er­ship role, help­ing the fe­male stu­dents reach their po­ten­tial in the class­room.

When Ken Gor­ton the prin­ci­pal re­tired at the age of 55, his job was ad­ver­tised with­out any suit­able re­sponses.

Deb­o­rah was asked to ap­ply and was ap­pointed in 1993. She has been the prin­ci­pal ever since.

Her son Brad started at the High School in the same year. It was around this time that she com­pleted a Grad­u­ate Di­ploma in Ed­u­ca­tional Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Moss­man High School has 8 pri­mary feeder schools and 650 stu­dents of many na­tion­al­i­ties, in­clud­ing 119 in­dige­nous pupils.

Deb­o­rah be­lieves ev­ery­one is born with a gift and her aim is to help ev­ery stu­dent re­alise theirs. As there are no other high schools in the area, she be­lieves it’s es­sen­tial all stu­dents at Moss­man High have the op­por­tu­nity to en­gage in ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences that al­low them to de­velop the knowl­edge, skills and qual­i­ties they need for the fu­ture.

Her dream for the school is to build a new ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, and a per­form­ing arts cen­tre for drama, dance, film, tele­vi­sion and new me­dia.

More trade train­ing fa­cil­i­ties would also be wel­come to sup­port the school-based ap­pren­tice­ships.

In her busy life, Deb­o­rah is pres­i­dent of the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion and con­ducts a youth group to teach young peo­ple to give back to the com­mu­nity.

In 2009 she started Pink in the Trop­ics with three oth­ers as a sup­port group for women with breast can­cer.

She also makes retro and vin­tage aprons with Jo­lene, her daugh­ter-in-law, to sell in lo­cal mar­kets.

There are four gen­er­a­tions of the fam­ily liv­ing in Dou­glas. Deb­o­rah’s par­ents Syd and Pally Lloyd, Deb­o­rah and Brian and son Clint and his wife Jo­lene, and their two small chil­dren Maia and Mikah.

Deb­o­rah Kachel in her of­fice (above). In­set: The Lloyd sis­ters on their way to Moss­man Show, late 1960s: Karen, Avril, Des­ley, Deb­o­rah

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.